Unlikely to follow Pune model where a bifurcated package had a portion of pay linked to performance
Tata Motors and the Sanand plant workers are likely to sign a wage settlement agreement for five years (2015-2020) by this June.
Tata had signed a landmark wage settlement with the Pune Workers’ Union in March for three years from September 2015 to August 2018, where a portion of workers’ salaries were linked to performance.
However, in case of Sanand, it is still not clear whether the bifurcated wage package linking pay with performance would be adopted here as well. Workers’ leaders claimed that so far the discussions had not touched upon the subject.
The Pune settlement involved a bifurcated wage package, whereby a component of workers’ salaries were directly linked to their performance. Negotiations are in their final leg and worker sources indicated an agreement is likely to be signed in June.
“We are negotiating a five-year agreement with the company at the moment. It would be valid from October 2015 to September 2020,” said a worker. A Tata Motors spokesperson said, “These are internal discussions and are being worked out. At Tata Motors, we remain committed to amicable relationships with our workers and we expect to resolve this matter at the earliest.”
Tata Sanand workers had approached the labour department here in March to help negotiate their demands with the management.
Tata Motors’ Sanand plant has a state labour department-recognised union named Bharatiya Kamdar Ekta Sangh Sanand. A handful of tripartite meetings have already taken place, and the next meeting is scheduled for May 18.
The workers have been placing demands before Tata for one-and-a-half years. Their main issue is that of a wage hike given that the Tiago and the Tigor have taken off well and the company, and as such the Sanand plant, are well past their struggle with the Nano.
“The average worker or operator-level salary at the Sanand plant is around Rs 12,000 a month. This is far below the standard in the auto industry for experienced workers, which is around Rs 22,000-25,000 a month. Most of the operators here have five to seven years’ experience,” alleged a worker at the site.
Sanand workers had gone on strike in February last year demanding reinstatement of 28 suspended workers. The strike had lasted almost a month and had gained the support of several labour welfare organisations in the state.
Tata Motors is negotiating wages with workers in Lucknow. Around 98 per cent of the operative employees at the Sanand, Pantnagar, Lucknow, Pune and Jamshedpur plants are members of unions.
Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters