There has been no breakthrough in the strike by workers at Tata Motors' Nano plant in Sanand, with the agitation entering its eighth day on Tuesday. The workers have written a letter to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, a copy of which has also been sent to the company.
Speaking to FE, Vikesh Rabari, who is part of the seven-member workers' committee formed to negotiate with the company, said, “The company has been saying that they are asking us to desist from the strike, and resume work. We are also keen to resume our duties at the factory, but we are sticking to our original demand of having the 28 suspended men reinstated.”
“Along with the chief minister's office and the company, we have also submitted a copy of our letter to the labour commissioner's office in Ahmedabad, the Ahmedabad collector, the ministry of labour's office in Gandhinagar, and the mamlatdar of Sanand,” said Rabari.
More than 400 workers, among 2,200 total employees at the Sanand plant, have been on strike since last Monday. In a statement, Tata Motors had earlier said that about 20 workers were suspended on “various charges of serious misconduct”. It had added that the agitation had resulted in a “serious threat to company personnel as well as losses due to tampering.”
The striking workers have refuted Tata Motors' statement, demanding proof from the company of their misdeeds. Rabari said, “The company says we have damaged vehicles. Where is the proof of that? Furthermore, we are demanding proof that our colleagues were suspended for valid reasons.”
The workers have claimed that 28 permanent employees were suspended after they attempted to form a union. Production at the plant, which is also manufacturing Tata Motors' newest model Tiago, has been affected massively by the strike, according to workers.
“Only about 40 to 50 units of Nano are being manufactured daily, since 426 of the 500 permanent employees are on strike,” said Rabari.