The production shutdown at Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Pvt. Ltd (HMSI)’s Manesar plant entered the eighth day on Tuesday with no resolution in sight between the workers’ union and the company management.

The Japanese company had laid off almost 600 temporary workers over the last few months, citing falling demand, which prompted the worker’s union to opt for a sit-in.

According to a person close to the development, around 1,900 permanent employees and 2,500 temporary workers were employed at HMSI’s Manesar plant. The workers’ demands have not been accepted, but negotiations are on with the company management. However, India’s largest scooter manufacturer has decided to suspend production as long as the two parties reach common ground.

“The workers are willing to come back to work once the company decides to take back the 600 temporary workers who have been fired. They also want an assurance that no one will be sacked in the future. Last month, temporary workers had gone on a hunger strike protesting against the sackings that had happened earlier," he added, requesting anonymity.

The Haryana labour ministry has deputed deputy level commissioners (DLCs) to mediate between the management and the labour union. The workers’ union has formed a six-member committee, comprising three permanent workers and three temporary staff, to negotiate with the commissioners.

Honda has also been in negotiating a wage contract with the permanent workers employed at the Manesar plant for the last one year. “If you look at the sales of the company in October they have improved, but still they have been firing people. The workers have been on a peaceful protest. Also, production in other plants is going on as per schedule. In that case, why did they have to sack so many people from this plant," the person said.

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