Workers of Renault, Nissan, and Hyundai on strike; Madras HC intervenes

The workers from the manufacturing unit of top automobile companies are on strike for the past few days. Workers of Renault, Nissan, and Hyundai are upset with few decisions taken by the companies like starting the three-shift production.

The workers demanded that the three shifts should be brought down to two shifts and the level of production should also be brought down. The workers also alleged that they are being made to work in dangerous conditions without proper security measures.

The workmen union of each company filed petitions in which they contended that “the employer is seeking to take advantage of the exemption granted by the State Government without even bringing down the level of production to only so much as may be necessary to meet the export commitments. The petitioners also complain that there is no supervision of the current conditions at work by any government official, whether from the Directorate of Industrial Safety or the appropriate authorities under the Factories Act.”

Renault’s reply:

Renault contended in reply that the issues of the workmen have been taken under the cognizance and appropriate measures have also been put in place. “three shifts have been reduced to two and all safety arrangements have been made for workers, including their transportation and vaccination for those eligible to be vaccinated” contended Renault.

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Court’s observation:

The divisional bench of THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE AND SENTHILKUMAR RAMAMOORTHY was of the opinion that it is imperative that some kind of supervision be maintained by the State through the appropriate officers so that the workmen at Renault are not forced to work in conditions that may put their health in danger. The court also directed the automobile companies to bring down the level of production.

“The employer should also indicate if the level of production has been reduced, particularly since the conversion of three shifts to two may be meaningless if the overall number of workmen continues to be the same” observed the court.

As the Affidavit was not filed by the state, the court directed to post for hearing on 31st May 2021. The state was directed to file its affidavit before the 31st and serve the affidavit to the petitioners as well. 

Story by Harshwardhan Pawar – Intern

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