Chennai

Union to hold talks with Ford officials tomorrow

The Chennai Ford Employees’ Union will meet senior officials of the company on Monday to discuss the future course of action ahead of the closing down of the Chennai plant.

“We will hold discussions with the management on Monday,” said P. Senthil Kumar, general secretary of the Chennai Ford Employees Union. He said all workers would resume work on Monday. The plant was closed for a week due to raw material shortage, the workers claimed.

Mr. Senthil Kumar said the union members, on behalf of the 2,600 workers and several indirect workers, had submitted a letter to T.M. Anbarasan, Minister for Rural Industries, explaining their plight and requesting the government to ensure that jobs were not lost.

Over the next few weeks, the union members are expected to meet other government officials to explain their situation.

On September 9, the U.S. headquartered carmaker said it would would cease manufacturing vehicles for sale in India immediately; manufacturing of vehicles for export would wind down at the Sanand vehicle assembly plant by the fourth quarter of 2021, and the Chennai engine and vehicle assembly plants by the second quarter of 2022.

A section of workers said they would approach the State government in the coming days, seeking help for their jobs. “From what we are hearing, we will have jobs for the next 2-3 months and production will be on till then. But we have to see what happens after that and look for alternative jobs,” one of the employees said.

About the State government’s response, a senior official said that Ford was exiting India for its own business reasons. “Ford may be approaching some companies for taking over that facility. The State government is not in talks with anyone,” he said. “If some company is willing to take over this facility, the Tamil Nadu government will extend all support and facilitate the process,” he added.

Feedback sought

MSMEs across Tamil Nadu, which supply raw materials and vehicle parts to Ford, said they had been asked to provide details on how the closure would impact their businesses.

“We have got a questionnaire from government officials asking for details like major products being supplied to Ford, number of employees affected (at the MSME units), capacity allocated for Ford products in % (out of total annual capacity), and sales impact due to Ford’s closure, among others,” said a source at an industrial estate in the State.


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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 10:01:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/union-to-hold-talks-with-ford-officials-tomorrow/article36408968.ece

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