India - Anti-union tactics at Hyundai (2010)

More than 1300 Hyundai Motor India Employees’ Union (HMIEU) workers at Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, went on strike on 20 April after management refused to negotiate with the union. Since July 2007, HMIEU trade union leaders, members, and supporters have suffered from dismissals, suspensions, and transfers. They have also faced the company’s widespread use of threats, harassment, and intimidation for joining a union. The struggle intensified on 6 May when 900 strikers were arrested, which prompted letters of protest as well as meetings and demonstrations at Hyundai’s headquarters in Korea by International Metalworkers’ Federation affiliates. As of December 2009, 65 workers have been fired for their union activities and 34 more were in the process of being dismissed.

On 23 July, Hyundai signed a wage settlement with a pay rise over a three-year period. However, a section of employees of the Hyundai Motors at its Sriperumbudur plant in Tamil Nadu began a sit-down strike protesting the wage agreement because management was forcing them to agree to settlement. The company also refused to recognise any established union in its plant at Irungattukottai in Tamil Nadu. HMIL Chairman and Managing Director H S Lheem said that the company would only negotiate with the Workers’ Committee set up by management, with which the company had recently entered into a wage settlement.

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