Bajaj gives Chakan plant workers 7 days to resolve issues

Bajaj Auto today warned striking workers at its Chakan plant to mend their ways and cooperate with the management to resolve issues so that production goes uninterrupted.

Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj told striking workers at its Chakan plant that if the discussions did not make significant progress by 12 August, the management would be forced to use other facilities to meet production needs.

The company said it may be forced to move part production to other Bajaj plants on a more permanent basis.

The strike by a group of workers demanding issue of company shares to them is in its seventh consecutive week.

The workers, owing allegiance to the Shiv Sena, had demanded that each of them be given 500 equity shares of the company at Re1 each. However, they have last week withdrawn this demand, the main issue that set off the strike.

Now that they have no serious issues to resolve, these workers are striking work over nothing, Bajaj pointed out.

''From what I can see, this issue is dead and buried. The simple reason being that it did not find any traction or support,'' he said.

The strike has forced the motorcycles major to temporarily relocate a third of the Chakan plant's production to its Aurangabad plant.

''We need to take steps and also look at the marketplace. From today, I give them one more week till 12 August to resolve the matter,'' Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto, said ''If this issue does not move forward significantly, what is temporary now will become permanent.''

If the discussions with the union and its supporting umbrella organisation Shramik Ekta Mahasangh did not progress, the company will decide to consider 1500 Pulsars to be embedded into the Aurangabad plant for the foreseeable future. ''We will selectively move equipment from Chakan to Aurangabad and Pantnagar,'' Bajaj said.

The subject will be brought up for discussion at a Board meeting on 24 September, he continued, asserting, ''I cannot stake H2 sales on the Chakan plant.''

He said the only issue that now remained to be discussed was regarding the suspension of 22 workers. While the company has more or less agreed to reinstate seven of the suspended workers, the other, serious, cases will be subjected to an inquiry, he said.