Trouble at Tata Motors’ Sanand plant in Gujarat continues

By: | Updated: March 31, 2017 1:41 PM

Despite having reached a landmark wage agreement with workers at its Pune plant, Tata Motors continues to face a deadlock with its workers at the Sanand plant in Gujarat even after mediation by the state government's Labour department.

During the last tripartite meeting on March 15, the company and workers had agreed to work together to resolve their pending issues before Thursday’s meeting. (Reuters)

Despite having reached a landmark wage agreement with workers at its Pune plant, Tata Motors continues to face a deadlock with its workers at the Sanand plant in Gujarat even after mediation by the state government’s Labour department. A tripartite meeting held on Thursday failed to reach a resolution, with the warring parties being unable to agree on a time period for wage settlement.

Speaking to FE, Hitesh Rabari, President, Bharatiya Kamdar Ekta Sangh (BKES), the union at the Sanand plant, said, “Our payment for FY 2015-16 is already pending. So we have asked for settlement of wages for FY15-FY19, or even from 2016 to 2019. We have given them several options, but they are insisting that we make a settlement till 2020.

Considering how low the wages are that we are being paid right now, how can we agree to a similar wage structure which will be in effect even in 2020?” Workers are complaining of neglect by the company’s top management in sorting their issues of wage settlement.

Rabari added, “Ratan Tata personally visited the Pune plant, and assured the workers of a settlement. Why are we not being treated the same way? We are getting extremely low salaries considering the work we are doing and the management is not even paying the slightest attention to our troubles.”

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In a statement, a Tata Motors’ spokesperson said, “Tata Motors attended today’s conciliation meeting at the Deputy Labour Commissioner office. The next meeting has been scheduled for 13 April, 2017. The management and the union representatives are in continuous discussion on the matter in a positive spirit to reach a consensus. We thank the labour authorities for their continued support.”

During the last tripartite meeting on March 15, the company and workers had agreed to work together to resolve their pending issues before Thursday’s meeting. However, workers allege that only two meetings have been held, wherein only about two company officials have attended and no effective solution has been reached.

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