Friday, 30 September 2011

Bosch shuts Bangalore unit, employees go on “tool down” strike

Auto parts maker Bosch Ltd said on Friday an union and workers of its plant in Bangalore have gone on a "tool down" strike from Sept 28, prompting the company to shut down operations from Thursday.

The MICO Employee's Association went on the strike from Wednesday beginning with the first shift of production. Bosch Limited is the flagship company of Bosch in India and has sales of around Rs 7,000 crore and is a major supplier to almost all automotive companies in India. The Bangalore unit of Bosch India Limited employs around 2,500 employees.

According to a statement from Bosch India, the employees' union of Bosch Limited — MEA (MICO Employee’s Association) declared a ‘Tool Down’ strike at the Bosch Bangalore Plant on September 28, 2011, beginning with the first shift of production. The company has termed the strike illegal. The loss per day due to the strike is around Rs 5 crore a day.

This is the second disturbance for Bosch Ltd within six months. In March this year, production was affected at the plant for a couple of days over the demand for a wage increase, an issue which was settled amicably after Labour Commissioner intervened. In March 2010, around 4,000 employees of Bosch went on strike for a protracted period over demands for higher wages and medical support and the company is estimated to have lost nearly Rs 1,000 crore.

The management had initially planned to redeploy 140 workers, but eventually scaled it down to 40. The management says the issue was discussed with the union previously . "The outsourcing initiative has not resulted in any job loss whatsoever and is a common practice resorted to by Bosch Ltd and the industry as part of modernization to maintain a competitive edge and secure the future," said a company statement. 


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