Former Indian staff of GM file new swimsuit, allege due wages unpaid


A union in India has sued Common Motors’ native unit and its world CEO for failing to pay court-ordered compensation to sacked manufacturing unit employees, deepening the US automaker’s struggles to exit the nation years after it shuttered native operations.

By:
Reuters

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Up to date on:
20 Jan 2023, 12:45 PM

File photo of the former General Motors plant in Halol in Gujarat.
File photograph of the previous Common Motors plant in Halol in Gujarat.

GM stopped promoting automobiles in India in 2017 after years of low gross sales however its full exit from the market has been marred by problems together with authorized tussles with employees and failure to discover a purchaser for a plant within the western state of Maharashtra after talks with China’s Nice Wall Motor collapsed final 12 months.

GM and the manufacturing unit employees – who allege unlawful termination after the corporate determined to exit – have been locked in authorized battles since 2021. The newest submitting indicators an escalation within the dispute as employees accuse GM’s India unit and its executives, together with CEO Mary Barra, of failing to comply with court docket orders.

In a submitting to the Excessive Court docket of Bombay dated Jan 16, the Common Motors Workers Union of 1,086 manufacturing unit employees states the corporate has did not pay them compensatory wages of 50% of their month-to-month wage beginning April final 12 months, as ordered by a neighborhood industrial court docket whereas it continues to listen to the dispute, the paperwork present.

A union chief advised Reuters that GM thus far owes the employees round 250 million rupees ($three million) in wages, primarily based on the economic court docket’s order.

A GM spokesperson mentioned the corporate stays “very assured” of its authorized place. Including: “GM is continuous to discover choices for the sale of the (plant) website.”

In its earlier court docket filings, it has mentioned the economic court docket acted past its energy in ordering the compensation. The corporate has beforehand mentioned it has tried to settle the problem amicably and has supplied employees a beneficiant severance bundle.

The union disagreed, and mentioned GM continues to “blatantly violate” the economic court docket’s order by not paying the employees a single cent. In its newest submitting, the union urged the court docket to carry the corporate and its executives in contempt, and punish them with imprisonment.

“The employees are unable to feed their households, pay for medical bills, pay for his or her youngsters’s schooling,” the union mentioned within the submitting, which has not beforehand been reported.

The lawsuit is prone to be heard within the coming days.

India has been a graveyard for some Western carmakers, particularly U.S. corporations, which have struggled to interrupt the dominance of Japan’s Suzuki Motor and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor, which collectively maintain a market share of about 60%. Like GM, Ford Motor ceased operations in India in 2021.

GM stopped promoting automobiles in India on the finish of 2017 however considered one of its two factories continued to supply automobiles for export till December 2020. After that, GM ceased all operations and moved to shut the plant in Maharashtra, however it has not acquired permission.

The state authorities has rejected purposes by GM to shut the plant – a transfer that the corporate has beforehand mentioned sends a “regarding message” to potential future traders.

First Printed Date: 20 Jan 2023, 12:45 PM IST



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