The management of Ford India Private Ltd is yet to come out with their plans for the workers who will be affected by the closure of its three plants — two in Chennai and one in Sanand, Gujarat, said a union official.
On September 9, Ford India announced that it will wind down vehicle assembly in 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.
Ford India has decided to continue operating the engine plant in Sanand while closing down the other three.
“On Monday, the Sanand plant management had a discussion with us. They wanted to know whether we have any questions on the company’s decision to close down the plants,” Sanand workers’ union General Secretary Nayan Kateshiya told IANS.
“We had asked them about the future of the engine plant workers and how long it would be operational. We also asked them about the future of the plants that are to be closed, whether they would be sold/leased out,” Kateshiya added.
According to him, the management had no answer and said they would revert.
“Work on completing the assembly of the cars that are remaining on the production lines is being done. The engine plant is running.”
Meanwhile the Chennai Ford Employees Union (CFEU) in a statement said it does not accept Ford India’s decision of closing down the plants.
The CFEU has requested the company management to ensure jobs for the workers at the Chennai plant with the proposed buyer of the factory.
The company management is having a meeting with CFEU officials on Tuesday.
Ford’s quit India decision will result in an uncertain future for about 5,300 employees – workers and staff, Union officials said.
According to Union officials, Ford India’s Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff.
“In Sanand, the number of workers will be about 2,000,” Kateshiya said.
Ford India had said more than 500 employees at the Sanand engine plant, which produces engines for export, and about 100 employees supporting parts distribution and customer service, also will continue to support Ford’s business in India.
According to Ford India, about 4,000 employees are expected to be affected by its decision.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)