Mumbai High Court admits GM Workers' Union petition to strike down the GM Hyundai deal
The 990-member General Motors Workers Employee Union has also declined to sign the VRS scheme suggested by General Motors Director Prajot Gaonkar.
Even as US carmaker General Motors (GM) is set to sign a definitive commercial agreement with South Korean car maker Hyundai Motor to sell and transfer its Talegaon Pune plant and its assets, the Mumbai High Court has admitted the GM Workers Union’s petition to strike down the deal.
Senior GM Workers' Union representatives informed Autocar Professional that their plea challenging the Pune Industrial Court’s order to stay the sale process to Hyundai Motors has been admitted by the Mumbai High Court.
"We hope that the Hon'ble Mumbai High Court will take note of the necessary evidence that the Pune Industrial Court chose to ignore our basic plea for job security as a mandatory clause for the transfer. We are hopeful that the hearing of the matter will begin soon and the Mumbai High Court will grant us an injunction against the faulty order of the Pune Industrial Court," a GM labour union representative informed Autocar Professional.
The GM workers took to the streets in Pune yesterday, joining a 10,000 member strong rally organised by their affiliated union Shramik Ekta Sangh (SES). They were protesting against the Maharashtra government’s anti labour stance and failure to prioritise the GM workers’ job interests during the sale process.
The 990-member General Motors Workers Employee Union has also declined to sign the VRS scheme suggested by General Motors Director Prajot Gaonkar from July 20th to July 27, 2023.
According to a copy of the VRS agreement provided by General Motors to its Union staff and obtained by Autocar Professional, says, "General Motors has the highest regard for the Hon'ble Labour Minister. As a last resort, we have agreed to offer an equivalent separation package arrangement, as was previously offered to 571 workers, after reducing statutory benefits already provided to all workers on July 12, 2021."
On July 5, 2023, Suresh Khade, the Labour Minister, and Manisha Singhal, the Maharashtra Labour Secretary, approved Hyundai Motor India's proposal to purchase the GM Talegon plant.
Maharashtra Government in its order had said that workers be paid 110 days of compensation per year since the plant has been dysfunctional.
Unless workers are paid their dues, General Motors will not be able to transfer the asset to Hyundai. "The VRS scheme as offered to us is not mentioned in any order by the Pune Industrial Court or Maharashtra Government order passed on 5th of July 2023", the GM workers union representatives said.
Kishore Paraj Somvanshi, President of SES who had organized the protest rally stated in a memorandum submitted to Pune District Collector Dr. Rajesh Deshmukh that the Maharashtra Government must reverse its inhuman decision to allow the closure of General Motors' establishment in the Pune-Talegaon area without providing an adequate safety net for the workers.
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