Production resumes at Honda’s Manesar plant; workers plan another march on Wednesday
Production resumed at the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) plant at IMT, Manesar, on Monday, two weeks after it was shut due to the ongoing workers’ strike.
A batch of workers with permanent employment at the company joined services on Monday, and three other batches are expected to join over the next three days as was asked in a notice by the management, said members of the workers’ union.
“The decision to resume production at Manesar plant was initiated on November 22. All permanent staff associates were informed to join duties from November 25 to 28 in four batches. Process of joining back to work has started as per schedule and we look forward to normalcy of operation after this process is completed (sic),” read a statement issued by the HMSI management on Monday.
The strike began on November 5, when around 650 contractual workers were retrenched by the company . HMSI said the retrenchment took place as a result of a cut in production. Around 1,500 workers went on strike at the factory premises in Manesar. The workers demand that the retrenched staff be reinstated or paid a compensation of Rs 1 lakh, per worker, for each year of service. On November 11, the production was shut down indefinitely at the factory, while the workers continued their protest outside the factory premises. On November 22, thousands of workers marched from IMT Manesar to the Mini Secretariat to submit a letter of their demands to the deputy commissioner. The very same day, HMSI issued a letter of suspension to six permanent workers, including the president and general secretary of the union.
HMSI spokespersons said production at the Manesar factory wasn’t affected much during the shutdown. “HMSI has four plants in the country and three of them were functioning. The loss of production at the Manesar plant was made up for at the other plants,” a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the strike by around 1,500 workers outside the company premises entered its fourth week on Monday. Workers said they are planning another march on Wednesday, this time from IMT Manesar to Hero Honda Chowk.
“Thousands of workers will be marching to Hero Honda Chowk on Wednesday at 3.30pm. We will be submitting another letter to the deputy commissioner and other officials of the government,” said Anil Pawar, general secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).
On Friday, workers of the HMSI and other automobile manufacturing units in Manesar and members of the regional trade union council had marched from IMT to the Mini Secretariat, near Rajiv Chowk, to submit a list of demands to the deputy commissioner, who had told HT he would push for faster resolution between the management and the workers.
November 5: Around 1,500 workers go on strike at the Honda factory premises in Manesar. They demand around 650 workers who were retrenched be reinstated.
November 11: Production shuts indefinitely at Manesar plant.
November 19: Union workers meet deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala and Haryana labour commissioner Nitin Yadav at Chandigarh. Workers protesting inside the factory vacate the premises and continue protest outside the gate.
November 22: Thousands of workers march from IMT Manesar to the Mini Secretariat to submit a letter of demands to the deputy commissioner. HMSI issues letter of suspension to six permanent workers, including the president and general secretary of the union.
November 25: Production resumes at the factory.