The employee union of General Motors India started a chain hunger strike on Monday, demanding the transfer of all its workers to Hyundai Motor, which plans to acquire its manufacturing facility in Talegaon. Member of the union, while speaking with the Free Press Journal, informed that the protest will go on till October 10 in a symbolic manner.
The American automobile giant stopped selling its cars in India from 2017.
General Motors Employees Union in a statement on Sunday also accused the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-BJP government of not taking the unemployment issue of "thousands" of workers of the auto firm seriously.
General Motors selling its plant in Pune to Hyundai
General Motors is selling its Talegaon plant in Pune to Hyundai Motor, while 1,000 permanent workers of General Motors are not being employed by the new company (Hyundai), the union said in a statement.
"Due to this, the problem of unemployment of thousands of workers has arisen. The (state) government is repeatedly requesting a meeting to get justice, but it is not taking the labour issue seriously," the union said.
"Therefore, as many as 1,000 workers of General Motors Employees Union are on chain hunger strike from October 2, 2023, under the guidance of Maharashtra State Labour Action Committee and Shramik Ekta Federation demanding that jobs of all General Motors workers should be transferred to the new entrant, Hyundai Motor," it added.
Union seeks re-employment
It has also demanded that the state government should not allow any permission 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 stopped 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 around 1.3 lakh units annually.
The Korean auto maker last month announced signing an asset purchase agreement to acquire and assign identified assets related to General Motors India's Talegaon plant.
Operations to begin in 2025
The company, which had in March this year inked a term sheet to potentially acquire land, buildings and certain manufacturing equipment at the Talegaon plant, said it plans to commence manufacturing operations at the unit in 2025.
It also said that the completion of the acquisition and assignment of the Talegaon plant is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent and receipt of regulatory approvals.
General Motors had earlier inked a pact to sell the plant to Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motors. However, the agreement fell through last year as the Chinese carmaker called off plans to enter the Indian market.