About 2,000 workers of Ford India Pvt Ltd’s plant near here that will be shutdown soon, are hoping for some good news from the management in respect of their severance package, said a union official.
“The management said they will come out with their offer on Wednesday afternoon. We are waiting for the same. If the offer is acceptable, then it is fine and if not, we will continue our protest,” the union official told IANS, preferring anonymity.
According to him, around 1,000 workers are inside the plant at Maraimalainagar near here and about 700 are outside the gates.
Since Monday workers have been on a sit-in and sit-out protest at the Ford India’s plant.
On Tuesday, an official from the state labour department had come to the factory and had discussions with them.
“This will be the final job for most of the workers. We may go into contract labour as age is against us. The office staff can get jobs elsewhere or even in Ford’s other business ventures here,” a senior worker told IANS on Tuesday.
According to him, it seems other major players do not want Ford India to pay a liberal severance package as it may become the benchmark rate for others to follow.
“For Ford India’s parent Ford Motor Company, the compensation to workers will be a small amount owing to the dollar-rupee exchange value,” the worker added.
He also said for the workers who are inside the factory since Monday, food is supplied by the canteen and for those outside, the workers union is taking care of them.
A worker union official had told IANS that production of cars at the Maraimalainagar plant is scheduled only for ten days.
Currently, the plant rolls out EcoSport for the export market.
In September 2021, Ford India announced its decision to wind down vehicle assembly in Gujarat’s Sanand by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.
Ford India has four plants in the country – vehicle and engine plants in Chennai and Sanand.
The workers at the Maraimalainagar plant are also dejected at being left out, as Ford India’s Gujarat plant and its workers will be taken over by Tata Motors’ subsidiary Tata Passenger Electric Mobility.
The Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff.
Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK Coordinator O. Panneerselvam had said the stoppage of production by Ford India in the state is a major concern.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at email@example.com)