Renault Nissan Automotive India has offered its employees, at Chennai, a statutory bonus of 8.33 per cent. However, the employees’ union of the automobile manufacturer is not satisfied, as its members had actually demanded a bonus of 20 per cent.
Last year, the employees had received a 20 per cent bonus with Rs 10,000 ex-gratia. This financial year, however, they are being offered only 8.33 per cent (approx. Rs 12,400 per employee) as against their demand of 20 per cent without ceiling, along with Rs 20,000 ex-gratia, which would have totalled approx. Rs 39,000 per employee.
The Company has tried to explain to the Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangam, in a written letter, that the slump in the auto sector has had a deep impact on the Company, and forced the management to take drastic cost-cutting measures in order to survive. The letter pointed out to the Union that the plant is operating at about 40 per cent capacity and there is no surplus from which bonuses can be disbursed. Yet, the management has done its best to work out an 8.33 per cent bonus, according to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, in spite of the poor financial condition of the auto sector.
The management drew the Union’s attention to the fact that the bonus is actually a goodwill gesture by the Company, taking into account the well-being of the workers, despite the challenges that have been thrown its way. The bonus will be disbursed in time for the festive season, by 18 October, to all the eligible employees.
The long-term settlement that the Company had entered into with the Union, in 2017, expired on 31 March, 2019. Therefore, there is no valid settlement at present for bonus and ex-gratia for the financial year 2018-19.
The Union, however, is all set to discuss and negotiate further.