The order, which was pasted on the HMT campus, was issued by S Girish Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, HMT. The similar orders were issued for Mohali and Hyderabad.
As per the order, “The contract of service of the workmen covered under the definition of Section 2 (s) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and on the rolls of the factories with HMT Limited (tractor business group) stands...
terminated and the workmen stand relieved from the services of the factories with effect from January 24.” The Union Cabinet in October last year had already approved the closure of the loss-making tractor division of the HMT at Pinjore. The meeting of the Cabinet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The tractor division was incurring losses continuously and is unable to pay the salaries and other statutory dues to its employees based in Pinjore. The HMT tractor division was established in Pinjore in 1971 to manufacture HMT tractors. There were around 1,000 employees out of which around 850 had taken voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and rest had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
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 Centre 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.