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Rediff.com  » Business » Rajiv Bajaj firm on not issuing free shares to Chakan workers

Rajiv Bajaj firm on not issuing free shares to Chakan workers

July 18, 2013 12:39 IST

Rajiv Bajaj firm on not issuing free shares to Chakan workers

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Strongly refusing the union's’ demand for issuing shares, Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, on Wednesday accused the union of misleading workers giving them ‘false hope’.

“Even if the plant shuts for next 500 days because of strike, we are not giving a single share to any worker for free of cost.

It does not fit into Bajaj’s culture.

Even the top management, including the chairman of this company, has to pay for the shares.

I am definitely worried if the strike continuous for long not because the production hit, but because of loss of culture of this plant.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Rajiv Bajaj firm on not issuing free shares to Chakan workers

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The plant was set up to develop new processes; it is a laboratory for advance technology. The products manufactured in this plant have made Bajaj a global bike maker.

There are a few rotten eggs which are spoiling the entire basket. So far, the plant had never faced a problem. We have established a culture in plant as per the Kaizen norms,” said Bajaj.

He was addressing the media in Pune for the first time since workers started striking at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant on June 25.

Speaking on the wage revision issue, Bajaj said: “We are obliged to pay wages but not shares.

“We do not gamble salaries with issuing shares.

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Image: Rajiv Bajaj.
Photographs: Tanushree Punwani/Reuters

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Rajiv Bajaj firm on not issuing free shares to Chakan workers

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“This is applicable to information technology industry or start-up companies, where capital is an issue.

“For automobile companies, employee stock ownership plan is not suitable at all. Companies such as Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra issue shares only to top management in the R&D division and not to workers.

“We don’t buy loyalty of people by throwing shares to them.”

Bajaj criticised Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana, the workers’ union at the plant, by calling them an ‘old boys club’.

“The union has learnt a lesson from the past and repeating the same mistakes. They are giving a false hope of getting over Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 million (the approximate stock value of 500 shares of Bajaj Auto) for just Rs 500),” said Bajaj.

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Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters

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Rajiv Bajaj firm on not issuing free shares to Chakan workers

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Dilip Pawar (VKKS leader) has not lived in the new India and new environment.

My message is very clear to all the workers, even if this strike continues for next 500 days, not a single share will be given.

According to Kailas Zanzari, vice-president, manufacturing motorcycle, over 1,600 bikes were manufactured from Chakan plant with the help of 724 workers.

Over 1,250 bikes were manufactured at Waluj plant in Aurangabad.

However, Pune Labour Court on Wednesday dismissed an adjournment application filed by VKKS.

The application asked Bajaj Auto to submit payslips to enable workers know on what grounds their June salaries had been cut.

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Image: Rajiv Bajaj, MD & CEO of Bajaj Auto.
Photographs: Courtesy, Bajaj Auto

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Even after the intervention of state labour commissioner on July 12, the conciliatory meeting between Bajaj auto management and VKKS has failed without any resolution.

According to Bajaj Auto management, production and discipline should be restored before meaningful dialogue can take place.

The management may review suspension pending enquiry cases and only those cases in which misconduct is not serious or past record of employee is good, will be taken back provided they accept their mistake in writing.

In all other cases, the final decision will be taken based on the findings of the domestic inquiry.

The management is always keen on timely completion of salary review process and is eager to conclude the process at the earliest.

VKKS stopped work at the Chakan plant from June 26 to press for their demands, which included wage revision, ESOPs and reinstatement of 22 suspended workers.


Image: Bajaj's first-ever four-wheeled vehicle RE60.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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