Trade Unions in Automobile Sector in India

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Trade Unions: Their issues and concerns in the
Indian Automobile Sector

Company

LOGO

INTRODUCTION
Indian Automotive Sector

Employment to

Projected
Growing at

Contributing to

33.9% per year

5% of GDP

annual car
sales of more
than 9 million

by 2020

Turnover of

more than USD
35 billion

13 million
employees
consisting of
both local and
migrant
workers

Majority
workers from
poverty
affected zones
and only
earning
member of the
family

Hyundai Motor India Limited
Strike at Chennai Plant in Oct, 2008
 Demand for recognition of HMEU which is a registered
union but is not recognized by the Hyundai Motor India

Ltd management
 Three-year wage settlement was negotiated with another
union, the United Union of Hyundai Employees, which
was recognized by the company

Hyundai Motor India Limited
 Strike at Chennai Plant in Oct, 2011
 More than 300 workers took part in the strike
 There were three demands by the Union


Reinstatement of 27 workers sacked in a previous strike in 2008



Wage agreement should be re-negotiated



Recognize the CITU affiliated HMEU union

 Finally, after a tripartite discussion between management, union and Labour Commissioner, the strike was called off; union agreed with the wage negotiation and agreed to management’s conditions

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India

Triggers for the strike:
 Dec 2004 – Demand to increase their wages
 Management rejected the demand
 The workers tried to form a trade union
 A worker was accused of trying to start a union and was allegedly hit by a manager. Four other workers who sided with the beaten man were sacked for "undisciplined behavior in the factory”

The Blame Game

 Allegations and counter allegations took place

 Management

held

the

workers

responsible

for

indiscipline
 The workers accused management of preventing
formation of a trade union at HMSI

Events
June 2005
 Another 57 employees were sacked and a total plant strike was arranged
 As a result:


1000 employees being sacked



Company pressed the remaining workers to sign a declaration

Mid-July 2005
 Company had some 200-300 workers at the plant
 The automotive unions pressed the government to take action against Honda

Events
July 25th, 2005
 Police attacked 3000 Honda workers
 Resulted in some 800 injuries and up to thirty demonstrators missing or killed
Aug 1st, 2005
 A day of country-wide protests was scheduled for

 With this threat of civil unrest the government intervened  Production at the plant started again

The Aftermath
 Company lost Rs. 1.2 Billion
 Company received a lot of negative publicity
 Distrust between the management and the workers
 Japanese continued their hard line against the workers
 Honda management also lobbied the Indian government for labor reforms
This included:


Strikes would have to be announced three weeks beforehand



Approval of 75 percent of all workers in the plant would be
required as the legal requirement of any action

Maruti Suzuki, July 2012
 Demand for recognition of a new trade union — Maruti Suzuki Employees Union.
 July 18th, Violence at automotive plant when one executive was killed and over one hundred managers were injured
 Production of vehicles stopped and more than 100 workers and union officials got arrested
 After the staff was locked out, Suzuki terminated 1000 employees and

contractors
 August 1st , plant re-opened with a single shift of 300 staffs, producing a tenth of the cars produced before

 Labour unrest resulted in a loss of over Rs 2,500 crore for the company

Reasons of strike at Maruti
Suzuki

The
Missing
India
connect

Leaner,
Meaner
Pressures

Young &
Restless
Workers

Return of
the Red
Flag

General Motors – Halol Plant, Gujarat
Triggers for the strike

Transfer of employees who complained of...
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