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Hero union decision to strike hinges on wage talks

By Sharmistha Mukherjee
February 22, 2013 16:46 IST
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StrikeThe Hero MotoCorp Workers Union (HMCWU-Gurgaon unit) will consider initiating a hunger strike or abstaining from production if its next round of talks with the management tomorrow remains inconclusive.

“We have had over 60 meetings with the management and there has been little progress in the negotiations.

"If the talks remain inconclusive tomorrow also, we would have to consider sterner measures such as a possible hunger strike or complete stoppage of production,” a union office bearer said.

The workers at the Gurgaon unit have been agitating for two months to press ahead with their demand for higher wages.

The workers have been sporting black arm-bands and have stopped taking tea and snacks offered by the company.

While the employees are demanding an increment of around Rs 15,000 in monthly salary spread over a period of three years, the management is reluctant to increase wages beyond Rs 7,500-9,000 in monthly settlement.

The union is now showing signs of disquiet due to little progress in the talks, which have been on for the last six months.

“We have not stopped work, but have been protesting peacefully.

"But the management is showing no signs of relenting,”

said a worker at the Gurgaon factory.

Last month, workers at the company’s Gurgaon unit were reported to have slowed production operations, which had led to a loss of around 1,200 scooters.

The company had issued a show-cause notices against six members of the workers’ union, asking for reasons to explain why action should not be taken against them for disrupting production operations on January 23-24.

Last week, workers at the Gurgaon factory had held a “gate meeting”, where a strike was discussed as a last resort.

The meeting was attended by members of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the All India Trade Union Congress and union members from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India.

Citu and Aituc are affiliated with Left parties, while INTUC is the trade union wing of the Congress party.

Hero MotoCorp has three facilities across Gurgaon, Dharuhera (both in Haryana) and Hardwar (Uttarakhand).

The Gurgaon unit rolls out 6,000-7,000 two-wheelers daily.

The company employs around 1,200 permanent workers and 4,000 contract workers at its Gurgaon facility.

The average salary of a permanent worker at Gurgaon currently is around Rs 32,000, which goes up to as much as Rs 38,000 for more experienced employees.

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Sharmistha Mukherjee in New Delhi
Source: source

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