After Toyota its Bajaj’s turn to face a possible labour strike and that does not sound to be a very good update for the Pune based manufacturer. Just six months back the company had faced nearly a 50 day closure when a section of workers from the Chakan plant had demanded that 500 equity shares of the company be made available to them at Re 1 per share.
The management had dismissed this plea immediately. The union workers had returned to work with the assurance that the management would talk to them after they restored production. In February 2014, the Bajaj Auto management had even decided to give a wage rise of Rs. 10,000 per month in a phased manner to the workmen at Chakan.
Sadly, the union is apparently not happy. Their prime demands include:
- 500 shares to each permanent worker of the company at a price of Rs 10 per share.
- They also want the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund to be directed to education of their children and tribal re-settlement.
- A joint committee should be set up involving members of the company management and factory union.
- They are also demanding a statue of the founder Jamnalal Bajaj to be installed at the Chakan plant.
The Chakan plant employs around 900 permanent workers and nearly half a thousand temporary workers; and produces motorcycles, including Pulsar, Avenger, Ninja and KTM.
In a strong retaliating note sent to the media, Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, MD of Bajaj Auto said –
If the demands of the union were somewhat preposterous the last time in June 2013, they are entirely insane this time around. It seems to me that with some of the irresponsible union leaders & members, the management is guilty of sparing the rod and spoiling the child.
We will be certain not to repeat that error while taking all possible care to ensure the safety of the majority of our colleagues who wish to continue to work, as also the continuity of production so as to protect the interests of our customers, dealers, and suppliers.
These are strong signs coming in from the company and we just do not get a good feeling here. Bajaj may shift the production load to the Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand.
The union members plan to begin an indefinite hunger strike if their demands are not met before the 28th of April.