Honda reaches new deal with union; full production resumes

Even as the Gurgaon administration grapples with the unrest at Rico and other motor parts plants, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) has reached an agreement with its workers that will see resumption of full production at its plant.

A tripartite agreement was reached on Tuesday after a 17-hour meeting between the management and labour union of HMSI, with the labour department mediating in the negotiations. The management agreed to start a performance reward scheme and also improve benefits for its employees.

HMSI officials said soon after the agreement was finalised, the newly-installed third assembly line at the Gurgaon facility that had been stopped started working. ''Early this morning, we started operating the new assembly line, which is the third one in our plant. To begin with, the third line would have a daily production of 300-400 units and we hope to take it to 1,000 units after some weeks,'' Shinji Aayoma, president and chief executive of HMSI, said today.

Tuesday's agreement would be in force for the next three years. The management and employees union had earlier entered into an agreement in September 2006 for three years.

''This is the second settlement in three years and we expect it will prove a milestone for HMSI and help us create harmonious work conditions. We expect our people to work eight hours during their shift. The performance reward scheme would increase their income,'' said HMSI deputy general manager Harbhajan Singh.

The dialogue between management and employees union had started early July and production at this mother unit had suffered badly as the workers' union went on a go-slow in August. Reportedly nearly 40 permanent and another 100 contractual workers were not working, and the order backlog at HMSI has touched 1.4 lakh units.

''We are also working hard to resolve the Rico crisis. We have told all industrial units and labour organizations that we don't want any labour disputes in Gurgaon. We would ensure protection of workers ' interests, but will not allow them to take the system for ransom,'' said Gurgaon deputy commissioner Rajender Kataria.