Over 100 employees of NVH India Auto, a major component supplier to Korean auto maker Hyundai, who had been staging a sit-in strike in the factory at nearby Sriperumbudur, demanding reinstatement of 17 dismissed workers, were taken into preventive custody on Saturday morning, police said.
The agitating employees are also demanding recognition of their union. They were staging a sit-in inside the campus since Friday, following which the management had reportedly entrusted the main production work to contract workers.
Following suspension of the workers, the permanent workers reportedly tried to block goods being dispatched to Hyundai. The issue snowballed when Korean officials tried to physically stop workers from blocking the consignment. A video, reportedly having visuals of Korean officials trying to ‘manhandle’ the workers, went viral on the internet.
D Christopher, secretary of United Labour Federation (ULF), told FE that of the 800 workers, only 115 are permanent workers, while the rest are either on contract or temporary employees. “The workers have not been provided with even basic facilities. When they objected to work being given to contract workers, senior officials forced them out of the workplace,” he alleged.
The workers, including women, who have been taken into custody, were initially kept at two wedding halls at Sriperumbudur and Sunguvarchahiram, a few kilometres from the plant.
A senior police official said they have been charged under sections related to restraining other individuals from working.
NVH India Auto, subsidiary of Korean components company NVH Auto, supplies sun visor, head liner, floor carpet and others to Hyundai. The company has 115 confirmed employees, 500 contact workers and 150 trainees. While the company officials were not available for comment, workers have said 107 people have been detained. Meanwhile, the police have also booked the person who has allegedly ‘manhandled’ workers on Friday. The police said they had booked the person for using abusive or obscene words and restraining an individual wrongfully.