Bajaj Auto raises Chakan output

Pune-based Bajaj Auto, India’s second largest motorcycle producer, facing a labour strike since last Tuesday, scaled up production at its troubled Chakan unit here by more than double as compared to the first day of the strike.

The company, which produced 970 units on Sunday from the facility, produced 1,250 units on Monday, a senior executive of the company said. On the first day of the strike, production had declined to 600 units. The plant at Chakan, before the strike began, operated at 3,000 units a day.

On Monday, the company reported its highest attendance since the strike began, with 488 workers reporting to duty. Around 200 had reported to work last Wednesday.

‘Fair but firm’
“We will be fair but firm. There should be an unconditional withdrawal of the strike immediately and the restoration of production. We are willing to discuss topics once (the workers) restore production,” said Pardeep Shrivastava, chief operating officer.

The company expects to push production to 2,000 units a day by next Monday at the plant. “Threats are continuing even today. But, more and more people will come in once the threat reduces with increased police action,” added Shrivastava. Daily production at the Aurangabad plant has increased to 300 units of Pulsars from 100 only four days ago.

The police, meanwhile, has its hands full. At least three complaints have been filed by Bajaj Auto, five by contractors who provide labour and seven by employees. The charges include kidnapping, physical assault, damaging private property and intimidation. Nine arrests have been made so far by the Chakan police station.

The company, though, has clarified no violence has been reported within a one kilometre radius of the plant.

At least 20 police constables are stationed outside the plant.