Employee union at GM Motors opposes closure of Telgaon plant, moves court
The employee union at American automobile major General Motors’ Indian plant has moved the Bombay High Court questioning the application filed by the company with the Maharashtra labour department for closure of their plant at Talegaon in Pune district that it has sold to Great Wall Motors (GMW), China's biggest SUV and pick-up manufacturer.
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. Total 1,587 employees work at the plant.
The petitioner union has opposed the November 20, 2020 closure application on several grounds, and has sought a direction to the Maharashtra government to decide it before expiry of the 60-day period, after which deemed permission for closure will be granted in favour of the company.
In the petition, filed through advocate Rahul Kamerkar, the union has said that sometimes 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 GMW, without clarifying as to what the term "legal entity" meant.
“The application for closure is infructuous as the establishment sought to be closed has already been sold," states 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 clearly unjust and not in 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 adds.
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. It also alleged that GWM was not willing to take responsibility for the workers, they are now trying to get rid of them.
It added that the government has given General Motors various concessions and subsidies in acquisition of this land, plant and machinery and it was neither in public interest nor in the interest of workers that the company should be allowed to throw the workers into the streets only to facilitate the sale of the land, plant and machinery.
Advocate Kamerkar said the petition is likely to come up for hearing before a bench comprising justice Kamalkishor Tated and justice Riyaz Chagla.
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