GM strike enters 8th day, US trade body writes to state govt

The American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM-India) an association of US businesses operating in India has written to the Gujarat government asking how it can control the strike at the General Motors India (GMI) plant in Halol, which entered its eighth day on Wednesday.

AMCHAM Executive Director Ajay Singha told The Indian Express from New Delhi: "It is true that we have communicated to the Gujarat government regarding the unrest at GMI's Halol plant. We had sent an e-mail on Tuesday and we are expecting a reply, but so far there has been no response."

He added: "The unrest is of great concern. We would like to know to what extent this (strike) can be controlled by the government and how it tackles the labour unions and protesters."

AMCHAM-India is accredited to the US Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC and is a full member of the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC).

On their part, GMI has warned the protesting workers that if they do not report to work by March 25, they could lose their jobs. The labour unrest is causing a production loss of 100 units per day, according to the company.

This is the second time in six months that a labour unrest has hit the GMI plant in Halol. Workers have claimed that they are protesting against the 'inhuman' approach at the workplace which has led to serious health problems.

Karl Slym, president and Managing Director, GM India, who was in Vadodara on Wednesday along with company vice-president P Balendran, said there was no sign of the strike abating even after the state government had deemed it illegal.

Balendran told The Indian Express that the strike could delay the launch of new products. It has also sent a negative message to companies planning to start operations in Gujarat, he added.

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