Labour strike affects production at Royal Enfield, Yamaha India

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 25 Sep 2018

File photograph of Royal Enfield plant.

Labour issues have cropped up at India Auto Inc again, and this time at a couple of two-wheeler manufacturers. Production at the Royal Enfield and Yamaha India plants, in the auto cluster of Chennai has been affected after workers of both companies have struck work, according to union sources, says the Hindu Business Line.

According to the report, the strike at Royal Enfield has come about as the employees union has demanded settlement of their demands that includes pay increase, said R Sampath, vice-president, Working People Trade Union Council and vice-president, Royal Enfield Employees’ Union.

He further said that the production had stopped at the plant, which saw participation from both permanent employees and contract labourers. “Every day, around 750 vehicles are produced. However, not a single vehicle has came out today,” Sampath told BusinessLine on September 24 .

The report further mentions that Sampath alleged that the company has neither confirmed nor terminated around 120 employees who were on probation and they were also not allowed to enter the plant. He further claimed that Royal Enfield did not revert on the workers’ various demands, including that of wage increase. On August 13, a strike notice was served on the company and a conciliatory meeting was called by the Labour Department. However, it is alleged that on all three occasions, the company officials did not turn up for the meetings. “We were left with no option but to resort to strike,” said Sampath.

Meanwhile, at the Yamaha India plant in Chennai, around 700 workers went on a strike which affected production. Speaking to the The Hindu, S Kannan, Kanchipuram District President of CITU, representing the striking workers, said: “Only 40 percent production is going on.” He said that there was a sudden sit-in strike on September 21 following the termination of two workers belonging to the newly-created India Yamaha Motor Thozhilalar Sangham (India Motor Workers Association), which is being registered. The workers were allegedly terminated for approaching the Labour Department to discuss matters related to the welfare of workers. Backing the two, 800 permanent workers went on a sudden strike and even slept inside the factory last night as a mark of protest. However, over 2,000 contract workers continued to work, but were doing only reassembling work, he said.

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