Ford India workers continue their protest inside, outside factory

Chennai: Around 2,000 workers of Ford India Private Ltd continued their protest from inside and outside the factory near here, demanding better final compensation as the company has decided to shut down the plant sometime next month.

“Workers who had entered the factory on Monday morning have not come out while the workers who had gone for the second shift work are outside the factory gates,” a source told IANS on Tuesday.

According to him, an official from the state Labour Department had come to the factory.

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“This will be the final job for most of the workers. We may go as contract labour as age is against us. The office staff can get job elsewhere or even in Ford’s other business ventures here,” he said.

According to him, it seems other major players do not want Ford India to pay a liberal severance package as it may become the benchmark rate for others to follow.

“For Ford India’s parent Ford Motor Company, the compensation to workers will be a small amount owing to the dollar-rupee exchange value,” he added.

He also said for the workers who are inside the factory since Monday, food is supplied by the canteen inside and for those outside the workers union is taking care.

A worker union official had told IANS that production of cars at the Maraimalainagar plant is scheduled only for ten days.

Currently, the plant rolls out EcoSport for the export market.

The management is sticking to its stand on the severance compensation package and is not willing to move ahead, the official added.

In September 2021, Ford India announced its decision to wind down vehicle assembly in Gujarat’s Sanand by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.

Ford India has four plants in the country – vehicle and engine plants in Chennai and Sanand.

The workers at the Maraimalainagar plant are also dejected at being left out, as Ford India’s Gujarat plant and its workers will be taken over by Tata Motors’ subsidiary Tata Passenger Electric Mobility.

The Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff.

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