Even as the ongoing strike at the Bengaluru plant here of Bosch Limited entered a third month, the management has enhanced the monthly pay package by 33 per cent, from Rs 64,000 to Rs 85,000 a month for 7-7.5 hours of work in an eight-hour shift.
Considering the indexing (inflation), the proposed cost to company (CTC) will further increase substantially, the company stated. Around 2,500 permanent workers and 370 temporary staff are on strike from September 16, demanding higher wages. The strike has adversely impacted not only the company but also the workmen with heavy financial losses, went the statement. The strike is continuing despite the state government’s order prohibiting it on October 10.
“At present, Bengaluru has by far the lowest productivity amongst the Bosch plants in India. The productivity target in our current proposal is based on International Industrial Engineering Standards, and the same is well accepted and followed across all Bosch plants worldwide. Implementation of such standards is imperative to ensure the Bengaluru plant’s competitiveness from a long-term perspective,” Bosch said.
The company’s untrained white-collar employees, who are supporting production during this strike, have met these productivity targets, the company said. In addition to enhancement of pay package, the company has also offered to confirm services of 100 of 370 temporary workmen. They currently earn more than the permanent workmen in many related industries, the company said.
During the negotiation meeting held on October 31 two of the workmen’s union representatives indulged in provocative and unparliamentarily behaviour with the present Bosch management representatives. As a result, the company called off negotiations.
“The company strongly condemns such unruly behaviour and has taken necessary disciplinary action as per the standing orders. Later, they (the workers) also resorted to violent behaviour by vandalising the house of a senior officer of the company,” the management stated.
In the last two months, intensive wage discussions have been held at various levels, including the intervention of concerned government departments and state government authorities.
The company’s interim measures to meet the demands of its customers are continuing, through deployment of alternative resources on production line, provisionally sourcing products from its international production network and utilising built up inventory.