Hero workers shift to slow gear, production could be hit by 30%
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The workers seem to have struck Hero where it hurts the most. Demand for its Pleasure and Maestro scooters is at an all-time high. Hero's scooter sales in April-December FY13 have grown 32% year-on-year to 3.92 lakh units while bike sales dipped in the same period by 4% to 40 lakh.
The union member added that to slow production, workers decided to actually follow the official 'technical guidelines' that in fact take more time. Normally, they would bypass certain systems and norms in order to speed up output. The Gurgaon plant rolls out a two-wheeler every 16 seconds.
He added, "Our welfare measures and benefits have been the benchmark in the industry, so much so that some of our workers are paid better than the graduates from some of the reputed engineering institutes in the country. We will, therefore, continue to engage with our workers and the labour department in reaching a prudent and well-deliberated decision which will be in the best interest of all our workers as well as for the larger good of the industrial environment in the region."
If the slowdown continues, the per-day revenue loss for Hero MotoCorp will be Rs 2.5-3 crore.
This is the first time that the workers have actually slowed production after over 50 meetings relating to the wage deal since September last year. Till now, HMCWU had resorted to a silent protest by wearing black bands and boycotting company-provided snacks. Being the benchmark in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, HMCWU wants the wage hike to match the increase that Maruti Suzuki and Honda Motorcycle & Scooters announced for its workers recently.
The Hero MotoCorp share closed up 1.02% on the BSE at Rs 1,779.20 on Wednesday.
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