12 January, 201811 union representatives of the Volkswagen Employees’ Union in Pune, India, have gone on hunger strike, protesting against the employer's plans to introduce a new remuneration scheme that includes a performance-related wage component.
The current bargaining round started at the end of 2016, and after 14 months there has been no solution to the main point of contention; how to introduce a performance-based part of the salary. Although not common in the Indian automotive industry, this system is already in place in most VW plants around the world.
Volkswagen (VW) wants salaries to be 80 per cent fixed and 20 per cent based on performance, and during the period of implementation many workers will be confronted with a significant wage decrease.
Today is the fifth day of the hunger strike and the protest is rapidly taking its toll with two people already in hospital. There is still no response from management.
The Volkswagen Employees union, representing the protesting workers, says that as negotiations have led nowhere, they have resorted to “fast until death”.
"We have resorted to hunger strike, but we don't intend to stop production and so our members have not stopped working”, says Mashe Tushar, General Secretary of the VW Employees’ Union.
IndustriALL automotive director Georg Leutert says:
“We urge Volkswagen to engage in dialogue and to quickly find a fair solution before the situation deteriorates.”