A case study of GENERAL MOTORS
Ms. N. Malati
Gurleen Kaur (074)
Syed Kamran (098)
General motors: An American multinational automotive
Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and one of the world’s
Major brands worldwide : Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Opel, etc.
Started its business in India: 1928
but ceased its operations in 1954.
Re-entered in India in 1994 as a joint venture
owned 50% by Hindustan motors and 50% by General motors.
Operating plants at Halol in Gujarat and Talegaon in
Corporate office at Gurgaon and technical office at
The Halol GM factory produces Cruze sedans, Aveo sedans and
the hatchbacks and Tavera and optra vehicles, which are specific
Total no. of workers: 1600, which includes 800 full time
worker and 800 half-time workers who do same amount of
work but are paid half amount of full time workers
The Halol unit of GMI has a capacity to roll out 190 units daily
with an installed capacity of 85,000 units a year.
The striking workers formed a new union under INTUC
(Indian National Trade Union Congress) and have alleged that
they were subjected to excess workload.
The workers alleged they were facing health hazards
The company has violated PF Act, gratuity norms and rules of
Industrial Safety and Health Act
The workers were also demanding for an equal pay for both the
full-time and the part-time workers.
The company termed the strike illegal.
Working hours at the Halol plant are nine hours a day, six days
a week for a ‘regular’ 54 hour workweek.
Such hours are illegal under India’s Factory Act Legislation,
which limits the regular shift to 8.5 hours.
This means that the workers are owed back wages for the three
hours of overtime they work each week.
The “ Factory Act in India “ places a cap on how much
weight a worker can manually lift, which is set at no higher
than 44 pounds. However, the law places no limit on how
much lifting a worker can be required to complete during their
Some workers are constantly lifting heavy car doors, tires,
steering columns and other auto parts.
Over 269 GM Halol workers have filed complaints of spinal
GM Factory Management Halol plant created the “GENERAL
MOTORS EMPLOYEES UNION” which has less than 150
workers out of 1600 workers at the factory.
Management then negotiated with its pocket unions to
unilaterally increase the mandatory Daily Unit Production
Goals by 20%.
The strike continued for 42 working days
It caused an estimated production loss of 2500 vehicles to
Gujarat Kamdar Mandal Union filed a complaint against GM
with India’s “NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
COMMISSION” over unfair labour practices and dangerous
health and safety conditions at Halol factory.
The union and the workers also filed a petition in Gujarat High
Court regarding Labour Rights Violation
The striking workers are being threatened with firing,
suspension or relocation to lower level GM facilities.
Management is trying to bring “non-union” replacement
workers- “Scabs” to take the place of the strikers.
The Association of Trade Unions in Gujarat, with 100 trade
unions affiliated, are supporting GM strikers.
The INTUC with more than 8 million members is also
supporting GM strikers.
Over 500 GM strikers marched towards Vadodara and
were detained by the police.
The International Workers Metal Federation is also
standing in soliditarity with GM strikers in India.
Nearly 2000 labor, religious, academics and business leaders
and activists have written to the CEO of General Motors, US
demanding the workers’ legal right to organize a union at Halol
plant in India and improved health and safety conditions.
Some of our suggestions which could help General Motors from
getting rid of this long persisted labour problem at its Halol
facility, Gujarat are:
Wages remained important means for satisfying human wants
and needs. So, wages should be of Primary consideration.
Humans must be treated as a human being, not just as a means
of production tool.
The HR managers must be of humanitarian view rather than
The challenging jobs must be given to the workers from time to
time to protect and safeguard the interests of the workers and
keep their task interesting.
Labours should not be under-estimated. Human beings have
emotions and that should be respected. And whenever, the
emotions or the self-respect of the workers will be played with,
these strikes will keep on occurring.