Bajaj Auto restores 100 percent Pulsar production
Pune, July 24, 2013: As Pune’s labour court has now allotted July 29 as the next date to proceed on the ongoing case between Bajaj Auto (BAL) and Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sangathna (VKKS), the motorcycle manufacturer has been able to successfully touch the production mark of 3,000 motorcycles a day between Chakan and Waluj (Aurangabad) facilities.
Therefore, restoring 100 percent production of Pulsar requirements, as on July 23, the company saw 762 workers reporting at work at the Chakan facility which rolled out 1,900 bikes by the end of the day and Waluj plant produced 1,100 units of Pulsar motorcycles. As on July 22 as well, Chakan rolled out 2,000 units while Waluj rolled out 1,100 Pulsars to make up for the required number.
On the other hand, speaking exclusively to Autocar Professional, Bajaj Auto’s lawyer, advocate Aditya Joshi informed that “the slated hearing scheduled for July 23 could not proceed in the court as the representatives of the worker’s union (VKKS) turned up yet again without a lawyer and are yet to file their statement in the court (defending the strike being called illegal by BAL). The court is now highly annoyed and has taken a serious stance against their callous approach for purposefully delaying the matter and has hence passed the “no written statement” order. Now, in case if on July 29, the VKKS representatives appear without a lawyer, the court will proceed on BAL’s submitted statement.”
With developments now shaping up in the favour of Bajaj Auto, as soon as the labour court starts its proceedings, it will evaluate the evidences and eye witnesses to be presented by the company. One of the evidences includes the attendance records which would highlight the absenteeism of the workers at Chakan facility. The chronology of events now highlight that between July 3 to July 17, the worker’s union had nearly 4-5 opportunities at the labour court to defend their cause aptly but failed to do so. Joshi added that “while it is clear now that VKKS is purposefully delaying the matter (to cause losses to the company) by filing applications to seek more time repeatedly (to which BAL is repeatedly objecting), if this continues, we expect the court to pass its verdict within this month.”
Meanwhile, Kailash J Zanzari, vice-president, motorcycle manufacturing, Bajaj Auto, told Autocar Professional that the company spends nearly Rs 12,000 per month on each ‘learn-and-earn’ apprentice deployed at the Chakan plant. A delay in the restoration of normal production at the facility is not only causing losses to the company (under control now) but also to the employed workers and revenues to the state government.
The company is yet to reply to the labour commissioner’s office for the showcause notice it had received earlier this month. According to Zanzari, the notice was received after some officials from the labour commissioner’s office had paid a surprise visit at the Chakan plant and comprehended the working staff as the contractual workers (who do not hold a licence to work on the assembly lines). Zanzari maintained that while each of the 1,486 workers (permanent and other categories) deployed at the Chakan facility is on the payrolls of the company, any worker employed under a contract is not allowed to execute the core production job.
Though the company is able to meet the current market requirements of its Pulsar and other motorcycles by distributing the production between the Chakan and Waluj plants, it seeks a speedy restoration of normal production work at Chakan, freeing the Waluj facility from the additional production load as soon as possible. Meanwhile, good news for the company is that it is recording an increasing attendance of workers reporting at work with every passing day.
Brief overview of workers reporting at BAL’s Chakan factory in July 2013
July 1 – 388 workers
July 2 – 410 workers
July 3 – 445 workers
July 4 – 459 workers
July 5 – 529 workers
July 6 – 561 workers
July 8 – 514 workers
July 9 – 542 workers
July 10 – 566 workers
July 11 – 589 workers
July 12 – 598 workers
July 13 – 601 workers
July 15 – 629 workers
July 16 – 684 workers
July 17 – over 700 workers
July 18 – 744 workers
July 19 – 754 workers
July 22 – 757 workers
July 23 – 762 workers
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