in production. Apart from the black bands, the workers have been protesting by boycotting company-provided snacks.
“The meeting went on till late on Wednesday evening but no solution has been found regarding our demands yet. Workers’ salaries are a very small component of their expenditures and many of us have been working for 15-16 years, so we should see a good pay hike. We have agreed to all of the management’s production target requirements for the next few years,” the source in the union said.
One of the three major automakers in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, the pressure on Hero to hike wages for its workers has risen ever since Maruti Suzuki in September last year increased wages for its Gurgaon plant employees by 50%, which translated into a monthly hike of Rs 18,000. Then a few weeks ago, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India also offered a 50% wage hike, translating into a monthly hike of Rs 14,750 to the workers at its Manesar plant. Though both wage agreements are spread over three years, about 60-70% of the pay increase will come in the first year itself. Employees at both companies also avail other benefits including transport, housing assistance and medical allowances for families.
Wages of jobs
* Hero MotoCorp’s wage costs as a percentage of net sales stood at 3.2% in FY12, against Maruti’s 2.3% in the same fiscal
* Hero MotoCorp is the market leader in two-wheelers; unit sales in April-December FY13 were down 2% (4.42 million), FY12 sales were up 15% (6.06 m)
* It has three plants (Dharuhera, Gurgaon and Haridwar) with a combined annual capacity of around 7 million; two more are coming up in Rajasthan and Gujarat, taking capacity to 9-10 million in the next 2-3 years
* Hero bought out Japanese JV partner Honda in 2011 and is now aggressively expanding in global markets with plans for assembly plants in South America and Africa