Friday, January 6, 2017

Hunger strike unrealistic, says Bajaj Auto

6 January 2017

PUNE: Bajaj Auto company in a press communiqué said that the hunger strike called by Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana on 7th and 8th January is unrealistic.

Kailash J Zanzari, Senior Vice President (Manufacturing) said that the main reason for Hunger Strike as mentioned by Union is that the management has declared unilateral wage rise at Chakan Plant and is pressurizing the union for accepting the wage-rise declared, by adopting pressure tactics like transfer of workmen from Chakan to other plants and giving false show cause notices. In addition, the pending issue of 8 workmen dismissed from the services in the year 2013 is also mentioned as one of the reasons. But according to the company the facts are contrary. 

The management was very proactive in its approach and had started the process of said review from the month of February 2016 itself. Number of meetings were conducted with the hope that there would not be any delay in completing the review process.

The management had given various proposals to the union, for the salary / wage increase and negotiation was about to conclude. However, to our surprise union put forth an unreasonable and unrealistic demand of reinstatement of the workers of Chakan plant who were dismissed in the year 2013 - 14 from the services of the Company for committing various acts of misconduct and whose cases are pending for adjudication before the court. The court has also not given any Interim relief in these cases.

Due to delay in wage review, a large number of workmen approached the management with a request to consider giving them upfront wage rise immediately in view of festival season in October 2016.  The management found substance in the request made by the workmen and did not want its workmen to suffer financial hardship due to unrealistic demands made by the union.  Management therefore declared wage rise ranging from Rs.10,000/- to Rs.11,500/- based on experience of individual workman for a period of three years from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2019.

Management also paid arrears for the period April 2016 to September 2016 immediately.  It was made clear in the notice that the wage rise will be adjusted as and when the settlement will be signed with the union.

As far as transfer / deputation of workmen from one plant to another is concerned, it has been a regular practice in the company to transfer the workmen on the basis of requirement of skills and need at other plants.  In the present context the union has filed four cases in the court challenging the transfer / deputation of workmen from Chakan to other plants.

In three cases, where order has come, the Industrial Court, Pune, in its interim order, has held that the company has every right to transfer employees from one plant to other plants of the company.

It may be worthwhile to mention here that about 90% of Bajaj Auto employees, unionized as well as non-unionized, located at different plants are consistently receiving the wage/ salary rise on time every year including current year and are quite happy about it. Only 10% workmen, who are members of Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana, are getting delayed increment due to unjustified and irrational demands from its leadership. Still to avoid hardship to workmen the management decided to give unilateral wage rise in October 2016 which has been accepted by all the workmen.

VKKS leadership is always unreasonable and raises unrelated demands. During last wage
review,  which was due from April 2013, the union had come up with a similar unrealistic demand of allotment of shares to workmen and resorted to strike which lasted for 50 days causing huge financial losses to the workmen  and ultimately realized their mistake and came back to work unconditionally.

This time, it is the demand for reinstatement of dismissed workmen.

From the above it is very clear that the union Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana has always been unrealistic, unreasonable by raising   unwarranted demands during wage review and has always been delaying the process.

The union should not raise the issues which are in fact nonexistent and extend full support in growth and development of the company rather than creating unnecessary hindrances in smooth functioning of the company, stated Bajaj Auto in this press communiqué.  


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