Hyundai ignores trade union’s mass action threat

March 24th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by admin  


Chennai, March 24 (IANS) Even as a major trade union threatened mass action against Hyundai Motors here Monday, the Indian subsidiary of the South Korean automobile major was dismissive of the whole affair. Over 500 demonstrators, belonging to the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), including its state secretary A. Soundararajan, courted arrests while protesting before the South Korean Consulate here, police sources said.

“We want the immediate reinstatement of eight employees unfairly sacked by the management of Hyundai for forming a trade union - a fundamental right of workers the world over,” said Soundararajan.

“Protests will take the forms of human chains, picketing all Hyundai installations, traffic stoppage, a statewide one-day token strike and an ultimate nationwide unrest if the management continues to ignore our demands. We hope that the government will intervene and restore parity,” he added.

However, the state government justified the arrests. “The arrests were inevitable as the protestors violated prohibitory orders. Tamil Nadu is a haven for all kinds of industries which will not be altered under any circumstances,” a government spokesman said.

Hyundai Motors India Ltd management was dismissive of the whole thing.

“This miniscule minority of people are being led astray by outsiders whose union has not been recognised by us. We believe in attending the needs of our human resources by interacting with a workers’ committee rather than negotiating with unions,” said Rajiv Mitra, Hyundai India’s deputy general manager, corporate communications, said by telephone from New Delhi.

“Neither our production nor our sales have been affected. This action does not reflect an iota of the real feelings of our workers,” he added.

Police sources said all those arrested were released in the evening.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the $60 billion Hyundai Motor Co of South Korean origin, Hyundai India employs over 30,000 people in the country.

Its main plant, situated in Sriperumbudur in the outskirts of Chennai, produces over 315,000 vehicles per annum.

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