The workers also asked that their counterparts, who were retrenched by the HMSI management, be reinstated.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, July 29

REPRESENTATIVES of the workers of the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) met the UPA Chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi, on Friday and sought her intervention to bring "justice" to the workers who were brutally lathi-charged by the police early this week.Among other demands, the workers also asked that their counterparts, who were retrenched by the HMSI management, be reinstated.

HMSI had offered to reinstate around 1,700 workers, but not the four workers who were dismissed by the company. The workers had also asked the management that their emoluments be increased and brought at par with those workers at the Hero Honda plant.

Sources said that HMSI has not offered any new package yet to the workers, though the dialogue process is still on.

The company's plant is currently producing roughly 900 scooters a day with the help of temporary workers (taken from its vendors, contract labour, etc) from outside.

The production level is however much below the normal level of 2,000 units a day.

The loss in production has resulted in a loss of Rs 125 crore for the company.

Meanwhile, the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Mr Kamal Nath, on Friday discussed the Gurgaon incident with Mr Shoichi Nakagawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan, on the sidelines of the meeting of the WTO General Council in Geneva, during which bilateral issues were reviewed.

According to an official release, Mr Kamal Nath assured the Japanese Minister that the Gurgaon incident was an isolated one and certainly not the norm.

He explained the circumstances of the unfortunate incident as well as the follow-up action taken by the Government to contain and resolve the issue.

The Japanese Minister agreed with Mr Kamal Nath and assured him that it would not affect Japanese investment in India.

In this context, Mr Nakagawa emphasised that Japanese companies were investing in West Bengal in big way, the release said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 30, 2005)
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