Covid-19 effect: Union workers at Renault-Nissan’s Chennai plant to skip work over safety concerns

Ford and Hyundai have already shut their plants after protests over safety from Covid-19

As the second wave of coronavirus cases sweeps through southern India, workers at the Chennai factory of carmaker Renault-Nissan have decided not to report to work on Monday. The union of workers has, in a letter addressed to the company, expressed concerns over the lack of Covid-19 safety measures at the workplace.

According to labour unions, hundreds of factory workers have been infected with Covid-19 in the Chennai region and several of them have succumbed to the disease.

Some of the major demands made by the workers are-

  • Adequate social distancing measures
  • Ensuring medical treatment of infected workers
  • Rehabilitation of families of workers dying from Covid-19

The workers union, in a letter addressed to Renault-Nissan’s Managing Director and Vice-President of human relations, say that the request “to ensure social distancing through reduced footfall has not been accepted(by the company).” “It will not be secure for workers to report to work on Monday the 31st of May, 2021,” the workers added.

The union members also alleged that the carmaker has provided the first dose of the vaccine to only 200 workers, while it has eight thousand employees according to its response to a local court.

For more than a week now, the state of Tamil Nadu is among the states worst affected by Covid-19. While the government has imposed a complete lockdown in the state, it has allowed the car factories to continue their operations provided they maintain social distancing and get their employees vaccinated within a month. Automobile manufacturers like Ford and Hyundai have already shut their plants in the region over Covid-19 safety concerns.

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