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Honda workers march again, seek CM’s intervention

UPDATED ON NOV 27, 2019 06:54 PM IST

Gurugram Thousands of contractual workers of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) and other automobile manufacturing units in Manesar marched to the Mini Secretariat on Wednesday, for the second time in a week, to submit a letter to the deputy commissioner. They were also accompanied by hundreds of members of regional trade councils.

Workers said on Wednesday that even after being assured by the deputy commissioner of a fast resolution of the current impasse between the workers and the management, no progress has been made so far.

“During our last march, we were assured a solution would come out soon. The workers protest entered in its 22nd day on Wednesday and despite daily talks, the management has not taken any step to ensure a resolution,” said Suresh Kumar Gaur, president of the workers’ union at the HMSI Manesar plant, who was suspended by the management last week, along with five other union members.

The letter, addressed to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala and deputy commissioner of Gurugram, Amit Khatri, stated that the workers whose services were terminated by HMSI earlier this month had been employed for 10-15 years. “We demand that the workers be reinstated with immediate effect or be paid a sufficient compensation for their service. This matter has continued for long and we demand your intervention,” it said.

HMSI, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “Over 1,350 permanent staff associates have joined back duties as on 27th November and last batch is expected to join on 28th November. We are steadily moving towards regular operations with discipline, good faith and positivity. The decision to resume production at Manesar plant was initiated on November 22nd. All permanent staff associates were informed to join duties from 25th to 28th November in four batches.”

Hundreds of workers held a motorcycle rally around 3pm from the Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar to the Hero Honda Chowk, where they joined other protesting workers, said Gaur. The workers then walked to the Mini Secretariat to present the letter, he said.

Rajesh Kumar, deputy commissioner of police, Manesar, said that around 100 police personnel were deployed at Hero Honda Chowk and near the Mini Secretariat, to ensure that the march remained peaceful and the traffic smooth. “No major traffic snarl was reported. We increased and decreased the number of personnel based on the need,” he said.

Deputy commissioner Amit Khatri couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Production at the HMSI plant had resumed on Monday, two weeks after it was shut due to the strike. HMSI had earlier said the retrenchment took place due to a cut in production.

Workers said they plan to continue the strike outside the HMSI premises until the management agrees to a resolution.

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