According to a state minister, Ford India was in the midst of announcing a settlement deal with employees in the aftermath of the US-based automaker’s decision to shut down its two production plants in the country as part of its restructuring exercise.
Ford India said earlier this month that it will shut down its operations in the country and sell solely foreign automobiles.
The firm would discontinue selling vehicles such as the EcoSport, Figo, and Aspire produced at its Chennai and Sanand (Gujarat) facilities, where it has invested nearly USD 2.5 billion.
Rural Industries Minister T M Anbarasan said the government has got information that Ford was in the process of releasing a settlement package to the employees after having a review meeting with more than 50 car parts suppliers from Chengalpet, Tiruvallur, and Chennai on Wednesday.
“Soon after news of Ford’s decision broke earlier this month, Chief Minister M K Stalin reviewed the options open to protect the employees’ livelihoods, including the possibility of another carmaker taking over the plant. This government is pro-business, and whatever steps are necessary to protect employees will be done “, he mentioned to the reporters.
When asked if an interim relief package for the employees might be announced, he replied they were not ordered to go immediately and were getting their wages.
“Employees are paid even though the plant is still manufacturing automobiles. We’ve got plenty of time for that (to announce a relief package). They have just stated that the facility would close in 2022 “, he explained.
According to a parts supplier who opened the business in 1997 alongside Ford at Maraimalai Nagar, approximately 45 kilometers from Chennai, 80 percent of the parts made were sold to Ford, and his firm earned Rs 80 crore yearly.
“We’ll be badly impacted as a result of Ford’s decision to close the plant. We even leased property from Ford to manufacture vehicle parts “he stated
Another wiper and blades producer claimed he had invested Rs seven crore in a facility in Oragadam and urged that the government consider another car giant taking over the Ford plant.
A senior executive from a business that manufactures fuel and brake systems for Ford India said the company employs around 300 employees and is in the process of filing a claim for Rs 25 crore from Ford for the damage they expect to suffer as a result of the plant’s closure.
Anbarasan later responded to a question by saying “Ford has declared that it would close its facility by 2022, and we’ve learned that it is in the process of announcing a compensation deal for its workers. There are around 2,638 direct employees and 1,421 indirect employees.”
The Micro Small and Medium Enterprise’s commissioner and the main secretary reviewed the subject at today’s review meeting, according to the Minister, and one of the points was that “not many car components suppliers were directly connected with Ford.”
“They weren’t only sending components to Ford; they were also supplying parts to other automakers. Those businesses that would be severely harmed as a result of Ford’s decision have made a request. It’s something we’ve taken note of. We’ll discuss it with the Chief Minister (M K Stalin) to determine the best course of action “, he explained.
“We will be engaging with the unions and other stakeholders on ways to assist balance the impact and to care for individuals directly affected by the reorganization,” Ford India said when asked about the government’s statements.