General Motors India had told employees in a letter dated February 19 that they have time till February 23 to either accept the voluntary separation package or face a lawsuit
Employees of the now defunct General Motors car manufacturing plant near Pune rejected the US carmaker’s ultimatum of giving in to its demand of accepting the severance package offered by it.
General Motors India had told employees in a letter dated February 19 that they have time till February 23 to either accept the voluntary separation package or face a lawsuit. The General Motors Employees Union (GMEU) opposed the move to shut down the factory.
Senior members of GMEU and senior executives of General Motors India met the Labour Minister on February 23 at the state guest house in Mumbai. Along with minister Dilip Walse-Patil also present for the meeting were Mahendra Kalyankar, Pune Labour Commissioner and Asif Khatri, VP – manufacturing, General Motors India.
“The ultimatum that General Motors had given to the employees to sign on the severance package was done only to create pressure on us. We did not give in to the company’s demands. General Motors cannot throw us out”, Dhanraj Hare, treasurer, General Motors Employees Union said to Moneycontrol.
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Without elaborating further a General Motors spokesperson said, “We continue to seek all relevant approvals to support the transaction”.
In January 2020 General Motors has signed a term sheet to sell the Talegaon-based plant to China’s Great Wall Motors for an undisclosed sum. The change of ownership was supposed to be complete before December 31, 2020, and Great Wall was to begin production from early 2021.
But following heightened tensions at the line of actual control (LAC) with China, India did not provide the FDI approval of Great Wall Motors within the envisaged time limit leading to GM submitting a Closure Application for the manufacturing plant. In January Patil had rejected the application and asked GM to restart production at the plant and resume payment of salaries to workers. The plant employed nearly 1600 permanent workers.
“We are expecting the outcome of this meeting to spill over to the next week. Today we had to make submissions in front of the (labour) minister in which we pointed out that the agreement states that if the new company (Great Wall) comes onboard our service contract will not be altered. We have to submit a copy of this point to the minister in four days. Our only demand is that we need to have a stable job”, Hare added.