Automobile manufacturer Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd has informed the employee union at its Chennai facility that it would be able to pay 8.33 per cent statutory bonus for the year 2018-19, as against the demand of 20 per cent, considering the current crisis in the industry. The Union is expecting further negotiations to arrive at a final bonus amount, said sources.
The Union had sought 20 per cent bonus without a ceiling and Rs 25,000 ex-gratia for FY2018-19. Last year, the bonus was 20 per cent and Rs 10,000 ex-gratia.
"If the bonus and ex-gratia are at the same level as last year, we might get Rs 39,000 per employee. However, the company has said that it will give only 8.33 per cent and this means only Rs 12,400 per employee, which is not acceptable," said a leader from Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangam.
In a letter to the union, the company said that the Indian auto sector is in dire straits and is facing a crisis not seen in the past two decades. The company has also been hit by the crisis and the management is taking several steps to reduce to cost of the company to manage the crucial situation. It also said that the plant is operating at around 40 per cent capacity and also for this accounting year, there is no surplus that could be available for disbursement of bonsu.
"However, inspite of the current situation, the management is pleased to offer 8.33 per cent statutory bonus for the financial year 2018-19 for all the eligible employees as per he payment of Bonus Act, 1965. As mentioned, the management will disburse the bonus on October 18, 2019, to all eligible employees as per the regulation," said the company in the letter.
The the long term settlement the company has signed with the union, in February 20, 2017 has been expired on March 31, 2019 and there is no settlement in place for bonus and ex-gratia for the financial year 2018-19 it said.
The union said that it would expect further talks on the point with the management and would take decision on the course of action later.
Nissan spokesperson said, "Keeping employee welfare in mind and as a goodwill gesture, Renault Nissan Automotive India (RNAIPL) has decided to give bonus this festive season. This payout is being made despite challenging conditions in the automotive sector and low capacity utilization due to tough economic situation overall. RNAIPL believes in harmonious employee-employer relationship at work place and appreciates the cooperative mindset of its employees."