Renault & alliances Nissan, Hyundai face temporary shutdown in India amid Covid fear in workers
India is facing a massive surge in Covid-19 cases. The panic of rising cases is on a rise amid workers in automakers Renault, alliance partners Nissan Motor Co and Hyundai Motor Co has led to chances of temporary shutdown of their factories in India.
Workers union at Renault – Nissan’s car plant in state of Tamil Nadu intimated the company in a letter on Monday that workers would be going on a strike on Wednesday. The reason is that safety demands related to Covid-19 by workers have not been met by the company. Hyundai plant in Tamil Nadu is also suspending all operations for five days starting Tuesday after workers staged a brief sit-in protest.
“The management agreed to close the plant after workers expressed concerns over safety after two employees succumbed to COVID,” E. Muthukumar, president of the Hyundai Motor India Employees Union.
The developments are representation of challenges faced by companies in India as country is facing massive wave of Covid-19. Exhausted healthcare system in India along with vaccine shortage is further sending fear and panic wave among workers. Tamil Nadu is one of the worst impacted states with recording over 30,000 cases in a day last week. The state is hub to factories, manufacturing plants. The lockdown until May 31 has however allowed the factories and auto plants to continue operations.
The strike threat at Renault-Nissan plant came before court hearing on Monday over allegations that the company is not following Covid-related health protocols and social distancing norms are also being defied. The company rejects all allegations and confirms that all measures are being followed.
During hearing, workers’ lawyer said that though number of shifts had been reduced by the company, the headcount on floor and production number was not cut down. Company said that employee number is reduced from 8000 to 5000. Also, all workers over 45 years have been vaccinated. Company said that it is ready to vaccinate workers below 45 years if vaccines are made available.