The hunger strike initiated by the General Motors Employees Union has now surpassed 50th day. The workers are steadfast in their demand for the transfer of all General Motors employees to Hyundai Motor, the company set to acquire the Talegaon plant. The union asserts that approximately 1,000 General Motors workers are at risk of unemployment, as Hyundai has yet to offer them employment opportunities.
During a visit to hunger-striking General Motors Employees Union workers in Talegaon Dabhade, Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil tried to understand their issues. The protesting members also started a blood donation protest wherein they sent letters written with blood to the government.
The employee union of General Motors India initiated a chain hunger strike on October 2, demanding the transfer of all its workers to Hyundai Motor, which plans to acquire its manufacturing facility in Talegaon. The American automobile giant ceased selling its cars in India in 2017. The union had earlier accused the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-BJP government of not taking the issue of unemployment among thousands of auto firm workers seriously.
What is the issue?
General Motors is selling its Talegaon plant to Hyundai Motor, but 1,000 permanent workers of General Motors are not being hired by the new company (Hyundai). As a result, thousands of workers are facing unemployment. The (state) government has repeatedly been requested for a meeting to address this issue, but it is not taking the labour issue seriously.
The union has also demanded that the state government should not grant any permissions to Hyundai without resolving the issue of these 1,000 employees and their 5,000 dependents.
After operating in India for over two decades, the American auto firm ceased selling its cars in the domestic market in 2017 as part of its global restructuring plan.
The Talegaon manufacturing facility has an installed capacity of approximately 1.3 lakh units annually.
The Korean automaker announced last month that it had signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire and assign identified assets related to General Motors India's Talegaon plant.