Incurring Rs 5 cr/day loss due to strike at Gujarat unit: Apollo Tyres

PTI Gurgaon | Updated on November 08, 2012

Apollo Tyres today said it is incurring a production loss of up to Rs 5 crore per day at its Vadodara plant in Gujarat due to the ongoing labour unrest, which the firm hopes to end soon in the next few days.

“The plant is partially functioning. The loss that we are facing is Rs 4-5 crore per day,” Apollo Tyres Chairman Onkar S. Kanwar said on the sidelines of ongoing World Economic Forum on India here.

He, however, insisted the problem is a temporary one and “it should be over in the next couple of days”.

Unrest broke out at Apollo Tyres’ Vadodara unit on October 23, when a section of the workers in the cross-ply section went on strike demanding recognition of a fourth union at the plant. At present, only three unions are recognised at the plant.

The company has, however, not shared the total loss incurred so far due to the strike.

About half of the 1,500 employees in the cross ply section are on strike now. They had formed a new union, which is affiliated to BJP’s labour wing — Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, a company official said.

The Vadodara unit of the company has an installed production capacity to roll out over 300 tonnes of cross ply tyres every day. After the strike broke out last month, the company is producing 33 per cent of its capacity at present.

Asked about the reasons behind frequent labour unrests hitting the Indian automobile sector, Kanwar said: “I think these are some misguided youth, who are disgruntled because of some issues. They are misguided by political interests.”

Talking about the company’s plans for expansion, he said Apollo Tyres is scouting for acquisitions in overseas market.

“We continuously look for opportunities. We have grown both by creating greenfield plants and acquiring existing units, and we are always on the look out,” he added, without sharing details.

Earlier this year, Kanwar had said Apollo Tyres was looking to acquire a firm in the Latin American market to start its operations there.

It is reported that the Indian firm is in talks to acquire a majority stake in the US-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Company.

Apollo Tyres had also said that it would invest around 400 million euro (over Rs 2,500 crore) to set up two new facilities in East Europe and Brazil as it aimed to expand its global footprint over the next 3-4 years.

Published on November 08, 2012

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