Mumbai: Labour Minister holds hearing on General Motors' review petition

US automobile giant General Motors, in a review petition filed with the Maharashtra government, on Tuesday, urged to reconsider its earlier decision of rejecting its application to close the Talegaon plant in Pune district. The company reiterated its offer to provide a severance package to nearly 1,600 employees. The government has given four days to the company to respond.

A senior officer of the state Labour Department told the Free Press Journal, “The hearing took place on Tuesday on a review petition filed by General Motors. This was with regard to the rejection of its application to shut the plant.” He added that the hearing took place before Labour Minister Dilip Walse Patil, who is the quasi judicial body in this case.

He said GM was firm on its closure while expressing its inability to retain the jobs of nearly 1,600 employees. On the other hand, the employees' union was insisting that the company should continue its operations and their jobs should be saved. The union has opposed GM’s compensation package envisaging a month salary of 60 to 70 months. The union also argued that there were no financial exigencies in the recent past that would justify a closure.

The state government, in January, had rejected GM’s application, seeking the closure of the Talegaon plant. The government had asked the company to run the plant as usual and keep paying its employees. However, GM had said that the state government’s decision to reject its application went against the ‘investor friendly’ image of Maharashtra.

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Free Press Journal