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Saturday, Mar 16, 2002

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VRS for Ashok Leyland Ennore plant staff

R. Balaji

Workers can opt for a monthly payment scheme which would be payable for the balance months of service remaining with the company.

CHENNAI, March 15

ASHOK Leyland Ltd has announced a voluntary retirement scheme for its workers at the Ennore plant in Chennai.

According to company officials, the scheme provides for a maximum payment of Rs 6 lakh. Announced last Saturday, the scheme will be open for two weeks.

The payment is based on 2.5 months wages for every year of service completed and 1.5 months wages for every year of service remaining.

The company estimates that about 600-800 workers will opt for VRS. Applications coming in are spread across a wide age group, according to company officials.

Over 300-400 workers have opted for the scheme till date. The cost of the scheme is to be met from internal accruals. Meanwhile, the programme is well dovetailed with the wage settlement that the company concluded recently. The surplus had been identified and the workers were being redeployed, officials said.

Ashok Leyland had also built into the VRS settlement an element of security to the workers being separated under the scheme, they said. It had provided for group insurance cover including life insurance, accident insurance and medical reimbursement up to the retirement age, they said.

According to union sources, there is also an early-bird incentive of Rs 25,000 for those who opt for VRS by March 16. Apart from the lump sum compensation linked to the past and/or residual years of service, workers can opt for a monthly payment scheme which would be payable for the balance months of service remaining with the company.

Subject to the total compensation payable, the dues would be paid as an equated monthly payment based on a discounted rate of 10 per cent per year, they said.

It may be recalled that Ashok Leyland had signed a long-term wage settlement covering the 7,000 workers at the Ennore plant. The settlement with the Ashok Leyland Employees' Union, led by Mr R. Kuchelan, involves an average hike of Rs 3,500 per worker in addition to flexibility in work practices.

The union had said that apart from the wage hike, they had also agreed to flexible work practices such as redeployment, flexibility and mobility, and avoidance of overtime.

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