Hero blinks first, raises pay offer in union talks


In a an attempt to break the impasse over wage settlement terms with workers at its Gurgaon factory, the management of Hero MotoCorp has in the latest round of negotiations offered to increase annual increments to Rs 8,500-9,000 a month over a three-year period.

A person in the know said, “Earlier, the management was offering Rs 7,500 in wage hike. Now, they have said they are willing to increase increments by an added Rs 1,000-1,500. Talks are progressing positively. We have to wait for the outcome of the meeting with the union on Saturday.”

"We are in the process of talks with the members of the union of our Gurgaon plant and the process of conciliation is going on in the presence of the labour department. We would not, therefore, like to comment on any unsubstantiated market speculation on this subject”, said a spokesperson at Hero MotoCorp.

The workers at Gurgaon are demanding an increased yearly pay of at least Rs 15,000 a month, as productivity has risen since 2009. The management had offered Rs 7,500, for permanent workers.

“Hero was the leading paymaster in the auto industry prior to the wage hikes at Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and HMSI (Honda). So, it is difficult for them to give increments similar to what has been offered by other companies. But a hike of Rs 9,000-10,000 would bring the (monthly) salary at par with wages in other companies in the region,” said another person in the know of the developments.

A little over 11,000 permanent and contract workers across both the Gurgaon and Dharuhera factories are wearing black armbands to protest at the mangement’s refusal to meet the demands at at Gurgaon. The workers have been asking for a similar increment as at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s Manesar unit, where a 50 per cent rise of Rs 14,770 in monthly salary was announced recently.

Hero MotoCorp employs around 1,200 permanent workers and 4,000 contract workers at its Gurgaon facility. The average monthy salary of a permanent worker at Gurgaon is currently around Rs 32,000, going up to Rs 38,000 for more experienced employees.