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Renault - Nissan and Hyundai face shutdowns in India over workers' COVID fears

Berita 24 English -  Due to growing unrest among workers concerned about rising COVID-19 infections, Renault, its alliance partner Nissan, a...

Berita 24 English - 
Due to growing unrest among workers concerned about rising COVID-19 infections, Renault, its alliance partner Nissan, and Hyundai face temporary factory closures in India.

A union representing the workers at Renault-car Nissan's plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu told the company in a letter that workers will go on strike on Wednesday because their COVID-related safety demands have not been met.

Hyundai announced that it will shut down its plant, located in Tamil Nadu, for five days starting on Tuesday. After several workers staged a brief sit-in protest on Monday, many people got injured, so the company needed to halt further incidents.

After workers raised safety concerns, the plant was closed following the deaths of two employees who were overcome by COVID, Hyundai Motor India Employees Union president E. Muthukumar told Reuters.

It is important to point out that unrest in India raises several issues that businesses face, particularly regarding an overwhelmed health system and a shortage of vaccines, making employees much more fearful.

More than 30,000 cases were reported daily in Tamil Nadu last week. India's Detroit, a state known as a hub for auto manufacturing, implemented a lockdown that will last until May 31 but permitted certain factories, including automotive plants, to keep operating.

Before the judge held a hearing on Monday on workers' claims that social distancing norms were being broken and factory health policies were not enough to protect employees' lives, the strike threat was issued at the Renault-Nissan plant.

The French automakers Renault-Nissan have confirmed that they are implementing COVID-19 safety protocols.

When the lawyer for the workers made his presentation, he emphasized that while the company had cut the number of shifts, production figures had not been reduced. Therefore headcount remained unchanged, causing the crowding in the factory workplace.

According to the company, the workforce has been reduced to around 5,000 from the previously reported 8,000. In addition, it also stated that it had vaccinated its employees over the age of 45, and it was willing to inoculate employees under the age of 45 if vaccinations became available.

On the two-judge bench overseeing the case, the judges agreed that while workers' health is vital, a bankrupt industry offers no employment options. They went on to say that the company should not use the benefit given to them by the state, which was an exemption, and should only produce the necessary number of products to meet export orders.

"As production decreased, things would have deteriorated. the best thing you can do is assuage the workers' feelings. "In court, the judges made it clear that the next hearing for this case will be on May 31.

In May, the union representing the plant's 3,500 workers wrote to Renault-Nissan and declared that employees would not return until they felt safe.

To grant the workers' demands, the managers have agreed to cut production to ensure better social distance and provide vaccinations and medical assistance for their families.

The company did not comment, as it owns a majority stake in the plant.

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