After a brief lull, hostilities between Bajaj Auto and the company’s labour union have resumed. The Bajaj Auto union, Vishwa Kalyan Kamagar Sanghatana (VKS), on Wednesday said it will go on a hunger strike on January 7 and 8. Dilip Pawar, president of the union said eight workers who had been removed should be reinstated.
According to Pawar, the management had deliberately transferred active union members and given false charge sheets and show cause letters to the workers.
Pradeep Shrivastava, ED at Baja Auto, said that the union was not willing to discuss wages but the eight workers who had been removed for serious misconduct two years ago.
Shrivastava said there was no question of taking them back adding the company was not going to discuss them. “Only wages can be discussed,” he said.
Bajaj Auto had offered workers a hike in October 2016 before Diwali and this was accepted by 100% of the workers, Shrivastava said. Production at the plant is going on smoothly and will continue, Shrivastava said.
Production will not be affected by this call for hunger strike, he said.
In October, the company had offered workers a hike ranging from R10,000 and R11,500 to be paid over three years in three installments (FY17, FY18 and FY19). Though the union rejected this offer, the company made direct payments into the workers’ accounts based on the new wage offer and also paid arrears from April ’16.
The Union and the company had been negotiating for the last one year but have failed to break the deadlock and sign a final wage agreement due from April 2016.
The union has demanded a hike of R28,000 with basic pay of R16,800 and R8,000 as HRA apart from R3,200 towards conveyance and education allowance and want the eight sacked workers to be reinstated.