Bosch settles wage dispute with workers’ union

March 24th, 2010 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 24 (IANS) German automotive component major Bosch Ltd reached an agreement with one of the unions of its workers on revised wages to be paid with effect from January 2009, the company said late Wednesday.
In a joint statement, Bosch India vice-president Soumithra Bhattacharya and Mico Karmika Sangha (Mico trade union) president N.M. Adyanthaya said an amicable settlement was reached and an agreement on revised wages would be signed Thursday.

Though the Indian subsidiary of the German behemoth declined to divulge details of the settlement, union sources told IANS that the management had agreed to raise the wages by Rs.8,000 per month in CTC (cost-to-company) to the 3,500 workers employed at its main plant in Bangalore.

“This is less than our demand for Rs.15,000 hike per month in view of the rising cost of living and soaring food inflation,” a union member said on condition of anonymity.

The company expressed hope that normalcy would be restored at the Audugudi plant in the city and 100 percent production would be resumed from Thursday.

The company, however, is yet to reach a similar agreement with the other union whose 1,000 workers are employed at its Naganathapura plant on the outskirts of the city, as negotiations are still on.

According to a company official, products and working conditions at Naganathapura plant are different.

“We are in advanced stage of negotiations and hope to reach an accord soon,” the official hinted.

The Naganathapura plant workers’ union is affiliated to Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) whereas the Audugudi plant workers’ union (KMU) is affiliated to Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), which is associated with the Left parties.

The workers at both Naganathapura and Bangalore plants went on a go-slow strike from Feb 12, demanding a wage hike of Rs.15,000 per month and medical facilities to their dependants among other benefits.

“The settlement is expected to give a relief to the auto industry, which faced disruption in production due to short time irregularities in the supply of critical components from the Bangalore plant,” the company said in the statement.

Bosch India manufactures spark plugs, alternators and generator starters for the Indian automotive industry and exports to its parent’s group firms worldwide.

Bosch’s OEMs include Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Ford, Ashok Leyland, Kirloskar, Hyundai and TVS Motors.

Of the four major plants across the country, the two Bangalore plants account for 55 percent of the production. The other two plants are at Nashik in Maharasthra and Jaipur in Rajasthan.

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