Bajaj Auto workers’ union calls off strike at Chakan plant

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 13, 2013

Back to the line: A file photo of the Bajaj Auto plant in Chakan, near Pune.

A view of Bajaj Auto Chakan plant. File photo

The workers’ union at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant has withdrawn its strike. Union members will resume work from August 14, bringing the curtains down on the 50-day saga, which began on June 25.

The union’s announcement came hours after Rajiv Bajaj, the motorcycle major’s Managing Director, agreed to extend the deadline to resolve issues from August 12 to August 16. Last week, he had told the striking workers that if no progress was made on the matter, the company would consider permanently moving half of its production from Chakan to other plants.

The withdrawal of the strike comes on the heels of several rounds of discussions between the Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana (VKKS) Union and the Bajaj Auto management, including some presided over by senior labour officials from Maharashtra.

In a statement, Rajiv Bajaj said: “A strike is invariably a lose-lose proposition for all involved, not only in financial terms, but also in terms of internal morale and external reputation. I am very pleased that the VKKS has unconditionally called off its strike at Chakan. More importantly, I hope that the decision is a reflection of their understanding, however late, of their erroneous choice of direction.”

The strike, termed “work stoppage” by the workers, hinged on the VKKS’ demand that each of its 900 members be given stock options to the tune of 500 shares, for a price of Re 1/share. The company had categorically rejected this demand. The union had also terminated a nine-year wage agreement prematurely, and demanded the reinstatement of 22 workers suspended for various reasons.

“I am certain that the vast majority of the workmen at Chakan never supported the union’s stand, and that in the end this has been the most important reason the VKKS union has had to call off their strike,” said Bajaj.

“On behalf of the management I assure all the 22 workmen who are suspended pending enquiry that their cases will be considered objectively and sympathetically in the collective interest of all stakeholders.”

Dilip Pawar, President, VKKS, said the strike had been withdrawn to protect the interests of the workers. He expressed confidence that their demands, such as wage revision and better working conditions, would be resolved in time.

Published on August 13, 2013
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