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COVID fallout: Hyundai shuts Tamil Nadu plant, Renault-Nissan workers protest over COVID-19 norms being… – Moneycontrol

In a letter addressed to the auto company, the union representing Renault-Nissan’s plant workers said they would not return to work until they felt safe amid the COVID-19 situation.

Representative image of Hyundai’s manufacturing unit (Image: Reuters)

Hyundai Motor India has temporarily suspended plant operations in Tamil Nadu for five days, from May 25 to May 29, amid the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country.

“As a caring and responsible corporate, we have undertaken several initiatives to help and support employees across the country during the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. During these difficult times, the company has undertaken several proactive and progressive measures to safeguard the health and ensure the well being of the entire workforce,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement.

Hyundai’s announcement came after workers’ protests at two auto factories in Tamil Nadu amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. The South Korean auto maker’s production had been disrupted due to workers protesting the lack of COVID-19 protocols on shop floors.

However, Hyundai’s plant operations were underway as per schedule on May 24.

Meanwhile, workers at Renault-Nissan’s manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu will also go on strike on May 26 as their COVID-related safety demands have not been met, a workers’ union told the automobile company in a letter on May 24. The union represents around 3,500 workers at the plant.

The strike threat at the plant in the southern state, jointly owned by Nissan Motor and alliance partner Renault, came ahead of a court hearing over allegations from workers that physical distancing norms were being flouted and factory health policies did not sufficiently address the risk to lives.

“Due to unsafe working conditions and as the union demands have not been met … members of this union will not report to work from the first shift on Wednesday (May 26),” Reuters quoted the union’s letter as saying. The letter added that workers would not return until they felt safe.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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