The uneasy relationship between auto companies and contract workers has re-surfaced, this time in the industrial corridors of Sriperumbudur, near Chennai. At the receiving end are hundreds of Hyundai car owners whose vehicles are stuck at dealerships, for want of spare parts waiting to be shipped out of the factory.
Unlike other automobile companies where supply of spare parts is managed by the vehicle maker itself, Hyundai's spares business is under sister concern Mobis.
A few weeks ago, almost its entire staff, nearly all of them contract workers, were suspended from service by the management after they joined an AIADMK backed trade union Anna Thozhir Sangam.
With only skeletal operations currently underway with temp staffers, spare parts shipments from Mobis to Hyundai dealers has come down drastically, hitting customers whose cars are stuck for repairs.
"We have not got enough spare parts in recent weeks. Even if they have shipped some number, it does not match Hyundai's road presence in terms of vehicles. Customers are waiting and many of them think we are at fault. Things are slipping out of control," a dealer in Delhi said.
The Hyundai management did not wish to comment on the issue.
"Mobis management suspended its 300-plus contract workers overnight, as they signed up for a trade union with us. They also cancelled contracts with their contractor . They do not want any trade union, least of all a union which has political affiliation ," R Chinnaswamy, head of Anna Thozhir Sangam , said. He is also the AIADMK MLA from Singanallur constituency.
"Conciliatory talks have started with the management . We do not want to disrupt operations as our government is in power. We want to be a responsible trade union," he said, adding Mobis has recruited some temp staffers to continue work at the spare parts yard.
Mobis is a captive supplier to Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) — the country's second-largest passenger car manufacturer. Mobis's modular parts business comprises primarily of sourcing (from Tier II vendors) and assembling modules for HMIL. Apart from this, certain module components, namely moulded parts (like crash pads), are also manufactured in-house by Mobis. Hyundai spares arm Mobis fires 300 for joining union - The Economic Times