High salary, age, union activity works against Ford India workers in the job market

A tough job market, high salary, union activity, age and several other factors are affecting the workers of Ford India Pvt Ltd’s plant near here, it is gathered.

The Ford India workers after being in the comfortable cocoon for several years are now out in the bad world.

US automobile major Ford Motor Company last year decided to shut down its two plants – one near here and the other in Gujarat.

The plant had 2,592 permanent employees.

“A combination of factors like tough job market, high salary, age and union activity are at play while workers of Ford India’s plant near here go into the job market,” G. Lakshminarayanan, Production Assist ant and Department Committee Member at Ford India told IANS.

“I have sent my application to about 130 companies that had announced an opening listing out the qualification and skill sets similar to what I have as the requirements. I am yet to get a proper interview call,” a 30 year old Ford India worker told IANS preferring anonymity.

He also said lot of Ford India workers are getting calls from some educational institutions to do a short term course with them to learn new skills and get into the job market.

With the current skill sets, Ford India workers can work in another vehicle maker’s factory or at auto ancillaries.

Ford India workers had told IANS that there had been instances where a person was not offered a job owing to him being in the union of the car company.

“We have heard something like that had happened to a couple of Ford India workers,” said Lakshminarayanan.

A Ford India worker was told by a recruiting company that he may offer suggestions to the union in their company to grow big and hence his candidature was not considered.

While a leadership role on a managerial person is given/thrust on him/her, union office bearers or second in line members are natural leaders who command the following of others.

Why not the corporates look at their natural leadership qualities and hire them at a managerial/supervisory cadre?

“There is generally a bias against union leaders by the management as many of them take an anti-management view and do not work in a collaborative manner. There is a general feeling that a union leader of another company if hired even in a managerial cadre may oppose his immediate boss,” Adiyta Narayan Mishra, Managing Director & CEO of CIEL HR Services Pvt Ltd.

The other reason is that a supervisory/managerial cadre apart from having the man management skill also needs the skillsets like customer management, financial and others, Mishra added.

However, he agreed that the additional skills could be imparted by training if the candidate is relatively young and has an open mind.

According to Lakshminarayanan, work culture at Ford India – calling everyone by their first name- may not be a factor working against them as people will adjust to the new surroundings.

Getting adjusted to high work volume in a new place from a low volume Ford India’s plant also cannot be the reason for his colleagues not getting employment.

“Production at Ford India went down only during the last few years. Prior to that the production volumes were high like any other car maker,” Lakshminarayanan added.

For some workers, age is working against them and for others high salary at Ford India is a negative factor even though they are ready for a deep salary reduction to take up a new job.

The lowest salary that a Ford India worker got was between Rs 52,000 to Rs 54,000 per month, Lakshminarayanan said.

“Companies are not hiring Ford India’s workers even at a lo w salary saying that they would quit once they get a better offer,” a Ford India worker said.

Meanwhile life is becoming tough for the Ford India workers who are young, recently got married and bought a house with a loan.

At family functions and other social gatherings, the first question a Ford India worker has to answer is about his job prospects.

Bulk to the severance package from Ford India will go towards payment of debt and with the remaining one has to manage, workers said.

Balasundaram Radhakrishnan, Transformation Officer, Ford India had earlier said the final settlement package (an average equivalent of 140 days of gross wages per completed year of service and additional Rs 1.5 lakh lumpsum per employee) signed translates to an average of about 5.2 years/62-month of salary for each employee (from a minimum of 4.1 years i.e., 49 months to a maximum of 9 years i.e., 108 months).

The cumulative severance for each employee will range from a minimum amount of Rs 34.5 lakh and a maximum cap of Rs 86.5 lakh, the company had said earlier.

While a couple of Ford India workers have got a new job at a much lower salary, the majority of them are scouting for work.

Some have turned into entrepreneurs by starting retail shops.

Meanwhile some workers have not agreed to accept the severance package announced by the company and are protesting for a job, said Lakshminarayanan.

The company had said that the last date for completing the exit formalities for the workers was October 14.

Ford India has not formally shut down its plant near here with proper government permission, he added.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

20221019-130604

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here