In yet another wage dispute at, workers at the company’s Chakan and Akurdi plants on Thursday rejected an offer to increase wages by R10,000-11,500 with the unions threatening to go to court, reports Geeta Nair in Pune. The motorcycle maker, however, went ahead with the wage hike after talks with the workers union, the Vishwa Kalyan Kamgaar Sanghatana, broke down. A total of 1,000 workers will receive the hike which is to be paid in three instalments in FY17, FY18 and FY19.
In late June 2013, workers at the Chakan unit had struck work over a dispute on wage revisions but the strike was called off by the union unconditionally after 49 days. The dispute ended with the workers signing an agreement which gave them a hike of between Ra 9,000 and Rs 10,000.
On Thursday, the company stated in a notice the October10 meeting between the workers union and Pradeep Shrivastava, executive director, Bajaj Auto, had failed, after with it decided to go ahead with the hike and make advance payments. A section of workers, the notice said, had approached the management after negotiations failed — and it appeared there would be no hike — urging it to protect them from financial stress.
The company said these workers had agreed to adjustments in these payments once the final agreement was signed.
Bajaj Auto and the union had signed a nine-year agreement in May 2010 under which wages were to be reviewed every three years. The new wage agreement for the 2016-19 period was due in April 2016. On October 2, around 1,000 workers from its Chakan and Akurdi plants went on a day-long hunger strike to protest the delay in the wage settlement and to ask for the reinstatement of eight workers.
VKKS president Dilip Pawar alleged the management had imposed the wage agreement unilaterally without negotiated with the workers and so this is not acceptable to them. “The company deposited money into the bank accounts of the workers through NEFT without talking to them,” Pawar said.
Bajaj has offered workers with over nine years’ experience a hike of Rs 11,500, of which Rs 7,000 will be paid in FY17, Rs 2,500 in FY18 and Rs 2,000 in FY19. For those with six to eight years’ experience, the hike is Rs 10,500, of which Rs 6,500 will be paid in FY17, Rs 2,000 in FY18 and Rs 2,000 in FY19. A hike of Rs 10,000 was offered for workers with five years’ and less service, of which Rs 6,000 will be paid in FY17, Rs 2,000 in FY18 and Rs 2,000 in FY19.
Around 60% of the hike would come in the form of basic pay, DA, PF and gratuity, while the remaining 40% of the hike would be as allowances.