Chennai, March 12:
More than a decade after production started at Ford India’s plant near here, workers have finally got a union recognised by the management, said union officials.
“Nearly fifteen years after production started at our plant, we finally got a union recognised by the management. The collective bargaining rights of the workers have been finally recognised by the management,” K. Selvaraj, president of Chennai Ford Employees Union, told IANS on Thursday.
“The union elections were held recently to elect the office bearers. The management wanted a worker’s union that does not have any political links,” A. Satish Kumar, general secretary, told IANS.
According to Selvaraj, the union will represent the interests of workers at the company’s Maraimalai Nagar plant, about 50 km from here.
Selvaraj said the plant has around 3,050 permanent workers and around 1,800 trainees.
He said the company management has given the letter of recognition to the union.
Selvaraj said the company’s second plant is coming up in Gujarat and it may take some time for the workers to settle down there.
Feeling happy at the recognition of collective bargaining rights of workers, Selvaraj said the next task for the union is to settle down and prepare the charter of demands.
“The current wage agreement is set to end soon and we have to start negotiating,” he said.
Ford India is the second foreign owned automotive plant here to have finally recognised a worker’s union with a condition that all the members and the leaders should be from within the company and have no outsider links.
Some years ago Hyundai Motor India Ltd. resolved its long pending union recognition issue in a similar manner.
The other foreign owned automotive plants in Tamil Nadu are Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt. Ltd., BMW India and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles.