Munjal: Strict stance
New Delhi, Sept. 9: Labour unrest is growing at India’s No. 1 two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp, close on the heels of a bitter 50-day strike at rival Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant near Pune, which ended last month.
Last week, the Hero MotoCorp Workers Union had threatened a strike at the Gurgaon plant against police action on some of their colleagues who had allegedly assaulted supervisors at the company’s Haridwar facility.
“The issue has arisen because of indiscipline, insubordination and the workers taking law into their own hands. This is not at all acceptable to any management and not just us,” Hero MotoCorp managing director and CEO Pawan Munjal said.
He added that the workers should maintain decorum and never take the law into their hands. “We as a company have been looking after all our stakeholders, especially the ones in the plant extremely well. We are probably the best pay masters and we will not accept any indiscipline.”
He has ruled out any tussle with the workers and is confident of an early resolution of the problem. “I believe this will get sorted out very quickly. These people who are involved in insubordination should realise that it is going to impact their livelihood as well. It’s not just about impacting the company, it is also going to impact them,” Munjal said.
The problem started when a section of workers at Haridwar went on a tool-down strike in August-end.
“We are protesting against action taken by the management, which has filed unjustified police cases against some of our colleagues. We will go on strike anytime unless our demands are met,” union president Kanwalpreet Singh had said.
The company, however, claimed that some union members had assaulted supervisors on the shop floor of the Haridwar plant after a conciliation meeting following which a police case was registered. Nine workers involved in the incident have been suspended pending inquiry.
According to the company, the problem has its origin in the three-year wage settlement agreement signed in April. “Union representatives at the Gurgaon plant had promised to ensure that all workmen will put in honest work. However, some workmen have continuously refused to fulfil their side of the commitment,” a company official said.
According to the agreement, the company had agreed to hike salaries on an average by Rs 9,000 per month over a period of three years. This will be effective retrospectively from August 1, 2012. The Gurgaon plant has 1,100 permanent workers. It rolls out about 6,500 two-wheelers per day.
Last year, violence broke out at Maruti’s Manesar plant in July, in which one executive was killed.