Rumblings of labour issues at Tata Motors Sanand facility

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on March 15, 2017

The Tata Motors car plant at Sanand, Gujarat REUTERS

Company agrees to hold talks to resolve wage issues amicably before next meeting with the labour authorities on March 29

Nearly a year after the month-long workers' strike at its Nano factory, Tata Motors is again faced with discontent from its permanent workers at the Sanand facility near Ahmedabad.

The company, as alleged by the workers’ leaders, has failed to keep an active engagement with the workers and address their concerns relating to various aspects.

The company, on the other hand, has agreed to discuss the reasonable demands of the workers.

On Wednesday, the leaders from the year-old workers union, Bharatiya Kamdaar Ekta Manch, held their second meeting with the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Ahmedabad, seeking intervention to strike a dialogue with the company management and get their demands addressed.

“This was our second meeting after March 3 in the presence of the Deputy Labour Commissioner, and now, the company has agreed to hold continuous dialogue with us and bring an amicable solution.

“The company has not given any time-line for it, but we believe that they will resolve the issues before the next meeting with the Labour Commissioner, which is scheduled on March 29," said Hitesh Rabari, union leader.

The union has 500 registered permanent workers at the Nano factory.

The workers have a primary demand of wage revision, which was last done in 2015.

They were assured about the resolution of the wage revision issue post the month-long strike in 2016.

A Tata Motor Spokesperson stated, "Tata Motors attended today’s conciliation meeting called by the Conciliation officer as agreed in the previous meeting with labour authorities on March 2, 2017, and submitted its response on the matter.

“In our response, we have reiterated our openness to discuss a reasonable charter of demand, amicably and in a fair manner with the union."

Adding to the comments, the spokesperson mentioned, "Tata Motors works with its union as part of collective bargaining towards long term benefits of both workmen and organisation.

“The demand made by the Union are unreasonable. The company remains engaged in a harmonious discussion with union representatives. Instead of continuing discussion with management, workmen have approached Labour authorities for conciliation. Tata Motors thanks the Labour authorities for the intervention and will work along with them to arrive at a solution."

Earlier this month, the workers had declined company transport to return to their home and started walking as a mark of protest.

However, later they were apprehended by the police and asked to board the buses. Soon after the incident, the State Labour Department conducted conciliation meeting with the two parties.

Last year, several workers had gone on a month-long strike, which was resolved only after the company allowed a union to get registered and with an assurance to look into the workers grievances relating to wages.

Tata Motors makes two models Nano and Tiago at the Sanand facility, which has about 2,000 contractual workers.

The production at the plant is progressing as per the plan.

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Published on March 15, 2017
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