Industrial unrest is nothing new to Bajaj Auto, it has been facing it almost continuously for the past few years. Dilip Pawar, President of Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana [VKKS] – it is the union of the Bajaj Auto workers – is upset. He feels that the Company’s management is neither keeping the promises made, nor it is willing to listen to the grievances.
They have a nine year agreement and have agreed to revise the wages once in three years. Readers will recall that VKKS called a strike and it lasted 50 days. This is what I had written then:
Both the parties have suffered heavy losses. Workers have lost 50 days wages. BA, according to one report, has lost production of 20,000 Pulsars. This is tangible loss, the intangible loss to both the parties is immeasurable.
The settlement of demands happened because they reached an understanding that BA will take back some workers, and going by the reports so far, they have done. Rajiv Bajaj also hinted at it in his Press briefing. Normalcy of operations is resumed. It appears that the parties have decided to say ‘let by-gone be by-gone.’ They seem, at least for now, to be working towards resolution of differences. And that is good.
The Management Representatives had also promised that they will take back other workers, but that never happened. Moreover the pressure tactics on wage negotiations continued. So VKKS called for two day hunger strike.
Obviously all is not well at Bajaj Auto, and it is ‘misfiring’ on all cylinders! Reports talk of declining market share. It is time for Bajaj Auto to revisit their people practices, an area where TVS scores over them.
I asked Dilip Pawar to explain his side of the story. Here is what Dilip Pawar says:
Vivek S Patwardhan