Deadlock continues at Tata Motors Sanand plant

Worker strike at Tata Motors plant at Sanand entered second day on Wednesday as workers refused to budge from their demands of re-instating the suspended labourers and the company, on its part, maintained its stand to take action only after an inquiry.

Around 422 workers at the Sanand site had gone on a flash strike on Tuesday after making demonstrations at the plant on Monday. The workers were demanding that the suspension order of 28 colleagues be immediately revoked by the company. It is learnt that the workers had also damaged some cars at the plant on Monday. The state labour department had sprung into action immediately and officials tried to mediate between the agitating workers and the company, however, no consensus has been reached yet.

When contacted a Tata Motors spokesperson claimed that there has been no significant production loss at the site due to the strike. It may be noted here that the Tata plant had been hardly utilising its installed capacity due to lack of demand for the Nano car.

Around 42,561 Nano cars were produced from the Sanand factory from January 2014 to December 2015, against an installed capacity of 250,000 cars per annum, the state government today informed at the assembly in response to a question.

Deputy labour commissioner, Ahmedabad zone V V Pandya said: "There have been no change in the situation at the site. We did send some officials today as well, however, the workers did not budge. The company has claimed that their production is not much affected due to the strike, and thereby, the deadlock continues."

Police sources informed that the workers are commuting to the plant in the company buses, and upon reaching the site they sit on a 'dharna', and are commuting back home in the same buses after the shift ends.

Tata Motors had suspended two workers around two months back for indiscipline, and has not reinstated them post an inquiry. Protesting this, few hundred workers staged a demonstration at the site on Monday, and eventually another 26 were suspended. Post this, over 400 workers went on strike since Tuesday.

Striking workers have formed a seven-member committee to negotiate with company management and the Gujarat government as there is no union. Pandya said that the workers have indicated that they do not seek any outside support.

A company spokesperson highlighted that Tata Motors continued to engage with the workers and hold talks.

Incidentally, the Tata Motors plant was shifted from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat in 2008 following protests over land acquisition.