How KTM 390 Duke production is steady in the face of a Bajaj plant strike

Bajaj Auto workers strike at company’s Chakan plant has been on since last Tuesday with no end in sight. Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana, headed by Union leader Dilip Pawar, is demanding that the company allot a total of 500 shares to each worker at Re. 1 per share. Management and union leaders held talks on Friday in a bid to end this four day old strike, however, preliminary talks failed to reach any amicable conclusions, and the effort on that front is continual.

KTM 390 Duke India launchThe current rate of Bajaj Auto shares is just shy of Rs 2k, which means the union is outrageously demanding that shares worth crores be allotted for a pittance. This means that each worker should be allotted shares worth lakhs for a nominal fee. Despite these extreme demands, stocks of the company have not been affected though production is marginal.

Chakan plant rolls out premium bikes which include the Pulsar and KTM Duke models besides the Avenger. The company produces around 3000 units per day but in the past two months production is down to 2,500 units per day. For a few days last week, not a single unit has been produced as workers demands include a 25% wage hike, making of contract workers permanent employees besides recalling of suspended workers. While the war of words is on, Bajaj isn’t taking things laying down.

Chakan plant production has now resumed and isn’t at optimum capacity. Interestingly, part of the company’s Pulsar production has been shifted to their Waluj plant, though this too hasn’t helped reach daily production target.Also safety of workers who play no part in the strike is being safeguarded. Police protection has been pressed into service, and it now appears, a fragment of workers are residing in the plant complex, lest they are prevented from entering the premises by those on strike. It is imperative that the plant remains function as apart from Bajaj bikes, the KTM line is a huge draw here. With the KTM 390 Duke launch last week, the streetbike has made an impression, and giving 250cc bikes a run for their money with their competitive price strategy. Bajaj will want to ride this momentum without anything getting in the way.