Home >companies >Laid-off Ssangyong workers in Mumbai seeking reinstatement: Mahindra

Mumbai: A group of ex-workers of Ssangyong Motor Co (SYMC), the troubled Korean automaker which Mahindra Group acquired in March 2011, are in Mumbai to drum up support for their reinstatement, Mahindra Group said in a statement.

Part of the Korean Metal Workers Union, the five workers who were employed at Ssangyong’s factory in Seoul, represents a group of 159 employees who had refused to accept the voluntary retirement scheme in 2009. The VRS was announced by the court appointed administrators, who were managing the company prior to the takeover by Mahindra.

The Korean workers currently in Mumbai belong to the erstwhile Union of SYMC. This Union does not represent the SYMC workers today, the company said in the statement.

Using the services of a Nepal national, Siri Shreshta, as translator, Kim Keong Un, Ko Dong Min, Y Chung Ryel, Lee Gap Ho, Yoon Je-Kyoon are in the city to press their case with chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra, the Mumbai Mirror reported on 26 September. They have also held meetings with the trade unions including the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), as well as experts in trade law, it said. They now plan to meet all the trade unions in the city to gather support.

Mahindra in the statement said SYMC’s local management is working to find a solution to the request of the outside union. Tripartite talks between Ssangyong management, recognized union and the outside Metalworkers Union are currently in progress and they hope to arrive at a mutually workable solution.

M&M paid $463 million ( 2,100 crore) for a 70% stake in SYMC in 2010 and gradually raised the stake to 73%. A break-even for SsangYong is still some distance away. In the quarter ended 31 March 2015, SsangYong recorded a net loss of 31.2 billion Won ( 178 crore).

M&M is now hoping to ride on the Tivoli, the first new SUV launched by Mahindra after the buyout, to get back in black. Slowing exports to some of the key markets like China and Russia, coupled with a court-led directive on wage payments have impacted the Korean subsidiary adversely.

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