Month-long strike at Sanand plant of Tata Motors ends

The month-long labour strike at Tata Motors Sanand plant finally comes to an end with workers and management reaching a consensus over the issue of suspended workers. Striking workers would resume work from tomorrow.

After several rounds of talks failed between the workers and the Tata Motors management, the state labour secretary Sanjay Prasad intervened into the matter. A meeting at his office on Monday remained inconclusive, however, a fresh meeting was rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

In a lengthy meeting at Prasad's today, the workmen and the company finally agreed on a mid-way solution. While the company agreed to take back 13 suspended workers from the group of 26 workmen, the remaining workers too said that they would join back duty at the earliest.

"The remaining 13 workers would continue to get an allowance (about 75 per cent of their salary) during the time an independent committee conducted its enquiry into the suspension. The committee is expected to submit its report within the next four to six months. As for the two workers who were suspended back in December, the enquiry is complete and a decision would be taken within one week," informed MS Patel, assistant labour commissioner of Ahmedabad.

Umesh Rathod, a striking worker confirmed the development and said that an agreement was signed between the workers and the company. "We would sit with the human resources officials tomorrow to decide which 13 workers would be joining back, while who will remain outside. We have also requested the company to not take action against any worker who fails to join back on Wednesday, as many are out of town for Holi celebrations this week," he said. The company has agreed to the workers' request, he added.

Around 422 permanent workers had gone on strike at Sanand from February 22 afternoon, demanding the re-instatement of 28 suspended workers. Two workers were suspended by Tata Motors on December 16, 2015 on grounds of indiscipline. Workers at site agitated on February 22 demanding an enquiry report on the suspension of workers, and thereafter 26 more workers are suspended by the company. The workers go on flash strike.

In the second week of March around 22 trade unions along with farmers' organisations extend their support to the workers, and together they stage protests before the Ahmedabad Collector's office and also at Sanand respectively. In the meantime, the Tata Motors Sanand workers union named Bharatiya Kamdar Ekta Sangh Sanand (BKSS) is recognised by the labour department on March 17.

Sources close to the development also indicated that around 90 workers had already broken away from the original group and had joined back during the past few weeks.