Mumbai: Bajaj Auto Ltd’s workers union at its plant in Chakan near Pune have postponed the proposed plan to strike work from 28 April. The management and the workers’ union have been sparring over the issue of wages and allotment of discounted shares to workers.

“We have postponed the work stoppage till 15 May," said Dilip Pawar, working president, Vishwa Kalyan Kamgaar Sangathan (VKKS). The decision was taken at a four-hour long meeting earlier in the day, he said, adding, “We have decided to give some more time to the management keeping in view the interest of employees."

Kailash Zanzari, vice-president of manufacturing at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant confirmed the development. “We appreciate the maturity shown by the union. Hope they show the same attitude while dealing with other matters."

The union on 14 April served a notice with a list of demands, which included allocation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds for the education of employees’ children and allotment of shares at a discounted price. The management had termed the demand for allocation of funds for tribal developments from the CSR spending as insane. The company had rubbished all the demands and said it would ensure that production is not hit if the union makes any attempt to disrupt it. Bajaj Auto had said it has received a notice from its employees’ union for stoppage of work from 28 April at its Chakan plant.

The Chakan plant employs over 2,000 workers, including around 900 permanent ones, and produces 1.2 million units of bikes including the Pulsar, Avenger, Ninja and the KTM brands a year. The deferment of the strike comes as a relief to Bajaj Auto, which received a setback on Friday with a division bench of the Bombay high court referring a wage dispute between the company and its labour union to an industrial court in Pune. Bajaj Auto had approached the court challenging the union’s decision in March 2013 to terminate its wage agreement with workers at the Chakan plant. Dissatisfied with the increments and emoluments that are part of the nine-year wage agreement, VKKS terminated the agreement on 9 March last year. As part of the pact, workers were entitled to a 12% hike in 2011-12, and 8% each in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

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