Labour trouble surfaced at Hero MotoCorp’s Haridwar plant on Thursday night, disrupting production, multiple sources told FE.
The dispute arose over an alleged suspension notice to a permanent worker though workers say the larger issue is recognition of a union at Haridwar. With nearly all of the around 3,000 workers (450 permanent, the rest temporary and apprentices) taking part in the protest, the plant on Friday produced about 500 units, compared with its over 9,000 units daily capacity. An email query sent to the company remained unanswered till the time of going to press.
The Haridwar unit is Hero MotoCorp’s newest and largest facility, making mass models like the Splendor and Passion in three shifts. The Gurgaon and Dharuhera plants, in comparison, produce about 6,000 units a day, but have over 1,000 permanent workers. The tension between the management and workers has surfaced just four months after a deal with protesting workers at the Gurgaon plant.
“Both permanent and temporary workers are currently holding a sit-in protest at the facility and have stopped all production from 10 pm on Thursday. The current issue is over the management asking a worker to leave on flimsy grounds, but workers have been having problems with the company over attempts to register a new union since the start of this year,” a source close to the development said.
A worker at the plant added, “We will not start production till the suspended worker is taken back. Most of us are on strike, only a few apprentices worked today, producing around 500 units.”
A union member from Hero’s Gurgaon plant added that as of Friday workers from the C and A shift at Haridwar are protesting inside the factory while the B shift workers are outside the plant gate. “We are also supporting the protests from here and plan to speak to the management to resolve the matter soon. If needed, we may soon go to Haridwar to meet the workers and find a peaceful solution to the dispute,” he said.
Industry analysts said the work stoppage might prove untimely for Hero with the festive season demand boost around the corner for which the company is currently building inventory by increasing production. In fact, the Haridwar plant makes the mass segment models, which are the mainstay of Hero’s portfolio.
Just a few weeks ago, Hero’s traditional rival, Pune-based Bajaj Auto has been able to bring back striking workers at its