Companies

Bajaj ready to do a Tata, move production from Chakan

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 05, 2013

A file photo of Managing Director of Bajaj Auto Rajiv Bajaj

Issues seven-day ultimatum to striking workers

Bajaj Auto seems ready to emulate Tata Motors and relocate some production from its strike-besieged Chakan plant to its other facilities if there is no significant progress in talks with workers in the next one week.

Putting out a seven-day deadline for finding a way forward on issues that have kept workers at its Chakan plant on strike since June 25, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto, said: “We are losing patience. We need to take steps and also look at the marketplace.

“From today, I give them one more week till August 12 to resolve the matter. If the issue does not move forward significantly by then, what is temporary now will become permanent.”

He was referring to the company’s move of temporarily moving a part of the production at Chakan to its plant at Aurangabad in the wake of the strike, now in its seventh consecutive week.

The company said it was currently meeting or exceeding targets at both plants.

Pointing out that faced with an un-resolvable situation, former Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata had decided to move the Nano plant out of Singur, Bajaj said: “We will look at (manufacture of) 1,500 Pulsars to be embedded into the Aurangabad plant for the foreseeable future, and selectively move equipment from Chakan to Aurangabad and Pantnagar.”

The subject would be brought up for discussion at a board meeting on September 24, he said.

The company will add manpower at these plants and also advise some vendors to move resources there.

“I cannot stake H2 sales on the Chakan plant,” he affirmed.

Over the past few weeks, Bajaj Auto has held several rounds of discussions with the union, and also the supporting umbrella organisation, Shramik Ekta Mahasangh, with little concrete success.

SHARES ISSUE BURIED

Amongst the issues was the company’s unequivocal rejection of the union’s demand that each of its 900 members be given 500 equity shares at Re 1 each.

Last week, the workers had reportedly submitted an application withdrawing this demand.

“On most issues there is a broad understanding, and from what I can see, this issue (of shares) is dead and buried. The simple reason being that it did not find any traction or support,” Bajaj said.

What remained to be discussed was the suspension of 22 workers. Having found that the misdemeanours of seven of these were relatively minor, the management has agreed to reinstate them with some punitive action.

Enquiry to take place



The others, on whom the charges are more serious, will be subjected to an enquiry and the company will accept the verdict of the enquiry panel, according to Bajaj. Some may even be found completely innocent, he said.

Speaking on the 20 per cent decline in motorcycles sales in July, Bajaj clarified that there was no loss on account of the strike. Whether the company would lose out by being unable to meet higher demand during the festival season would become clearer by October, he said.

 Meanwhile, on a reconciliatory note, Bajaj Auto is appealing to workers to return to work, pointing out that if half the production is moved out, Bajaj Auto will not require half the workforce back.   

Published on August 05, 2013
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