Ashok Leyland, the country’s second-largest commercial vehicle manufacturing company has suddenly fired 5,800 workers from the Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand.
The company fired 4,500 permanent and 1300 contract workers on May 30 without any notice period. Even before the term of four years completed for the temporary employees, the company has already fired them without any notice. The company paid salaries to these employees on 16 June, though they were fired on 30 May itself.
Manoj Singh Rawat, a laborer working in the plant, said that as per the company rules all workers are made to sign a contract working for four years with the company at the beginning of their employment. But by the recent action, we can see that the company has not followed its own rules. The company has also fired most of the workers who had been employed for only one or two years.
Interns turned into Workers
This plant at Pantnagar employs about 6,500 workers, of which 4,500 are permanent. According to this, the company has dismissed and got rid of all the permanent workers.
Manoj Singh Rawat who works there said, “The company started after the lockdown impositions were relaxed, the work was going well, but on the evening of May 30, an announcement was made by the company management. It said that the company was going through a recession and they will not be able to handle the burden of so many employees, so they were dismissed from work. ” However, they also added that ‘if the situation of the company improves by October, November, then they will be called back to work’.
The workers say that the company is getting their work done by the workers who survived the retrenchment. Apart from this, the students who were doing a diploma from the company are being made to work by putting them into the production line.
Abolition of labor laws are boosting such companies
Incidents of retrenchments, shutdown, layoffs have increased rapidly in all parts of the country after the withdrawal of the Modi government’s order to pay salary during the lockdown.
One after the other, most companies are dismissing the workers by giving recession as the reason.
The way the Modi government was abolishing labor laws for the last six years and making arrangements to provide free workers to companies in the name of fixed-term employment (FTE). In the absence of any protection to the workers, companies used the lockdown as an excuse for the workforce reductions.
Once again Narendra Modi has appealed to ‘turn the crisis into opportunity’ but it is not difficult to guess from whom this appeal is being made, from the owners or the workers.
The Supreme Court has also refused to mediate or give any decision related to this matter, though the companies have been expelling people who have been permanent employees and have served the company for the last two or three decades.
On the other hand, the unions have proved to be so ineffective during these times. What is emboldening the companies into making such illegal evictions is the main question?
‘Aapka Jeet Hamare Jeet’ is the slogan of Ashok Leyland. But it seems that the company is seeking its victory in the defeat of the workers.
Ashok Leyland is the second largest name in the world of commercial vehicle manufacturing, which is a company of Hinduja Group. It was started by Raghunandan Sharan in 1948.