Chennai, Nov 17 (IANS) In a sudden turn of events, two workers unions in Indias second largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) are exploring the possibility of putting a united front before the management for settlement of wage agreement, said the union officials.
On Sunday, leaders of the two unions – United Union of Hyundai Employees (UUHE) and Hyundai Motor India Employees Union (HMIEU) – will have preliminary talks to reach a common ground.
Leaders of both the unions told IANS that they are not seeing much progress in the wage talks with the management and decided to explore the options for a joint front.
“We are hopeful of concluding the wage negotiations by this December. The earlier three-year agreement ended on March 31, 2018. We have submitted our Charter of Demands,” C.Chinnathambi, General Secretary, UUHE told IANS.
He said UUHE had given its charter of demands to HMIL management soon after the old wage agreement got over. The HMIEU, too, had submitted its Charter of Demand through the labour commissioner office and negotiations are to happen there.
“The company management has told the labour commissioner that they are negotiating with the majority union (UUHE) in the company,” S.Gowrisankar, General Secretary, HMIEU told IANS.
Gowrisankar said UUHE is also feeling there is not much of a progress in wage talks with HMIL management.
The joint front on wage negotiations seems to have a link to the elections that were held for the worker/employee cooperative society in HMIL. Despite being a minority union, most of the candidates of HMIEU won the elections held for the cooperative society.
“The conciliation is pending in the Deputy Commissoner of Labour office. The company has not filed any written counter,” E. Muthukumar, President, HMIEU told IANS.
Muthukumar said the union wants worker’s wages which are comparable with those of Hyundai workers in South Korea. He said HMIEU does not want to strike work and the issues are to be sorted amicably.
For a long time since HMIL started production at its Irungattukottai near here, it had only one worker’s union, HMIEU.
HMIL had refused to recognise HMIEU on the ground that the company has a works committee to take care of workers’ issues.
As the committee has no legal standing, workers started a registered trade union which was affiliated to the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the trade union arm of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
However HMIL management wanted apolitical union. The UUHE has a membership base of 2,062 and HMIEU has 201 members.
The factory has seen lot of labour trouble. However in 2011 the UUHE was formed with most of workers joining it and the management according it the recognition.