The General Motors’ (GM) Talegaon plant in Maharashtra, which is coming back to life again with Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) announcing to acquire the facility, may first have to face a labour union demanding job reinstatement or compensation.

“We were terminated from service illegally, which the courts have also agreed and said it was an illegal retrenchment by GM and the workers should be compensated according to labour laws,” a working member of the GM labour union told businessline.

The cases are going on currently in the Bombay High Court, Labour Court and the Supreme Court as GM has not given compensations as per the law, the union member said requesting anonymity.

No prior information

He said there are 1,086 workers who are fighting the case as they were not given any prior information about their job cuts and the compensation was also given for only 15 days, which does not suffice nor it complies with labour laws.

“The company (GM) did not talk to us or send any government approval for us about our job cuts. We are fighting for our rights now and going to courts for a peaceful settlement. There are 1,000 workers who are without any jobs right now since then, and may take extreme steps if they are not given proper compensation,” he added.

HMIL on Monday had announced that it has signed a ‘Term Sheet’ for the potential acquisition of identified assets related to GM India, Talegaon Plant in Maharashtra.

The company said that the proposed acquisition is subject to the signing of the ‘Definitive Asset Purchase Agreement’ and fulfilment of conditions precedent and receipt of regulatory approvals from relevant government authorities and all the stakeholders related to the acquisition.

Sources said that the terms and conditions also include the settlement of the labour union issue, which the government and GM officials may take it forward. Experts also said that it is not Hyundai’s job to take back the ex-employees of GM as the company would be hiring afresh for starting its operations at the plant.

‘Settlement more than legal requirement’

When asked GM, the company said that it offered all the impacted employees with a settlement package, which was more than the industry levels.

“Having legally separated former employees from the Talegaon site, the company offered impacted employees with a settlement package. The separation package was seven times the legal requirement, with the average payout equivalent to more than 3.5 years of salary after tax,” a GM Official spokesperson told businessline.

HMIL did not respond to the mail sent with queries till the time of press.