By FE Bureau
The crisis at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant in Pune has blown over for the moment with the workers’ union under the banner of Vishwakalyan Kamgar Sanghatana (VKS) deciding not to go ahead with the proposed strike from Thursday.
The union on Wednesday said it hopes to arrive at a solution on the issue of wage revision through talks with the management aided by the regional labour bodies.
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The Chakan union had initially given a notice on April 14 that it would stop work from April 28. Later it deferred the strike by two weeks on the pretext that it wanted to give the management more time to consider its demands, the deadline for which ended on Wednesday.
However, VKS union president Dilip Pawar said on Wednesday that at a meeting with the Shramik Ekta Mahasangh, an umbrella organisation of workers’ unions in the Pune region, and a not-for-profit organisation, Industry All, the labour bodies had offered to intervene to bring about an amicable solution.
The union’s petition on the matter of wage revision, which is sub judice in the Pune Industrial Tribunal, would now come up sometime during the second week of June as currently the court is on vacation.
Some observers view the VKS’ move as tactical saying it does not want to create any unrest before the tribunal hears out the matter and pronounces its order.
Apart from differences on what should be the quantum of salary hike for the workers, the VKS had also demanded stock options for workers at concessional rates, allocation of funds for tribal development from corporate social responsibility spending and setting up a museum in the name of Jamnalal Bajaj, the industrial group’s founder.
The management had rejected all these demands, even terming them “insane”. It had also told the agitating workers that production would not be hit as it would be shifted to the Aurangabad plant.
The Chakan plant employs over 2,000 workers, which include around 900 permanent workers, and produces 1.2 million units of Pulsar, Avenger, Ninja and the KTM brand motorcycles a year.