Ford India workers continue protest demanding better compensation for job loss

by IANS |

Chennai, June 4 (IANS) About 2,600 workers of Ford India Pvt Ltd's plant at Maraimalainagar continue their protest demanding better compensation as the company has decided to shut down its Maraimalainagar plant near here, said a union official.

"The management has offered 85 days pay for every completed year of service. Also, a fixed sum of Rs 42,500 for every completed year of service. Earlier they had offered 75 days of salary and the fixed sum at Rs 20,000 for every completed year of service," a worker union official told IANS preferring anonymity.

However, the Ford India workers citing another car maker's compensation scheme are demanding about 135 days of salary for every completed year of service and also taking care of the income tax burden.

The official said the workers who were protesting inside the factory since Monday have come out and are protesting outside the factory gates.

"The labour department official who had come to the plant had told us to negotiate with the management. It is between the workers and the management and the state government has no role in the issue, the labour department official who had come earlier had told us," the union official said.

"This will be the final job for most of the workers as age is against us. Further the employment scenario is also not good," a senior worker told IANS.

According to him, the management is playing its electric vehicle (EV) cards close to its chest.

While the management has said it has no plans to make EVs in India, it has not said where the project will be housed. The possibility of Ford starting the EV project here after sending out the workers cannot be ruled out, he added.

In September 2021, Ford India announced its decision to wind down vehicle assembly in Gujarat's Sanand by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.

Ford India has four plants in the country -- vehicle and engine plants in Chennai and Sanand.

The workers at the Maraimalainagar plant are also dejected at being left out, as Ford India's Gujarat plant and its workers will be taken over by Tata Motors' subsidiary Tata Passenger Electric Mobility.

According to the Ford India's workers union official, there are around 2,600 permanent workers and about 1,000 contract workers at the Maraimalainagar plant.

The factory closure will lead to loss of 3,600 direct jobs 3,600 and about 30,000 indirect jobs, he said.

Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK Coordinator O. Panneerselvam had said the stoppage of production by Ford India in the state was a major concern.

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