State industry minister Dilip Walse-Patil on Monday rejected the company’s closure application. (HT FILE)
State industry minister Dilip Walse-Patil on Monday rejected the company’s closure application. (HT FILE)

Maharashtra govt rejects General Motors’ plea to close Talegaon plant

The employees’ union had contended that the Talegaon plant was sold by the company to Great Wall Motors (GWM), a Chinese auto giant, but a closure application was filed with the state government to get rid of the employees working at the plant
By Kanchan Chaudhari, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:35 AM IST

Two days after the General Motors Employee Union moved the Bombay high court (HC) questioning the move of General Motors India Private Limited (GMIPL) to close down its plant at Talegaon in Pune district, Maharashtra industry minister Dilip Walse-Patil on Monday rejected the company’s closure application.

The union had contended that the Talegaon plant was sold by the company to Great Wall Motors (GWM), a Chinese auto giant, but a closure application was filed with the state government to get rid of the employees working at the plant.

In the petition filed through advocate Rahul Kamerkar, the union has said that in January 2020, reports started emerging that General Motors was being sold to the Chinese auto giant. Thereafter, the petition said the company put up a notice informing its employees that its

“legal entity” was being sold to GWM, without clarifying as to what the term “legal entity” meant.

It alleged that after January 2020, employees of the company were forced and coerced to accept a voluntary retirement scheme, which the union claimed was not fair and equitable. The company had also filed an application with the Maharashtra labour department, seeking permission to close the Talegaon plant.

The petitioner union had opposed the November 20, 2020 closure application on several grounds, but sought a direction to the Maharashtra government to decide it before the expiry of the 60-day period, after which deemed permission for closure will be granted in favour of the company.

It has contended that on the one hand, the company says that the GMIPL entity was sold to GWM. “If this is the case, then the application for closure is infructuous as the establishment sought to be closed has already been sold,” stated the petition.

“On the other hand, the company says that only the Talegaon plant has been sold. If this is the case, then the application for closure is unjust and not in the public interest as it is being made only to throw the workers on the streets after first selling the establishment where they are working,” it added.

The union has further contended that there were no such financial exigencies in the recent past as would justify a closure and alleged that the company wants to sell the land, plant and machinery to GWM for a hefty profit, and since GWM was not willing to take responsibility of the workers, they are now trying to get rid of the workers.

Advocate Kamerkar said the industry minister rejected the application on Monday and refused GM permission to close the plant.

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