A petition had been filed by the General Motors Employee Union with Bombay High Court (HC), challenging the closure of Talegaon plant in Pune by the General Motors India. Dilip Walse-Patil had rejected the company’s closure earlier this week, that the company had filed on 20th November, thus boosting up the plea of the union.
On Tuesday General Motors showed its concern on Maharashtra government as they proceed to ‘prevent an orderly exit of a long time investor’ and said it's not only surprising to them, but at the same time, it ‘diverges sharply’ from its business-friendly policies. General Motors India’s Talegaon plants had manufactured their last vehicle on December 24 and the closure application for this particular plant was rejected earlier this week by Maharashtra government, which the company says is a ‘concerning message’ to the possible future investors.
The State’s demand has led to a decision that we must manufacture vehicles for which there are no consumers, and we also pay the workers for ideally doing no work, says the US carmaker. The spokesperson of GM George Svigos said - "We do not understand how the state can require any company to remain in operation when there is no work to be done, especially given that GM has a strong and credible track record of labour relations in India and is committed to offering a more than fair separation package to the workforce."
The employees have been asked by the company to take their severance termination and do not depend on the employment from their next prospective buyer Great Wall as General Motors will be exiting India. A petition had been filed by the General Motors Employee Union with Bombay High Court (HC), challenging the closure of Talegaon plant in Pune by the General Motors India. Dilip Walse-Patil had rejected the company’s closure earlier this week, that the company had filed on 20th November, thus boosting up the plea of the union. "The decision is surprising as it diverges sharply from Maharashtra’s business-friendly reputation because it seeks to prevent the orderly exit of a long-time investor who has carefully followed all required state procedures concerning closure. It sends a concerning message to potential future investors who want to bring jobs and investment to the state." said spokesman George Svigos.
The company has enforced and coerced its workers to apply for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), which does not seem fair and impartial to them, said the union in its plea with the High Court. GM had signed a term sheet for sale in the first month of 2020.
As the transfer of the workforce is not included in the sale agreement, the future of the strong 1550 workers will be affected by the company’s closure. So, the union demands that similar jobs be offered to them by Great Wall Motors, who are likely to be the new owners. General Motors India said FDI approval is still pending for their work on the completion of the sale. The term sheet for sales will also expire by Mid-2021. If the plant is sold to Great Wall Motors then the US carmaker General Motors cannot apply for the closure of an already sold site, argues the petition.
Although the company has still not considered any alternative methods and is moving on with its original plan, which they say has an ‘indisputable legal foundation’. GM India confirmed it won’t be further investing in India and once they wind up the work, they won’t be able to support any jobs and the site will be dormant. The spokesman further said, "We again call on the union to cease spreading misinformation to its members and to negotiate a separation package. Our current offered package is well in excess of the legal minimum of 15 days per year of service, but the union is refusing to engage substantively,"
The Union Representatives, over the last two months, have been discussing their issue with the labour ministry and they are more than thankful to Maharashtra government for rejecting the company’s closure application. A representative was quoted saying "Compensation is not enough, we want our job secured. It can be GM or Great Wall Motors or any other company that takes over the factory,”