Tuesday, January 31, 2017

HMT workers get pending salaries

GIVING respite to the workers of the HMT tractor division in Pinjore that was closed by the Cente in October last year, the pending salaries were paid to them. As many as 967 employees, who had not been paid since August 2014, received the salaries in their bank accounts last week.
The workers said it was a relief for them as they were struggling to meet their daily needs. The workers...
were asked to take the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), but only 816 of the total 967 availed of it.
Earlier, Centre said it would come out with a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for the employees of two HMT units at Pinjore, Haryana. The government had also acknowledged that the staffers had not been paid salaries for several months.
HMT Pinjore consists of a tractor plant and a machine tool unit. In January, the Government had decided to close three unviable units of HMT including the once popular HMT Watches, along with HMT Chinar Watches and HMT Bearings, by offering an "attractive" VRS to the employees as per 2007 pay scales. Former minister and Congress MP Selja raised the issue of non-payment of salaries to the employees of Pinjore units and asked why the government was adamant on its decision to shut down the units.
The PSU had manufactured successful tractors like HMT Zetor, HMT 3511 and HMT 5911 suitable for all farmers. For nearly two decades, the unit's manufacturing capacity had gone down drastically with private players capturing the tractor market, directly impacting around 2,000 employees. HMT had its golden days till 1999 when it reached the highest output figure of 19,500 tractors in a year and manufactured the highest number of machine tools. Its downfall began from 2000 following the surge in private players in tractor making, especially foreign companies. HMT's failure in keeping pace with the changing trends played its part as well. In April 2013, the Center approved Rs 1,083 crore for the revival ailing HMT, Pinjore. The package included salary and arrears of employees, repayment of loans taken by HMT from public sector banks and a working capital of Rs 100 crore to be released in three installments.

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