The contentious demand for free shares by Bajaj workers did not figure in a memorandum of understanding that Baja Auto and the Union came close to finalising late last week, Additional Labour Commissioner R R Hendre has said.

They (the management and the workers) have held several rounds of discussions and, late last week the MoU was close to being signed, but did not happen as some issues still remained to be ironed out,” Hendre said, adding that free shares were not part of the document.

These issues were on the agenda of a short-notice meeting called by him today between the dissenting parties. It did not materialise as Bajaj officials who arrived at the meeting were reportedly put off by the spectacle of over 300 Bajaj Auto workers holding a demonstration and shouting slogans within the Pune Labour Commission premises.

While the company declined to comment on the mutual discussions or the MoU, a reliable source said the withdrawal of the demand for shares was on a separate sheet of paper and not part of the main MoU document. Dilip Pawar, leader of the Union, however, denied that the Union was dropping its demand for ESOPs.

It has been five weeks since the Vishwakalyan Kamgar Sanghatana — the workers Union at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant stopped work. While their main demand was that each worker should be given 500 free shares at Re 1 each, their grievances included a delay in wage agreements and suspension of workers.