Ashok Leyland Ennore plant workers protest over bonus issue

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Updated: August 17, 2019 3:03:01 AM

Sources said that for employees with more than 15 years of experience, the compensation is two month's fixed pay for each completed year of service.

When contacted, a senior union official in the Ashok Leyland Employees Union (ALEU) confirmed the developments.When contacted, a senior union official in the Ashok Leyland Employees Union (ALEU) confirmed the developments.

Hinduja group flagship firm Ashok Leyland Limited (ALL) is in for another challenging time.

Amidst slowdown blues and suspended production at its plants due to weak demand, workers’ union at the company’s Ennore plant (the mother plant set up in 1960s) went on a day’s sit-in-dharna on Friday, protesting against the management’s refusal to meet the union’s demand on bonus issue. However, the plant’s production has not been hit, said sources in the know.

The union is also agitated over the company’s uncalled for holiday on Saturday without any discussion with the union officials.

In its notice at the factory site, Ashok Leyland said that in continuation to our notice dated August 10, wherein employees were informed about the continuing sluggishness and contraction in the commercial vehicle market and the need to continue the corrective actions to safeguard the interest of the company, it has been decided to declare August 17 and 19 (Saturday & Monday) as non-working days and 6th day non-working day, respectively.

The company’s notice further said that wages as applicable will be paid for the non-working day on August 17 in the month of August payroll and recovery/mode of recovery will be decided after discussion with the union. For the non-working 6th day on August 19, employees will be paid sixth day compensation (SDC) in August 2019, the notice added.

When contacted, a senior union official in the Ashok Leyland Employees Union (ALEU) confirmed the developments. The issue on Friday’s sit-in-dharna is with regard to bonus issue particularly. The management has firmly denied our demand for a 7% bonus to be given for the ensuing festive season. The management is adamant on sticking to 5% only.

“We know the slowdown in the sector currently, but the company had made a profit of Rs 1,983 crore last financial year and hence it is liable to pay bonus from that profits. Despite our request for 10% over the last three years, the company gave us around 5% only. Since they have made a huge profit last fiscal, we have brought demand from 10% to 7% now, but the company’s management refused to our demand and is adamant on its stand,” the union official said.

According to the union official, the Ennore plant works under two shifts (3 shifts during emergency) and there are 1,800 workers. The plant produces 112 engines and 116 chassis a day. Given the denial by the management, our workers in other plants in and around Chennai, including in Sriperumbudur, have decided to go for sit-in-dharna. Around 800 workers have already started sit-in-dharna at the Ennore plant site and the union has asked all the workers to come to the plant irrespective of the management’s decision to announce a working holiday on Saturday.

According to the union official, the management has decided to not provide logistics (usual bus service) to first shift workers on Saturday and announced holiday without consulting us, which is unfortunate and uncalled for. “We will wait till the management comes forward to discuss with us on the issues,” he added.

Ashok Leyland introduces VRS for executives
Hinduja flagship Ashok Leyland has introduced the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and employee separation scheme (ESS) for executive-level employees. The move has been cited as part of the company’s plan to cut cost in the wake of the slowdown in the industry.

The scheme is applicable to all permanent executives of Ashok Leyland. The scheme remains effective from August 14 to August 31, 2019. Employees who have attained 40 years of age or a minimum of 10 years of service in the company are eligible for applying for the scheme, according to sources.

The compensation would be ranging 3 month’s fixed pay for employees who have completed service for two-five years in the company, one month’s fixed pay for each completed year of service for employees who have experience of between five and 10 years in the company and one-and-a-half month’s fixed pay for each completed year of service for employees with service of 10-15 years.

Sources said that for employees with more than 15 years of experience, the compensation is two month’s fixed pay for each completed year of service.

Subject to a minimum six months of service remaining, they will also get a three-month notice pay on fixed pay, apart from terminal benefits including leave encashment, provident fund, gratuity and others. The final settlement of accounts will be made within two weeks from the close of the scheme, which is August 31, 2019, subject to submission of documents. Loans which are recovered through payroll will be deducted from the amount payable.

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