HMT employees to march to Haryana Assembly on Tuesday
Employees of HMT Limited at Pinjore will proceed to Haryana Assembly on Tuesday to press for their demand to “revive” the factory and clear their salary dues.
Employees have also appealed to politicians and village heads to support the ‘foot march’. The ongoing budget session of Haryana Assembly is scheduled to end on March 31.
“All employees of HMT including their families will kick off the foot march from Pinjore and proceed to Haryana Assembly where we shall submit our memorandum to Chief Minister,” HMT Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, convener, Vijay Bansal said on Sunday.
The objective of the March 29 foot march is to save the HMT factory from “closure” and payment of salaries, he said.
“We want serious efforts to revive the factory. We have proposed the Centre to make mini-tractors here which are in great demand and the existing infrastructure is sufficient enough to do this job,” he said.
“We have not been paid salaries for the last 20 months. The poor health of HMT is not because the factory has no orders, it is just because of the mismanagement,” alleged Mohinder Singh, president, HMT Workers’ Union.
Singh, who has been working at HMT for last 26 years, said HMT’s tractor unit has almost 1,150 employees, while machine tool segment has 350 employees, who have not been paid for last several months.
The question of non-payment of salaries of HMT units at Pinjore had also rocked Rajya Sabha this month with MP Kumari Selja raising the issue.
Government had said it will come out with a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for the employees of two HMT units at Pinjore, acknowledging that the staffers had not been paid salaries for several months.
Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Anant G Geete had said that HMT Pinjore units were in “crisis”.
“(We are going) to give VRS to HMT. We have talked with the employees, they are satisfied,” he said, adding that the package will be on the lines of VRS announced for three other HMT units earlier.
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.
In December 2015, the Centre had expressed “inability” to run the famous Public Sector Undertaking, located about 25 km from Chandigarh.
It had also proposed the Haryana government to acquire 842 acres of the factory land and, in return, clear the dues of the employees before closing it down.