Auto major Ford has extended its production schedule till July-end against the earlier June-end as the company is continuing discussions with the employees who are protesting against the severance package offered to them, the company said on Friday.
The factory located at Maraimalai Nagar on the outskirts of the city has been witnessing labour unrest since May 30 over the compensation offered by the management.
To a PTI query, the company spokesperson said, “Pursuant to the employee cascade on June 9, 2022, the company received a positive response, with a vast number of employees consenting to support production in parallel to continuing discussions on the severance package on offer.”
“Over 50 per cent of permanent employees have been supporting production since June 14 and the company has decided to extend production till the end-July 2022. All the employees continuing to support production in July will get wage protection”, the official said.
Several employees resorted to a protest on May 30 at the factory. The company, after halting production, resumed operation in double shifts from June 14.
Ford had said earlier that the severance package would only be available to those employees who resume production from June 14 and support the company in completing the production schedule.
To those employees who continue to be on strike, the company warned of ‘a loss of pay’ as per the Certified Standing Orders remain in effect from June 14.
“We look forward to having a constructive dialogue with employees and union representatives to explain the details and benefits of the severance package under the supervision of the labour department,” the official said.
According to Ford, the company has offered severance packages for approximately 115 days of gross wages for each completed year of service (of an employee) which was significantly higher than the statutory severance package.
The cumulative package accounts for an ex gratia amount equivalent to 87 days of last drawn gross wages as of May 2022, a fixed Rs 50,000 for every completed year of service benefits equivalent to a lump sum amount of Rs 2.40 lakh and current medical insurance coverage until March 2024.
“The cumulative amounts will be subject to a minimum amount of Rs 30 lakh and a maximum cap of Rs 80 lakh,” it had said.
The employees had staged a protest seeking better pay soon after the car major, in September 2021, announced that it would stop vehicle production at its two plants — Sanand in Gujarat and Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai in Tamil Nadu — as part of its restructuring exercise.
Recently, Tata Motors announced the signing of a tripartite pact with Ford and the Gujarat government to acquire the American auto major’s vehicle manufacturing unit at Sanand.