Around 6,000 temporary staff at Tata Motors’ Jamshedpur plant have been let go off allegedly after the Supreme Court banned the sale of BS-III vehicles from April 1, when stricter emission norms kicked in.
The court ordered on March 29 that only BS IV-compliant vehicles be sold and registered across the country from April 1, saying health of citizens was more important than commercial interests.
Several petitions were filed in the court, saying BS-III vehicles were affecting the air quality.
Tata Motors also announced block closure at the Jamshedpur plant, which produces only heavy commercial vehicles, on March 31 and April 3.
The company issued on March 30 a notice on stopping production for two days. HT has a copy of the notice, which reads, “Permanent employees and trainees shall report for their duty on April 4 in the shift assigned to them.”
In between the block closure, the company would have two off days on Saturday and Sunday, news agency PTI quoted Jamshedpur plant spokesperson Ranjit Dhar as saying.
Other than dismissal of temporary employees, around 5,000 permanent employees and an equal number of trainees didn’t report for work on March 31.
Temporary employees will be taken back as per the demand of production, Dhar said on Friday.
These employees would be called back once large-scale production of BS-IV vehicles would begin, company sources said.
The plant manufactured around 80,000 BS-III vehicles annually, sources said.
Around 25,000 family members would be affected by the company’s decision on temporary employees, senior trade union leader DD Tripathi said. “Instead of improving quality of the vehicles to meet environment friendly standard, the company fired its temporary employees. It is injustice and they should be taken back immediately,” he said.
Around 800 ancillary units in Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority are following the developments in the plant closely. These units largely depend on Tata Motors for business.
The company was working to bring in changes for BS-IV standard vehicles, which would take a couple of days, sources said.
The BS-IV vehicles are more emission efficient when compared with BS-III motors. While BS-III vehicles emit 2.30gm of carbon monoxide per kg of fuel, the emission drops to 1gm per kg in BS-IV vehicles.
Transition to BS-IV could lead to a substantial fall in particulate matter emissions. New trucks could see an 80% drop while for cars, fumes could be halved, the Supreme Court was told.