Bajaj likely to shift entire Pulsar production to Aurangabad plant

Management refuses to blink; strike enters 7th day

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published: July 2, 2013 1:55 am

The ongoing stand-off between the Bajaj Auto Limited (BAL) workers and the management took a new turn on Monday,with the management talking of shifting the entire production of Pulsar bikes to its Walunj plant in Aurangabad.

Addressing the media on Monday,senior officials of the company said the Waiunj unit has already started manufacturing 400 bikes,and if the stir continues,the production at the plant would be increased to 10,000 bikes a month in the next 10 days.

As many as 900 employees of Bajaj’s Chakan plant are on strike since June 25. They are demanding better pay and distribution of company shares among workers besides seeking reinstatement of suspended and transferred employees. The labour’s union Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sangathana (VKKS) has been spearheading the stir. The Chakan plant manufactures the Pulsar range of bikes,which happens to be a major profit earner for the company.

Addressing the media,K J Zanzari,Vice-President(motorcycle manufacturing),blamed VKSS for “fomenting” workers.

“Since last year,some mischievous elements have been instigating workers,” he said.

Zanzari said average efficiency of the plant,which normally is 94-95 per cent,has nose dived since October last year. “During the strike period,there has been steady decrease of production from 76 per cent to zero. A handful of employees were the trouble-makers. They were identified and some of them were suspended for 1-10 days,” he said.

Chief Operation Officer (COO) Pradeep Shrivastava said the management had taken several steps to mitigate the trouble,which he claimed was fuelled by Dilip Pawar,the President of the union.

“In June,we failed to manufacture 10,000 bikes due to intentional and deliberate sabotage of the production process,” he said.

Refuting allegations that the management was insensitive to the plight of employees,Shirvastava said the union was fuelling trouble as they were unable gain foothold in Pantnagar and Walunj plants of the company.

“Employees refused to accept the union at Walunj and Pantnagar plants. The union had asked the management to help them gain foothold there. Since we refused,they started creating problems at Chakan plant,” added Zanzari.

Urging the striking employees to join work,Zanzari and Shirvastava said the management would resume talks only after the production levels are restored at the plant.

“We have already refused to distribute shares of the company among workers. However,we would consider other demands once they start production. As per the agreement with the union,we have given a substantial hike to workers. In fact,the Bajaj workers are the best paid in Pune region,” they said.

They claimed that many workers were returning to work but the union was resorting to violence to ensure they remain away from work. “Around 16 police complaints have been filed. As many as nine members of the union were arrested and later released on bail,” they said.

When asked about the falling production level,Shrivastava said due to flexible production culture of the company,manufacturing of Pulsar has started in Walunj.

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