Hyundai Motor resumes production at India plant

Hyundai Motor resumes production at India plant

Mumbai: Production at Hyundai Motor’s India plant has resumed, even as a section of workers continued with their strike for the third day, a spokesman for the local unit said on 9 June.

“We have evicted the striking workers from the factory premises and normal production has resumed with those who have come back to work," Rajiv Mitra told Reuters. “The striking workers are in minority."

Some workers at Hyundai’s plant in the southern city of Chennai had halted work on 7June demanding full re-instatement of dismissed employees in violation of orders while conciliation on the issue was under way, the company said.

The spokesman said negotiations with the striking workers were on.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s top auto maker, is the No. 2 brand in the fast-growing Indian market, competing with Maruti Suzuki. Its Indian plant produces cars for both local and overseas markets and employs around 10,000 workers.

The halt in production had resulted in a loss of 2,000 cars and about Rs650 million ($14 million) per day, the India unit said.

In China, a strike at a parts supplier for Honda Motor also entered its third day on 9 June, hobbling production at two of the Japanese automaker’s plants there.

Strikes are usually stamped out quickly in China over government concerns about social unrest.

But more labour disputes have been erupting in China lately between workers resentful of large income disparities and harsh working conditions, and employers trying to rein in rising costs.

In comparison, India’s labour laws, rated by the World Bank as among the most rigid, hurt firms’ competitiveness in Asia’s third-largest economy, analysts say.

While government data for strikes this year is not available, there is evidence they are on the rise, and more unrest may be in store as India looks to divest stakes in over-staffed state firms to bridge a yawning fiscal deficit.

A World Bank report on ease of doing business last year ranked India a lowly 122 of 181 countries, and suggested greater flexibility in labour laws would help create more jobs and reduce poverty.

Contract workers at Honda Motor Co’s wholly owned motorcycles unit in India had struck work for days in 2006, protesting against the sacking of some workers.