Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) will temporarily shut down its Chennai plant for 5 days from May 25 to May 29.
Workers Demand Plant Closure
HMIL, which is India’s 2nd largest automaker, and its management has been in a row against factory workers who were demanding closure of operations given the rising cases in the pandemic’s second wave.
The workers protested by refusing to work and by confronting the management with their demands to shut down the plant to break the chain of virus transmission.
The situation came about as over 300 plant workers tested positive for Covid.
7-8 employees have also succumbed to the disease according to an insider, a figure higher than the 2 that the company has claimed. These included senior engineers in managerial positions.
Trade Union Alleges Lockdown Violations
A Soundararajan, president (Tamil Nadu), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that positive cases and fatalities have been found in every factory in Chennai.
But the factories continue operations despite the Tamil Nadu government’s advisory.
He said that CITU wrote to the Chief Minister requesting a complete lockdown which would force the manufacturing plants to also shutter.
Plants must be closed as workers are being forced to go to work in the midst of rising Covid cases in the state and around the country.
He cited the Hyundai, Ford, BMW, Yamaha, Apollo, Renault-Nissan, and Caparo Engineering plants which were disobeying the Covid protocols and defying the lockdown..
Tamil Nadu Lockdown Extended Amidst Growing Cases
Tamil Nadu, which is a vehicle manufacturing hub similar to Detroit in the US, has become the new epicenter of the pandemic as it logs more than 30,000 cases a day.
To that effect Chief Minister MK Stalin has extended the lockdown till May 31.
The shutdown of the Hyundai plant could affect the production and launch of the Alcazar SUV.