Bajaj Auto has refuted allegations made by its workers regarding delay in reaching a wage settlement and said workers were themselves to blame as they caused the delay by making “unreasonable and unrealistic demand” for reinstatement of dismissed workers of Chakan plant.
Responding to the October 2 hunger strike announced by the workers’ union—–Vishwa Kalyan Kamgaar Saghatana (VKKS), the company has appealed to the union to come forward for discussion within the framework of settlement keeping aside the issue of reinstatement of employees.
Kailash J Zanzari, SVP, manufacturing, said considerable progress has been made in concluding the wage review process but the union has chosen to adopt tools of agitation and hunger strike, which was nothing but pressure tactics for pursuing their unreasonable and unrealistic demands. The issue of re-instatement of dismissed employees which has already been settled in the earlier MOU, he said. As per the company, the wage review process had started in February 2016 itself and number of meetings were conducted so that there was no delay in completing the review process.
The union had blamed the Bajaj Auto management for the delay in wage review due in April 2016 and announced a hunger strike on October 1. Dilip Pawar, president of the VKKS, said their demand to reinstate eight workers was no unreasonable. Pawar said the workers had not caused any damage to the company or caused any harm to the management and they had to be taken back. These eight workers have gone to the industrial court in 2013-12 against their dismissal and is awaiting a hearing. The VKKS union has the support of 800 workers of the Chakan plant and 110 at the Akurdi plant. As per Pawar, there were close to 1,000 trainees and earn-and-learn scheme workers at the company who were being paid wages of around R10,000.