Srinagar’s HMT unit facing crisis; 242 workers given VRS

19 September 2008
The Daily Excelsior

Excelsior Correspondent JAMMU: Srinagar based HMT Chinar Watches Limited, a subsidiary of famous HMT Group of the country is facing losses worth crores of rupees with the steep fall in the production while the company has accorded voluntary retirement to its 242 workers. With the ‘golden handshake’ offer of the HMT Group, nearly 242 workers including some very senior employees ceased to be on pay roll of the Company hardly a fortnight back. The Group has to bear a burden of Rs 35 cr for according VRS to the workers in the J&K state. The Unit which had once the manpower of nearly 900, has reduced to nearly 210. At Bari Brahmana (Jammu) assembling unit of the Group, 45 workers have been given the VRS. Hardly 42 are now remaining here. In Srinagar HMT factory, after VRS hardly 170 workers are now left which means that crisis for the unit will go up in the coming days and it is heading towards virtual closure. The sources in the Group said that the factory which had the installed capacity of 4 lakhs watch ( mechanical) units per year, has now gone down to hardly 10 % of it. While many technical and other skilled workers have already left in the past one and half decade, a large number of them have already opted for VRS. The main reason behind this VRS is the compulsion of the workers, who go unpaid for the months together and facing hard times in feeding their families. Faced with the acute shortage of manpower now, the HMT unit is faced with major crisis ahead. A senior officer in the Group disclosed without being quoted that more than 300 workers in J&K had opted for VRS last year. The company has cleared a list 242 employees. The remaining will also be covered under this scheme in phased manner.