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District admin tries to end strike at Tata's Sanand factory

Ahmedabad district collector on Friday offered a compromise formula to resolve the tussle between management and workers at Tata Motors' Sanand factory.

The workers have sought time and are likely to decide by Saturday evening. Representatives of the workers and the company held an almost two-hour meeting at collector Rajkumar Beniwal's office.

The 400-odd workers had gone on strike from February 22. There is some misunderstanding between the two parties and the government's effort is clear the air, said the collector.

"We tried to explain to the striking workers that suspension is not equivalent to a termination, and that a neutral agency would conduct an enquiry into the matter of suspension of workers (trigger for the strike)," he said.

Further, the suspended workers (about 28) would get half their salaries during this period of enquiry. If the probe report isn't ready in three months, they would get 75% of their salaries for the next three months. Upon which, if this uncertainty continues, the suspensions would be revoked and the workers get all their wages, he said.

However, if the enquiry finds any of the workers guilty, action would be taken against them. Beniwal said he hoped the workers would soon resume duty. "Both sides were positive," he told reporters here.

"We are thankful to the collector for his initiative on this illegal strike,"said a company spokesperson. " We have again communicated that all workmen other than those suspended on charges of indiscipline should resume duty. It is in the interest of business to complete the enquiries at the earliest."

Tata Motors had earlier set Thursday as the deadline for strikers to resume duty or face legal action.