June 29, 2020

‘No work, no pay’ inevitable if lockdown extends, says Rajiv Bajaj

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Rajiv Bajaj emphasised that the companies cannot sustain paying salaries while operations remain suspended for a prolonged period

Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj has raised questions over the decision by some states to extend lockdown amid rising cases of coronavirus. In the past few days, states including Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have extended lockdown to contain the virus. Maharashtra has joined the club on Monday, extending lockdown restrictions till July 31.

“Why Tamil Nadu is still closing down like this for 10 days? Why has Guwahati said they will close for 14 days? Why is West Bengal extending it till 31 July? What will happen on the first of August when you unlock?” Bajaj told The Economic Times.

Several states have decided to remain in lockdown on account of spurt in COVID-19 cases despite Centre’s initiatives towards reopening the economy. The first phase of this plan, Unlock 1.0, will remain in effect till June 30.

“And to clarify, I am not saying that because of the lockdown the number of infections or deaths has increased. I am saying whatever was suppressed that time has come out just now. So take the average of both – it is probably going to be what it would have been if this kind of lockdown hadn’t been implemented?” Bajaj told the publication.

Bajaj also emphasised that the companies cannot sustain paying salaries while operations remain suspended for a prolonged period. He said that firms will eventually have to implement no work, no pay.

“So if you want to be absolutely safe and you want to sit at home till the vaccine comes, you are welcome to sit at home. But please understand that if we sit at home for one to two years, there is no company in the world which can continue to pay your wages. We will have to implement no work no pay,” Bajaj said.

Regarding the recent outbreak of coronavirus cases at Bajaj Auto’s manufacturing plant in Waluj, Aurangabad, Bajaj said that necessary precautions have been implemented and communicated clearly with the staff.

“There is absolutely no such fear, anxiety, etc among our people. Masses with an open mind understand the facts and figures and are absolutely clear. They understand exactly what is happening,” Bajaj said.

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