Chennai: According to a worker union spokesman, a couple of rounds of talks on the compensation to be paid to the workers have taken place between the representatives of Ford India Private Ltd's workers and the management.
He stated that the company's management hopes to wrap up the negotiations and reach an agreement by February 2022.
"Couple of rounds of talks have been held with the workers in Chennai. We have given our charter of demands and the management said it has to be negotiated," the Chennai plant union official told media, preferring anonymity.
Talks with the workers at the Gujarat factory have also begun, he claims.
"We have asked for compensation for the completed and remaining years of service. The company is not on board with this.The management has not indicated as to the compensation they are willing to pay the workers," the union official said.
According to management, the majority of the workers are young and have around 25 years of service left before they retire; therefore, the compensation computed on that premise will be a sizable figure.
However, the parent firm would infuse funds in dollars, and the outlay for Ford India would be minimal given the current exchange rate between the dollar and the rupee, according to the worker leader.
Ford India said in September that car assembly in Sanand, Gujarat, will be phased out by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai will be phased out by the second quarter 2022.
Ford has four manufacturing facilities in India, including vehicle and engine operations in Chennai and Sanand.
According to officials, Ford's decision to "quit India" will put the future of around 5,300 employees — both workers and staff — in jeopardy.
At the Chennai factory, around 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and 600 employees work.
"In Sanand, the number of workers will be about 2,000," Sanand workers’ union General Secretary Nayan Kateshiya told the media.
More than 500 people at Ford India's Sanand engine factory, which makes engines for export, as well as roughly 100 staff in parts distribution and customer care, will continue to support the company's operations in India, according to the company.
Approximately 4,000 employees are estimated to be affected by Ford India's move, according to the company.
Ford India employees want the potential buyer of the car plants to hire them.
In the meantime, Ford India has declared a break for the majority of its employees until January 27.
According to the union leader, some 100-200 people have been ordered to report for work making aftermarket spares.