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Strike at HMSI’s Tapukakra plant in Rajasthan

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New Delhi: Labour unrest hit two-wheeler major Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India’s (HMSI) plant at Tapukakra in Rajasthan today with nearly 1,200 workers stalling work at the facility.

The strike by the workers at the Tapukara plant comes a day ahead of the company’s opening of its fourth plant in Gujarat.

“Four workers were terminated by the company in the first week of this month after a disciplinary inquiry. These terminated workers along with some supporters today blocked the exit gates of the plant thereby taking the employees inside the plant as hostage. So police had to intervene to open the gates,” HMSI Senior Vice President General and Corporate Affairs Harbhajan Singh told PTI.

The Tapukara plant has a capacity to produce 12 lakh units of bikes and scooters per annum.

During the protest some machinery was also damaged by the workers, he added.

“There has been some minimal damage to the machinery and we plan to open up as usual tomorrow,” Singh said.

He added that the company would not compromise on the discipline issue.

“We will not compromise on the issue of discipline,” Singh said.

In a statement issued later, the company said:”Few workers are falsely creating an atmosphere of unrest within the factory premises and trying to incite other workers to stall production at plant.

Workers are pressurising Management for the re-instatement of five prior suspended workers pending enquiry and four terminated workers; which management has clarified is purely an issue of indiscipline and cannot be overlooked, it added.

The company currently has three plants at Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan) and Narsapura (Karnataka).

It is inaugurating its fourth plant in Gujarat tomorrow.

HMSI has invested Rs 1,000 crore to set up the plant that will have an annual capacity of 12 lakh scooters. The company will have a total annual production capacity of 58 lakh with the Gujarat plant coming on stream.

HMSI had in the past experienced violent labour stir when in July 2005 a protest by its Gurgaon workers who were seeking higher wages and reinstatement of suspended employees turned into a major showdown after police cracked down on them.

Hundreds, including protesters and some policemen, were injured in the violence.

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