Renault-Nissan India Employees Want Production To Be Stopped Due To Covid19; Company Refuses To Stop
Amid the second wave of the deadly coronavirus pandemic in India, companies big and small are facing acute challenges to maintain a fine balance between continuing their production operations in the country, while following the COVID safety protocols at the same time.
The company has straight away rejected these claims, confirming that safety protocols are being followed and that there is a ‘compelling’ need for production to continue.
Renault-Nissan Employee Union Files Case
Tamil Nadu is among the worst hit states in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, recording over 30,000 cases each day.
Amid the rising cases, an employee union of the automobile manufacturer Renault-Nissan India, has filed a case at a court against the company, for putting a halt at operations, due to the company flouting social distancing norms at one of its plants in Tamil Nadu.
The union stated that ‘the company-provided health benefits were outweighed by the risk to their lives’.
The case will now be heard at the Madras High Court on Monday and the TN state government will be filing its response in the matter too.
Company Rejects Claims
Renault-Nissan has dismissed the allegations charged on it by its employee union, commenting that there is a dire need for continuing operations to fulfill domestic and export orders. It also stated that all the safety norms were being followed at its plants, as reported by Reuters.
The company stressed that employee safety has always been its first priority and it has ‘left no stone unturned’ to ensure this.
However, the general secretary of Renault Nissan India workers union M Moorthy, who represents all 3,500 permanent factory workers has quoted, “It is a question of life versus livelihood. We just want social distancing protocols to be followed and the management to be responsible for any risks to the workers or their family members.”
What Does the State Have to Say About This?
It is no surprise that the Covid-19 pandemic has achingly affected many businesses.
The Renault Nissan case of Tamil Nadu simply highlights the challenges big companies are facing to keep operating in India amid heightened worries from employees who fear for their health and safety, as stated by NDTV.
Tamil Nadu is currently undergoing a full lockdown to control the spread of the virus, however, some factories, including automobiles have been allowed to continue their operations.
According to a top state official on Sunday, automobile companies will be allowed to continue operations in the state but strict actions will be taken against violations of social distancing protocols by any company.
The Tamil Nadu factory in discussion here, produces Nissan, Renault and Datsun cars, and employs 3,000 contract workers, 2,500 staff members and 700 apprentices.
Renault-Nissan’s May 16 court filing shows it has pending export orders of about 35,000 vehicles for the May-October period, which if not fulfilled could lead to penalties and loss of business. It also has 45,000 pending domestic bookings for the recently launched Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger cars.