Two and three wheeler manufacturer, Bajaj Auto Ltd is close to announcing a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) at its mother plant at Akurdi in Pune, for over 1,000 workers, who have been involved in an extended dispute with the management, people familiar with the development told Mint late this evening.
The company, which is now in a project to develop an ultra low cost car with Japanese car giant Nissan, will shell out over Rs17 lakh per person as the package for the VRS at the Akurdi plant which was closed down by the company last year.
Bajaj Auto vice president, corporate, C.P. Tripathi when contacted late on Tuesday night confirmed that there is a VRS on the way and said it would announce the scheme on Wednesday afternoon. ”We held discussions with the Vishwa Kalyan Sanghatana today and they will discuss our offer with their members and come back to us on Wednesday,” Tripathi said. ”Their initial demand for a package is unacceptable to us and we have made them a counter offer and we hope to have the scheme in place by tomorrow,” he added.
According to people familiar with the situation, the company has stipulated that at least 1,000 people should take advantage of the scheme so that it would make it viable for them to go ahead with it. The Akurdi plant of the company has been in the eye of a storm for over a year with workers owing allegiance to the union alleging that the company had shut down the plant to make way for commercially developing the sprawling complex.
The company has been maintaining that the plant, which was rolling out 2,000 two wheelers/month was shut down in September last year because a combination of high cost of production and the excessive octroi levied by the municipal corporation, had made production from that plant unviable.
The VKS is the recognized union at BAL’s Akurdi plant and claims a membership of some 1,800 staff. After extended discussions involving the labour commissioner’s office, the company, which had barred workers from entering the plant, refusing to commence production as demanded by the workers, finally allowed workers to enter the plant, early this year. They, however, have not been given any work to do but have been given their salaries.
BAL managing director Rajiv Bajaj had announced that the defunct manufacturing plant and a portion of the campus would make way for a comprehensive individual personality development campus and research and development centre.