1 November, 2012Hyundai Motor India workers launched their 4th strike action on 30 October 2012 demanding the reinstatement of remaining 27 workers who were dismissed in 2008, recognition of Hyundai Motor India Employees’ Union (HMIEU) and renegotiation of wage agreement.
Hyundai Motor India management’s intransigent attitude and denial of genuine trade union rights has again force its workers to take strike action. On 30 October 2012 workers led by Hyundai Motor India Employees’ Union (HMIEU) launched strike action at Irungattukottai near Chennai. As Tamilnadu police denied permission to conduct a peaceful protest action near the factory, workers are holding the protest demonstration at Assistant Labour Commissioner Office at SIPCOT Industrial Complex.
This strike action comes on the backdrop of a recently concluded wage agreement between the Hyundai India management and United Union of Hyundai Employees (UUHE) on 18 October 2012.
Key demands of the striking workers are:
- Reinstatement of 27 workers, who were sacked by the management in the year 2008.
- Recognition of the HMIEU by the management or to hold a secret ballot election to decide the majority union.
- Renegotiation of the recently concluded wage agreement with the UUHE.
HMIEU was formed in 2007 and affiliated to Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). During a strike action in 2008 the management dismissed 87 workers. Even after prolonged negotiations between the HMIEU and the management with the involvement of Government officials, still 27 workers remain dismissed, while others who were charged with similar offences were reinstated. It is significant to note that dismissed workers include office bearers of the HMIEU.
On the other hand, the management has swiftly recognized the United Union of Hyundai Employees (UUHE) soon after its formation in May 2011 and signed a wage agreement. HMIEU allege that it is unfair labour practice as the management neither informed nor consulted HMIEU, even though the union has submitted charter demands on various issues including wages in February 2012. R Sridher, General Secretary of HMIEU alleges that, the management has been forcing workers to accept its anti-worker wage agreement with UUHE.
On 1 November, A S Soundararajan, Member of Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly and Honorary President of HMIEU raised the issue in the legislative assembly and called for intervention of the state government to find a solution to the dispute at Hyundai Motor India. A meeting between the management and the HMIEU union in the presence of the State Labour Minister is scheduled to be held in the late evening on 1 November.