Workers go on strike again at Royal Enfield plant in Chennai

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Chennai | Updated: February 15, 2019 7:06:32 AM

Iconic bike maker Royal Enfield is once again witnessing labour unrest at its Oragadam plant in Chennai.

royal enfield, auto sector, auto industryIn November last year, workers’ union called off strike after 50 days following a marathon discussions between the district collector, management officials and union.

Iconic bike maker Royal Enfield is once again witnessing labour unrest at its Oragadam plant in Chennai. A large number of workers of the Royal Enfield Employees Union have gone on strike since Wednesday evening for issues relating to revision of wages, bonus, confirmation of temporary workers as well transfer of a few employees without union’s knowledge.

Both the management and workers’ union have confirmed the developments. Both the parties have said that they were holding talks to resolve the issues. The strike continued on the second day on Thursday.

A spokesperson of Royal Enfield, without specifying the reasons of the union strike, in a statement said: “Royal Enfield remains deeply committed, as always in the past, in maintaining respectful relationships with all employees. We believe an engaged workforce and cordial industrial relations create a culture of excellence where all employees are proud of their contributions to the organisation. It is unfortunate that a certain section of our workforce has resorted to an illegal strike at our Oragadam plant in Chennai despite the company’s best efforts and positive intentions.”
“We have been working closely with our workforce and have undertaken various constructive and confidence building initiatives. Currently, a majority of the workforce continues to report for work at the Oragadam plant. Our other manufacturing facilities, including our plants at Vallam Vadagal and and Tiruvottiyur, continue to remain fully operational.We are focused on resolving all issues in an amicable manner while keeping the best interests of the organisation and our workforce in mind,” the spokesperson further said in the statement.

When contacted, R Sampath, vice-president of the workers’ union, said: “We returned to work last time (in November 2018) after 50 days of strike as the mangement agreed to resolve all our issues, including wage revision (which usually takes place once in 3 years), issuance of bonus to those who have put in 2 years of service, confirmation of the 520 trainee workers who have put in 2 years of service. But nothing happened since then. Following which we served a strike notice a few days ago protesting against the management’s attitude.”

Post our strike notice, the management even went further on victimisation and transferred three of senior workers to places like Rajasthan, West Bengal and to other plant in Chennai without our knowledge. We strongly object to the mangement’s coercive action and want every other issue to be settle immediately. Till such time we will continue strike,” Sampath said.

Sampath said though the company is running production with some trainee/contract workforce, but could produce only 50% of the 2,000 units a day at the plant. There were nearly 1,000 workers on the strike as of now, he added.

In November last year, workers’ union called off strike after 50 days following a marathon discussions between the district collector, management officials and union.

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