Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Ltd – the country’s second largest two-wheeler manufacturer - on Monday allowed some permanent employees to resume work at its Manesar plant on conditions, according to a person familiar with the development.

The permanent employees will be allowed inside the plants in batches Tuesday onwards, and it is expected that one of the three assembly lines may start operating during the week.

Earlier this month, the Japanese manufacturer suspended production at the plant after protests over retrenchment of temporary workers. The company has 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 the source cited earlier, 2,500 contractual workers continue to protest and no agreement has been reached with the company as yet.

“The company has started allowing permanent workers in batches from Monday and it is expected that one of the lines will start in this week. We still can’t understand why they are asking for an undertaking, when the company stopped production on its own. Some of the workers have started working but production has not started yet," said the person mentioned above.

The production shutdown at Manesar plant has now continued for more than two and half weeks, with no resolution in sight.

The Haryana labour ministry has directed 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 negotiating a wage contract with permanent workers of the Manesar plant for the last one year.

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