Negotiations between Tata Motors and its workers at Gujarat’s Sanand plant appear to be headed towards a “positive” conclusion, with both parties inching towards a five-year settlement plan for wages. “It is good if we and the company can settle the issue amongst ourselves. The environment at the plant is good, and we have ensured that production continues as normal. Talks are proceeding in a very positive direction”, said Hitesh Rabari, president, Bharatiya Kamdar Ekta Sangh (BKES).
A tripartite meeting had been scheduled for today between the company, its workers and officials of the Gujarat government’s labour department. The next meeting between the three will be held on May 18.
Rabari added, “We are working on a settlement from October 2015 till October 2020. For 2015 and 2016, we have previous settlement dues, so we agreed on extending the settlement till 2020 itself.” Workers had previously demanded that the company first settle its previously owed dues, and then work out a settlement similar to the three-year wage settlement effected at its plant near Pune.
Workers had previously been reluctant to agree to a settlement till 2020, alleging that their wages were too low to agree till 2020. They had initially approached the Gujarat government in March, over the issue of low wages. The fresh trouble at the Sanand plant comes nearly a year after 400-odd workers at the plant embarked on a strike, causing production to drop drastically. The strike lasted nearly a month, at the end of which, the BKES emerged as a recognised union.