GM And Indian Workers Union Dispute Heads Into Mediation1
GM’s dispute with the unionized workers at its closed Indian assembly plant has been ordered into mediation by a court in Pune. An independent mediator will attempt to resolve the deadlock between the company and the union during the second half of 2023.
GM executives said the company has been negotiating with “good intent,” wants “constructive discussion,” and is hopeful the intervention of an independent mediator will enable reaching a positive resolution. Meanwhile, union representatives said GM opted to go into mediation unilaterally, as Mint reported on the situation.
The dispute started several years ago after GM took the decision to withdraw from the automotive market in India. In 2021, The General offered its unionized workforce, comprising roughly 1,100 employees, a separation package including a payout equivalent to the total after-tax pay most workers would earn in three and a half years.
The union rejected this offer and launched several lawsuits against GM. Since GM is seeking a buyer for its Talegaon assembly plant among Indian, South Korean, and Chinese automakers, the union demands that employment for its members by the new owner should be a condition of buying the facility.
However, GM is not willing to budge on its own position. The company has “made very clear from the start that any sale of the site does not include transfer of employees,” GM’s executive director of corporate affairs, George Svigoss, declared.
Mint notes the contractual obligation to hire 1,100 legacy workers as part of the package would probably make purchase of Talegaon undesirable to any company otherwise willing to buy out the remaining Indian facilities of GM. The Talegaon plant has been idle since 2020, while a subsidiary of SAIC Motor from China, MG Motor India, previously acquired GM’s Gujerat facility, General Motors Halol.
Last month, the union also filed a lawsuit alleging GM owes the workers $3 million in unpaid wages on the grounds that termination of the workforce was illegal. GM countered that it offered a generous severance package, and that the compensation to workers ordered by a local court exceeds that court’s legally vested authority.
GM attempted to sell the Talegaon facility to China’s Great Wall Motor. However, multiple legal roadblocks thrown up by the government of India, including restrictions on Chinese investment in the country, repeatedly delayed closure of the deal. The final deadline expired on June 30th, 2022, causing the proposed acquisition to fail. Since then, GM has continued to seek a different buyer for its last Indian facilities.
Subscribe to GM Authority for more GM India news, GM business news, GM legal news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
IDEAL the plant bring production BACK to the USA