Mumbai: Ahead of Tata Motors’ crucial board meeting on Monday, two unions of the company representing around 16,000 employees have written to the management expressing their support to Ratan Tata in the ongoing spat with ousted Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry. In a letter to Tata Motors CEO and Managing Director Guenter Butschek, Tata Motors Employees Union, Pune expressed “deep concern” over the rift between Tata Sons and the leadership of Tata group companies.
“Moreover, the once cordial relations between Tata Motors Pune plant management and the employees have taken a downward turn since the last 14 months over various negotiable issues,” said the letter in an indirect dig at the company’s leadership under Mistry’s chairmanship. Backing the new leadership of Tata Sons led by interim Chairman Ratan Tata, the letter said: “However, during this time of turmoil we reiterate our complete and dedicated commitment to the decisions taken by Ratan Tata over the change in leadership of Tata Sons Ltd.”
Stating that Tata Motors has “grown in leaps and bounds under” Tata’s “visionary leadership”, the workers union of Pune plant further said: “We wish to commit our whole-hearted support to Mr Ratan Tata’s decisions in future and greatly respect his leadership.” On the other hand, in a letter to the plant head of Tata Motors’ Jamshedpur unit, Telco Workers Union termed Ratan Tata as “our another great leader” and invoked his saying “if you want to walk fast walk alone but if you want to walk far walk together” to express their support.
While also recollecting what another “pioneer” JRD Tata said — “to be a leader you have to lead with human affection” — Telco Workers Union said: “These inspiring sentences (are) always inspirations for us and we always try to follow these footsteps.” Last week, Tata Sons, which holds 26.51 per cent stake in Tata Motors, asked the owner of Jaguar Land Rover to convene an extraordinary general meeting of the company to consider its resolution seeking removal of Chairman Cyrus Mistry and independent director Nusli Wadia.
Besides, Tata Sons also has served notices to IHCL, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals to convene shareholders meetings to oust Mistry and Wadia from their boards. The boardroom battle in the Tata group has escalated ever since Mistry was ousted on October 24. The Ratan Tata camp has been trying to evict Cyrus Mistry from the chairmanship of group companies and has already fired him as chairman of TCS. However, Mistry with the support of independent directors, including Nusli Wadia, has been able to hold on to his position as chairman of Indian Hotels Co Ltd and Tata Chemicals.