A standoff between 1,500 striking workers and the management at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant worsened on Wednesday as the company and the labourers’ union hardened their positions.
The latter grouped under Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana began striking on June 25, demanding wage hikes and employee stock options. Bajaj Auto, however, rejected the secondary demand.
“Management is always keen on timely completion of salary review process and is eager to conclude the process at the earliest,” a company statement said.
However, the management has not guaranteed withdrawal of disciplinary actions against some of the agitating workers. The union has accused the management of framing false charges against the labourers and harassing them with vengeful measures.
As many as 21 workers have so far been suspended. Twenty-three complaints have been registered so far with various police stations around Pune and 15 Bajaj Auto workers arrested.
The company statement also said that those employees whose misconduct has not been serious or have had a good work record in the past would be reviewed. “In all others cases, the final decision will be taken based on findings in domestic enquiry,” it added.
“The wage structure has to be reviewed every three years. It is the management’s refusal to review wages that triggered the present crisis,” said Dilip Pawar, president of Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana.
Despite the strike, Bajaj has managed to restart production by deploying trainee staff and contract labourer, moving part of the production of its Pulsar bikes to its Waluj plant near Aurangabad. It says that the attendance at Chakan plant has improved over the past few days.