Production at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant in Pune remained smooth on Friday, a day after the wage dispute escalated. The company has offered workers a hike on Thursday ranging between R10,000 and R11,500 to be paid over three years. This offer was rejected by the Bajaj Auto workers union, the Vishwa Kalyan Kamgaar Sanghatana.
Kailash Zanzari, Senior VP, manufacturing, motorcycles, Bajaj Auto, said production at the company was normal. “Everyone is performing as per norms,” he said. “All have accepted the salary rise,” Zanzari said. The company had made direct payments into the workers’ accounts based on the new wage offer and has also paid arrears for the April ’16 to September ’16 months.
The union president, Dilip Pawar, said the workers will be treating this payment as an interim relief and not as a final wage agreement.
The union would continue opposing the way the company had unilaterally announced the hike and take the case to the industrial court, Pawar said.
Meanwhile, the company has sent three workers from the Chakan plant on deputation to Aurangabad and Pantnagar plants. The workers alleged that those sent on deputation were active in the union. Two of the workers were sent to Aurangabad and one is deputed to Pantnagar.
A wage settlement due in April 2016 was delayed due to union and company management failing to come to an agreement over the hike and reinstatement of eight dismissed workers. Bajaj Auto manufactures premium brands at the Chakan plant. The Avenger, Pulsar, KTM and Ninja Kawasaki motorcycles are made at this plant.