Tata Motors and union at loggerheads on wage pact

Guenter Butschek

  Tata Motors' management and the registered employee union have been unable to agree over two months over a new wage agreement, its tenure, payment of dearness allowance (DA) and retirement age.

This is despite the intervention of former Union minister Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra labour minister Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar. Pawar early this week held talks with the company management, while Patil-Nilangekar met union representatives.

Tata Motors' Pimpri factory near Pune has production capacity of 550,000 a years, comprising commercial, passenger and defence vehicles. Of the 7,000-odd employees, nearly 40 per cent are permanent; the other 60 per cent are temporary or contract workers.

Tata Motors Employees Union leader, who is currently engaged with regular dialogue with the management, told Business Standard: ''The union strongly demands that the wage agreement should be made effective from September 1, 2015 for three years. However, the management has proposed four year time period for the wage agreement. Besides, management wants to give 25% wage hike every year during the four year tenure of the agreement but union has different view. As far as the payment of dearness allowance is concerned, union wants that it should be given every month against management's proposal of two months.''

Moreover, there is disagreement over the retirement age. ''Union has demanded that the retirement age should not be curtailed but should continue at 60 years. However, the management has proposed to bring it down,'' the union leader said.

The Tata Motors spokesperson said: "At Tata Motors we remain committed to amicable relationship with our workers everywhere. For the long term settlement in Pune that came up in Sept 2015, we remain in discussion with the Union for meaningful dialogue and peaceful settlement of all issues based on principles of fairness, discipline and productivity."