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To shift production from Pune if strike not over in 1 week: Bajaj Auto


Bajaj Auto chief Rajiv Bajaj has given a week's ultimatum to the company's top management and the union to resolve the 42-day-old strike at its Chakan plant, failing which he warned that the company will be forced to move the board to shift production to other plants.

"Unless the issue is resolved within a week, we will be forced to move at least 50 per cent of production and production capacity to the Aurangabad and Pant Nagar plants," said the Bajaj Auto managing director and chief executive in Pune on Monday.

"I will be moving the board to seek their permission to move production out of Chakan if the strike is not resolved within a week."

However, he ruled out the complete shuttering of the Chakan facility saying that the main R&D facility in based in the city.

Against the backdrop of the company having been pushed to the third slot in the July sales sweepstake by the new-comer Honda Motorcycles, Mr Bajaj said, "I cannot stake my sales in the second half too. So the company will be seeking board permission to move production capacity to our other plants."

Since June 25, Chakan plant workers are on strike demanding a steep wage hike or 500 shares each to employees through an Esop, besides unconditionally taking back of the sacked workers.

"We have been patient all these while. But now we are ready to take a tough call, and we will take that next week," he said.

The Chakan plant has an installed capacity of over 3,000 units a day and since the strike, the company has been gradually increasing the output, which stands at 2,000 now, he said, adding that the company has responded to the show-cause issued by the labour department a week back.

The remaining units are met at the Aurangabad plant which currently rolls out around 1,000 units.

On taking back the sacked workers, Bajaj said the management is ready to take back seven of the 22 suspended workers against whom there are only the minor charges without an enquiry.

For the remaining 15 others, he said the company has proposed to set up an independent committee to probe the charges against them. Discussions are also on with the Shramik Ekta Mahasangh, the umbrella union of workers, he added.

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