The management of iconic bikemaker Royal Enfield has signed a three-year wage agreement with the representatives of Royal Enfield Collaborative Forum at their factories in Oragadam and Vallam. The wage agreement covers workers under the Associate Engineers category. The monthly increment will be `21,000 over three years at a break-up of `11,000, `6,000 and `4,000, sources close to workers union said here on Wednesday. Royal Enfield Collaboration Forum is recognised and democratically-elected body.
The provisions of the wage agreement include those who have been in good conduct according to the management will be given a one-time award of `25,000. Those who are facing domestic enquiries or whose employment has been terminated will not be eligible for this award.
When contacted, R Sampath, vice-president, Royal Enfield workers’ union, confirmed the developments and said almost all the workers have/are agreed to sign the wage agreement. The fresh wage agreement is effective April 1, 2019, for a three-year period. The production was going as per schedule with three shifts, he added.
A policy would be formulated for promotion and increments. Those who have completed long years of service will be awarded, as is existing practice. Workers will be entitled to get an advance of `25,000 against their salary which will be deducted in 10 instalments. In addition, the management will facilitate low-interest loans for workers.
According to union sources, workers who have completed 40 years of age will be eligible for two health checks per year. Transport and canteen facilities will be given free of cost. In case, a worker dies due to unforeseen circumstances, their family will be given a one-time assistance of `20,000 for funeral expenses.
Majority of these workers have been unionised under Royal Enfield Employees’ Union affiliated to Working People Trade Union Council (WPTUC) and struck work twice last year demanding recognition of union, revocation of transfer of union leaders and workers active in union as well as permanent employment for trainees who had completed three years.
When the strike ended, the management demanded that workers should become part of internal collaborative forum and raise their grievances through this forum as part of its ‘good conduct’ bond.
The union had accepted the wage agreement with reservation, said R Sampath, vice-president, WPTUC. The union has written to both management and state labour department to this effect. He also said the union had advised workers to sign the wage agreement individually under 18(1) settlement.
Workers in the union said they were willing to sign this agreement because they felt that the struggle to bring back the dismissed and transferred co-workers was most important.
The current wage agreement does not cover the trainees and workers in probation that earn around `13,000 per month. The company also employs NEEM trainees at `14,000 per month, according to workers.
Sampath also said the management had confirmed 100 of the 700+ trainees who have completed three years of employment. Except the secretary of the union, workers who have been transferred to various other facilities had joined work at the deputed sites, he confirmed.