“Unless the issue is resolved within a week, we will be forced to move at least 50 per cent of production and production capacity to the Aurangabad and Pant Nagar plants”

The management of Bajaj Auto Ltd. (BAL) has a week to resolve the continuing strike at its Chakan plant. The strike has been on for more than 40 days, with a section of workers demanding revised wages and re-instatement of 22 suspended workers.

Speaking to The Hindu, Kailash Zanzari, Vice-President, Motorcycle business, Bajaj Auto, said that the managing director of BAL, Rajiv Bajaj, had told his team to resolve the issue by August 12. “If the issue is not resolved by then, half the production from Chakan will be permanently shifted to Waluj (Aurangabad) and Pantnagar,’’ Mr. Zanzari said.

The strike has been on since June 25, with Bajaj subsequently shifting one-third of the production of the Chakan plant to Waluj temporarily. Around 900 of the 1,500 employees are now reporting to work at Chakan, and the striking employees have the option of returning to the work but “once production is shifted, they may not be needed as our other plants have adequate workers. They may have to opt for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS),” Mr. Zanzari said.

The company and trade union have already had five meetings with the Labour Commissioner. “There has been no production loss,” he said.

The striking workers are also pushing for the reinstatement of 22 suspended employees but Bajaj has agreed to take back only seven . “These have committed relatively less serious acts of indiscipline,” Mr. Zanzari said adding, that they would be reinstated following a written apology.

The other 15 would face an enquiry process conducted by the company.

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