Senior management from Tata Motors on Wednesday indicated an “openness to discuss” wage hike with a section of its employees, who had approached the office of the Deputy Labour Commissioner two weeks ago to revive efforts for wage revision and other pending demands.
This comes a year after Tata Motors’ Sanand plant workers went on one-month strike and garnered support from 21 trade unions. The demands of workers for better wages, a modified ‘model standing order’, bonus and other disciplinary issues would again be taken up by Bharatiya Kamdar Ekta Sangh Sanand (BKSS) — the labour union that has 450 members at the Sanand plant — on March 17, 2017, with the management.
The Tata Motors management tendered a response to Deputy Labour Commissioner M S Patel, who had initiated reconciliation between both parties and also met with BKSS leaders on Wednesday.
“Tata officials in their reply have said that they are ready for talks with the workers union. We are slated to have a round of meetings this week at the Sanand plant and hopeful that talks will yield results and we will get our settlements in time. We are hopeful of working it out with them. We have been told that senior management from Mumbai is also slated to speak with the workers regarding their issues. Many of us are finding it difficult to run our families at the current wages… we have not got any raise in the past two years. Repeated meetings with the company officials have not yielded any solution,” said Hitesh Rabari, president of BKSS. Rabari added that workers had been given mandatory new uniforms last week which is provided by the company every 6 months.
In a statement issued by the company on Wednesday, it 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. We are hopeful that the union would resume discussions with the company with the same positive spirit to arrive at mutually beneficial grounds. We thank the labour authorities for their support. The next meeting is scheduled on 29 March 17.”
Deputy Labour Commissioner M S Patel told The Indian Express that the workers who had approached the department were offered raise of Rs 2,500 in 2015 and Rs 3,000 in 2016, both of which were rejected by them in lieu of many pending demands.