Hyundai Motor India Ltd., the second largest passenger car manufacturer and the largest exporter of cars, said it was forced to ‘suspend' production at its plant near Sriperumbudur following a sit-in strike by around 150 workers.

In a statement, the HMIL management claimed that the forced suspension of production on Monday had resulted in a ‘loss' of 2,200 cars with a value of around Rs 65 crore. It went to on say that the HMIL management was seeking the intervention of the government. It had approached the Commissioner of Labour for an early settlement to the dispute, the statement added.

HMIL employs around 10,000 people at its factory with a production capacity of six lakh units per annum.

The sit-in strike, sources said, began on Sunday when a section of the employees converged and squatted in front of the assembly shop conveyor, demanding reinstatement of dismissed employees.

HMIL, on July 28 last year, had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the representatives of the workmen in the presence of the Labour Minister of Tamil Nadu and other TN government officials. Under the MoU, it had agreed to reinstate 20 of the 87 dismissed employees after a case-by-case review. It had since re-instated 20 of these employees. The agitating workmen are now demanding the reinstatement of the remaining 67 employees.

HMIL, the sources said, re-commenced operations at its plant on June 4 after 10-day maintenance shut-down from May 24. Production began on Sunday and the trouble began during the second shift when a section of workmen struck work.

The sources said the striking workmen demanded immediate reinstatement of dismissed employees. The management wanted them to await conciliation talks slated for Tuesday but the workmen refused to pay any heed. “Things have not gone to that extent,'' a ranking company official said when asked if things had drifted into a ‘lock-out' situation. He was hopeful that a solution would be arrived at the conciliation talks here.