Ashok Leyland employees continue stir

Nitin Seth President light Commercial Vehicles Ashok Leyland. DH Photo for representation only.

A section of employees at Ashok Leyland continued their stir for the second day here Saturday, demanding an increase in bonus, while the company announced an employee separation scheme at the executive level due to the slowdown in the automobile sector.

"We are continuing our protest. The Management has declared non-working days till Monday. We will continue our protest till they come forward for an amicable solution", sources at the Ashok Leyland Employees Union said Saturday.

The Union had demanded a 10 per cent hike in bonus, while the management offered five per cent, which was not acceptable, they said. Union sources said if the management does not take a call on the issue 'amicably' they would be forced to intensify their stir next week by going on a hunger strike.

"As of now, 1,800 employees (operating in two shifts) are participating in the strike. We expect the employees working in those factories (of Ashok Leyland) in the Southern region to join us on Tuesday", he said.

Meanwhile, in a recent notice to employees, the Hinduja Group flagship company said it has come out with two schemes --- a voluntary Retirement Scheme and an Employee Separation Scheme (ESS) for those employees not eligible for VRS.

The schemes were announced at the executive level, sources said. Under the ESS, the compensation payable to an executive under 'A' category will be Rs 30 lakh or lower, while in the 'B' category, it will be Rs 60 lakh and above.

"An executive who opts for separation under ESS will be eligible for a lump sum compensation", the notice said. In addition to the compensation announced, the executives will be eligible for various terminal benefits, it said.

Comments from the company could not be obtained as calls and messages made to spokesperson remain unanswered. Ashok Leyland has cutting edge technology Electric Vehicle facility at the Ennore plant, which is the country's first integrated facility for design, prototyping, testing, process prototyping and solutions design.

The company had announced in June and July that it was temporarily closing down its facility in Pantnagar in Uttarakhand for six days to trim production due to slack demand.

The slowdown in the automotive industry has forced many manufacturers and component suppliers to reduce production and plan temporary plant closure. 

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