Bajaj Auto threatens to halt production in Chakan

Tuesday 06 August 2013, 12:14 PM by

Bajaj Auto, India's one of the leading two-wheeler manufacturers, has expressed its views over the ongoing labour dispute at its Chakan unit. Reportedly, the auto maker is losing patience and has been looking over shifting a part of its production from this facility to another plant. In a press conference in Pune, the Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, Rajiv Bajaj said “I have given my team time till next Monday." If the talks fail, "We will have to shift half the production out of Chakan on a semi-permanent basis. We can't stake our sales on this one plant.” He gave an ultimatum to the management and the labour union to resolve their issues, failing which the Chakan facility will be closed for production.

Bajaj Auto threatens to halt production in Chakan |
Bajaj Auto threatens to halt production in Chakan

Bajaj Auto's Chakan plant has been facing labour strike for the past 42 days, which is affecting its production. It must be noted that the Chakan facility has a capacity of 3000 units per day, which currently stands at 2000, since the strike. It is being said that the deficit is met at the company's Aurangabad plant, which at present is producing around 1000 units. Bajaj further told that he does not intend to close its Chakan plant but cease its production and temporarily shift to another place. As proposed by the company, the shifting would involve moving production equipment and finding vendors to start supplying to Aurangabad and Pantnagar plants to reduce the deficit.

Meanwhile, workers at Chakan production facility are on strike since June 25 demanding an increase in pay. As told by Bajaj about 900 employees had shown up for work on Monday as compared to the regular work force of around 1500 people. Baja also said "We have not been hurt by the strike. There has been no impact on sales on account of the strike."

Commenting on the issue Vice President of Bajaj Auto, Kailash J Zanzari told that the company has approached the labour union and currently is in talks with it to resolve the issues. He also said that a consensus has been reached between the company and the labour union on a number of issues including the demand for employee wage hike; however the sore point that remains is the action that had been taken against 22 employees.

On this, Zanzari was quoted as saying “We are willing to take back seven employees who are guilty of minor offences and have had a clean track record, after a minimal suspension of four days. The other 15, however, would be investigated by an inquiry committee and the company would act on its advice.” He insisted on the company's stance of not taking back all 22 employees saying that it could set a bad example for the company as well as for the industry.