Laid off Ford India workers demand severance package

Workers at the Chennai plant are sitting in protest since Monday, waiting for their severance package, while the Company itself is being pressurised by other players in the industry to not offer a liberal package

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Since Monday, about 2000 workers at the Maraimalainagar plant of Ford India, in Chennai, are on a sit-in and sit-out protest. These laid off workers hope to receive a respectable severance package from the management of Ford India.

As per media reports, the management will be designing a severance package by 1 June, 2022. In fact, one of the union members has told the media that if the offer seems respectable the workers will accept it, but if it is not, they will all continue to protest.

About 1000 workers are sitting inside the Maraimalainagar plant, while about 700 are protesting outside the factory since Monday in the hope of getting the compensation that is due to them.

For the workers sitting inside the factory, food is being arranged by the Company canteen, while for the ones sitting in protest outside are being taken care of by the workers’ union.

The production of cars at the Maraimalainagar plant — which produces the EcoSport for the export market— is reportedly scheduled for just 10 days.

The senior official also goes on to share that other players in the market are pressurising them to not give a liberal severance package to laid off workers since it will become a benchmark for the entire industry. Which is why the official has revealed that the severance package will be a small amount owing to dollar-rupee exchange value.

In September 2021, Ford India had announced that it would wind down its operations in India, which would result in approximately 4000 workers being laid off. It was announced that the Company’s Sanand plant in Gujarat would shut down in the last quarter of 2021 and the Chennai vehicle and engine plant by the second quarter of 2022.

Though, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, a Tata Motor’s subsidiary, had taken over the workers of Ford India in Sanand plant, this had left the workers of the Chennai plant feeling disappointed and dejected.

Ford India has a total of four plants in India.

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