After Maruti, Voltas faces labour unrest

NEW DELHI: At a time when Maruti Suzuki is grappling with labour unrest, Tata Group firm Voltas is also facing a similar issue with its workers protesting against the company’s recruitment policy and wages.

Members of All India Voltas Employees Federation, which claims to represent permanent and contract workers of Voltas Ltd, today held a protest here against recruitment of workers “only on contract basis for the last 15 years” and also demanded equal salary between permanent and contract workers.

The company, however, refuted the workers’ claim saying hiring on contract is a practice across industries and recruitments are based on requirements.

“Since the last 15 years, the company has been recruiting workers only on a contract basis,” All India Voltas Employees Federation General Secretary Ravi Nambiar said.

According to him, at present, Voltas employs 8,000 contract workers, 3,000 management staff and only 600 permanent workers.

“Of the 3,000 workers given appointment as management staff, more than half perform the responsibilities of ‘workers’ but are paid a salary three times higher than a worker performing the same work, thereby violating the basic principal of ‘equal pay for equal work’,” he added.

Voltas Ltd General Manager Anil Joshi, however, denied the allegations saying the company has hired some people as permanent employees in the recent past but the demand to increase the number of permanent employees “is not feasible due to the current business operation”.

However, Nambiar said Voltas is yet to implement the wage agreement signed five years ago and pay the bonus for the last financial year of 2009-10.

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