Bajaj Auto strike: Key meeting called off, stalemate continues

Written by fe Bureau | Pune | Updated: Jul 31 2013, 15:58pm hrs
A meeting on Tuesday between the Bajaj Auto workers union and the management called by Pune's additional labour commissioner, RR Hendre, was postponed after management representatives refused to turn up citing lack of conducive atmosphere.

Around 200 union workers were holding demonstrations outside the office of the labour commissioner.

Hendre said that the management and the union have been holding direct talks and so far seven to eight meetings have already been held in the last week.

Talks had almost reached the point where the two sides were close to signing an MoU, but fell through over some issues. I had called for a meeting on Tuesday to resolve these points, he said.

The additional labour commissioner has not fixed the next date of the meeting. Bajaj workers have been on work stoppage at the company's Chakan plant since June 25 and the case is being heard at the Pune Labour Court.

Kailash Zanzari, vice-president, motorcycle, Bajaj Auto, confirmed that the management has been talking informally to the union. The informal channel is working and the dialogue process is on, he said. "Around 5-6 meetings were held over the past week. Talks are being held on several issues. The management has made it clear that it is ready for a salary review process. However, the union has also been told that inquiry will be conducted against suspended workers, Zanzari said.

Dilip Pawar, president, Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana (VKKS) said the management wanted women on the grievances committee of the union to talk on the salary review process and other issues. We do not have women members in the union.

Therefore the question of bringing women into the committee does not arise, he said. Meanwhile, the next hearing at the Pune Labour court will be held on August 2. Bajaj Auto had approached the labour court to declare the current stoppage as illegal. Bajaj Auto said that production has been normalised, adding that the management was satisfied with the output.