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Old 3rd July 2013, 16:45   #1
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Default Bajaj Auto shifts Pulsar production from Chakan to Aurangabad

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Striking workers at Bajaj Auto's Chakan factory have forced the motorcycle maker to shift production of the Pulsar brand of sporty motorcycles to its Aurangabad plant. Trouble has been brewing at Chakan for the past few days with union leader Dilip Pawar, of the Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana (VKKS), demanding Employee Stock Options (ESOPs) for all workers at Chakan in lieu of the yearly increments. The union leader, who represents the Union at Bajaj's Akurdi factory has put forth other demands too.

Bajaj Auto shifts Pulsar production from Chakan to Aurangabad-bajaj-chakan-factory.jpg

Bajaj Auto, for its part contends that the VKKS trade union had scuttled the 9 year pay agreement (signed in 2010) which had assured workers a 12% pay increase each year, and that the union was now demanding another re-negotiation. The union is also demanding the reinstatement of 13 suspended workers. These workers were suspended by Bajaj Auto for allegedly slowing down production at the Chakan plant, in the run up to the current strike.

Bajaj Auto states that the workers cannot be reinstated until the completion of the enquiry. The strike has left Bajaj Auto's Chakan operations crippled. Bajaj produces 80,000 motorcycles each month from Chakan, with the Pulsar, Avenger KTM and Kawasaki motorcycles being built at this facility. To avoid production losses, Bajaj has started producing the Pulsar motorcycle at Aurangabad. The Chakan facility, working at a lower capacity will produce Avenger, KTM and Kawasaki motorcycles.

On Tuesday, the Chakan facility operated at 40% of its installed capacity of 3,000 units/day, with only a third of Bajaj's 1,500 strong workforce at Chakan reporting to work. Shifting of production to the Aurangabad plant will increase the facility's output to 230,000 units/month from the current 150,000 units/month. Bajaj Auto is said to have deployed additional work force from its Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand, to Aurangabad in order to increase production.

The strike at Chakan comes at a time when Bajaj Auto has just launched the KTM Duke 390, a sharply priced motorcycle making waves in the sportsbike market of the country. The Duke 390 is also exported to many countries across the globe, along with its 125cc and 200cc siblings. For now, it seems that the production stoppage at Chakan will not hit deliveries of these motorcycles as Bajaj is managing to operate at 40% capacity.

Source BusinessStandard

Last edited by JayPrashanth : 3rd July 2013 at 16:55. Reason: News Link Added
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Old 14th August 2013, 13:06   #2
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Default Update: Bajaj Auto says, Chakan strike called off

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The workers strike at Bajaj Auto's Chakan factory, off Pune has been called off, according to the motorcycle and three wheeler maker. The striking workers, represented by the Vishwa Kalyan Kamgaar Sanghatana (VKKS), are said to have unconditionally called off the strike, and are expected to join work immediately.

Name:  2013 Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS.jpg
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Note: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS image used as an illustration

However, the production of the Pulsar range of motorcycles, which was shifted from Chakan to the Waluj factory, at Aurangabad, will not be shifted back to Chakan immediately. Bajaj Auto plans to maintain status quo on the Pulsar motorcycle, with production continuing at Waluj for the time being.

The main demands of the striking workers were,
  • Reinstatement of 22 workers suspended pending enquiry for allegedly slowing down production at Chakan
  • Allocation of 500 shares at a price of 1 rupee per share, to each of the 900 workers of Chakan
  • Better working conditions and wages

As the strike has been called off unconditionally, none of these demands have been met as of now although Bajaj Auto's Managing Director Mr. Rajiv Bajaj has made the following assertion through an official press statement,

On behalf of the management I assure all the 22 workmen who are suspended pending enquiry that their cases will be considered objectively and sympathetically in the collective interest of all stakeholders.

Mr. Rajiv Bajaj took a tough stand against the striking workers right from day one, calling their demand unreasonable. He had also given the striking workers an August 12th deadline, later extended to 16th August, for them to rejoin work. On expiry of the deadline, Mr Bajaj threatened to shift Pulsar production to Waluj as a long term measure.

Bajaj Auto's Chakan factory produces the flagship Pulsar range of motorcycles, both for India as well as the export markets. The facility also produces KTM and Kawasaki motorcycles such as the Duke 125, 200 and 390 models, and the Ninja 300R and the 650R respectively.

With the festive season fast approaching, the strike being called off at Chakan comes at a propitious moment for Bajaj Auto as the motorcycle maker can now gear up to meet the higher festive season demand. Deliveries of the recently launched KTM Duke 390 could happen at a faster pace now that the 49 day strike is said to have been called off. The strike began on the 25th of June 2013, and has run up to the 13th of August 2013.

Last edited by JayPrashanth : 14th August 2013 at 13:07. Reason: News Link Added
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