Chennai: With the auto industry registering a 12.25 per cent decline in production during April-August this year compared to the same period in 2018, due to fall in demand as a result of the overall slowdown of economy, each day has become a nightmare even for major players across India.
Continuing its pruning to match the production fall, Ashok Leyland has now declared non-working days across its five plants this month "due to continued weak demand for our productions", according to the company's statutory statement made to the National Stock Exchange.
The company has listed out the non-working days of 16 in its Ennore plant, while stating that the plants at Hosur 1,2 and CPPS will have five non-working days, the Alwar plant 10, Bhandra plant 10 and Pantnagar 18.
The announcement follows the company communication to its Ennore plant staff that Sept 6 and 7 would be holidays and there would no operations at the plant on Sept 8, 10 and 11. It is said that the non-working in the plant for five days would hurt about 5,000 workers. It is said that the staff union will be consulted on wages for the non-working days.
There have been alarming reports over the past several months regarding the slump in the auto industry causing over 3.5 lakh job losses due to shutdown of manufacturing plants and sales offices owing to fall in customer demand.
The Society of Indian Auto Manufacturers (SIAM) has said production of vehicles, including commercial vehicles and two-wheelers fell by 12.25 per cent during April-August this year compared to the same period in 2018. Even sale of two-wheelers, which has been a buoyant market considering the growth of buying power of the huge middle class wage earners, has dropped by almost 15 per cent during this period, it said. The industry as well as the workers' unions have been pleading with the Government for a cut in GST in the auto sector to revive the sales and trigger production.
State CITU president A Soundararajan told DC that the situation in the auto sector "is alarming and needs urgent intervention measures by the Central and State Governments" to ensure employees are not affected. The governments should step up attention towards this sector and promote export of vehicles, besides discouraging the use of robots in the manufacturing plants, he said....