Bajaj Auto hits a brake

about 1 month ago
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For a company whose CEO has been very vocal about the need to remove the lockdown and its impact on the economy, saying that people will learn to live with the virus, this might be a tough cookie to munch.

Around 250 employees at Bajaj Auto’s Waluj plant in Maharashtra have tested positive for the corona virus and the workers union there is demanding the temporary closure of one of its plants even as the company is trying to scale up production.

The plant is understood to be running in two shifts with the first shift starting at 6:30 am and the second shift ending at 12:30 am

The company, on 26th June had said that 40 of the roughly 8,000 staff at the factory had caught the virus and two had died. And since then, till Saturday, the number of infected has risen to 250 and six have died.

What is irking is that in a letter to the employees, Bajaj said that salaries of those not reporting to work despite being asked to come will be cut 100% for that period, exception being for those in containment zone or in quarantine. The company said that there will be a 50% cut in all salaries and wages if the government shuts down the plant for covid-19 reasons.

This plant accounts of 50% of company’s total production and a small break once again in production is bound to impact. The company is yet to respond to the union’s demand.

The stock price, though it opened slightly in the green at Rs.2945, up less than 0.5%, it soon slipped into the red, going down to Rs.2885 and is currently trading at Rs2900 levels.

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