Mumbai: The deadline given by the management of Bajaj Auto Ltd to resolve the over six-week long stand-off with the trade union at its Chakan plant over wages and shares comes to an end on Monday but neither side appeared to give in.

The strike, which began on 25 June, is by far the most prolonged at any auto firm in the Pune region.

“I am giving another week to my team to resolve the crisis. Unless the issue is resolved within a week, we will be forced to move at least 50% of production and production capacity to the Aurangabad and Pant Nagar plants," managing director Rajiv Bajaj had told reporters on 5 August.

But the 9 August meeting between the Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sangathan (VKKS) union and the management bore no results, according to spokespersons of both parties.

“We had a meeting with Dilip Pawar (president, VKKS) and his team. We couldn’t come to a logical conclusion," Kailash Zanzari, vice-president at Bajaj Auto, said over the phone from Pune.

Both sides failed to reach an agreement on the issue of reinstatement of 22 workers who were suspended on disciplinary grounds, he said. The management has said the fate of the suspended workers will be decided by an inquiry committee and it would not take them back, at least 15 of them, before this is completed.

Pawar, too, confirmed the meeting didn’t yield any result and accused Bajaj Auto of implicating the workers in false cases.

He also contested the deadline announcement. “The management hasn’t given us any deadline. Our fight continues." He said the company had not given the workers any timeframe in any form of communication and hence status quo would be maintained.

To an email on whether the company would go ahead with its proposal to shift production, Bajaj said he would respond “only on Tuesday".

In a separate development, the Maharashtra government’s factory inspector issued a “show-cause" notice to Bajaj on 7 August for violating Section 54 of the Factory Act, which stipulates that no worker shall be required or allowed to work in a factory for more than nine hours on any day, subject to the approval of the chief inspector. It also says the daily maximum specified limit in this section may be exceeded in order to facilitate the change of shifts.

Zanzari did not respond to a text message on the subject. Bajaj has approached the industrial court to declare the strike illegal.

The crisis at Bajaj Auto’s plant is unfolding at a time when competition in the two-wheeler market has intensified with rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd stepping on the gas with new models and aggressive capacity expansion. The local arm of the Japanese firm dislodged Bajaj Auto as India’s second-largest two-wheeler maker by sales in July, pushing it to the third position.

Bajaj’s Chakan plant employs 1,486 people, a mix of contract and permanent workers as well as interns.

The factory makes the company’s flagship Pulsar brand and the Discover and KTM models.

The workers have been at loggerheads with the management over the issue of company’s shares at a discounted price, a wage hike and reinstatement of sacked workers.

The striking workers are prepared for a long haul, according to Pawar. “They are managing without the salaries. They have all come prepared for this and knew it could last for three to four months," he said, adding his union has been offering financial assistance to some of the workers.

According to Rajeev Sane, former labour productivity consultant to the trade union and who brokered with Maharashtra Scooters Pvt. Ltd in 2008 on behalf of the workers, Bajaj Auto is very adamant about productivity agreements and has been flouting norms laid down by the International Labour Organization.

Prabhat Chandra Chaturvedi, former labour secretary, said companies should be willing to share profits with their workers. “While there is an upper limit on what a worker should earn, there is no upper limit on a promoter’s salary," he said. “Both sides should have a flexible mindset."

Bajaj Auto lost production of 25,000 units since the strike began, Zanzari said on 26 July. Bajaj claims it hasn’t been suffering any production losses in recent weeks as the number of workers resuming work has been on a rise and it has been stepping up production in Waluj.

“Around 924 workers have reported to work and would produce 205 vehicles at Chakan and 1,200 Pulsars in Waluj," the company said in a statement on 7 August. It met 100% of its requirement of all brands of the Pulsar, Avenger and KTM, it added.

Since the beginning of the strike on 25 June, Bajaj Auto’s shares have lost 0.89%, while the benchmark Sensex has gained 0.86% and the BSE Auto Index has lost 3.05%.

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