Business Essentials for Professionals


Covid-19 Audit At Renault-Nissan Plant Ordered By An Indian Court

Covid-19 Audit At Renault-Nissan Plant Ordered By An Indian Court
An inspection by officials about the coronavirus-related safety protocols at Renault-Nissan's Tamil Nadu, India car plant was ordered by an Indian court on Monday. Workers at the plant are currently on a strike protesting against alleged non-maintenance of social distancing rules during a massive surge ion pandemic in the country as well as in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu.
A workers’ union told the company in a letter that workers will not attend work at the southern Indian factory which is jointly owned by Renault and alliance partner Nissan Motor. That was because of concerns of the workers over Covid-19 related safety standards which extended a halt in production that has been I n place since May 26.
The allegations were denied in court by Nissan which is the majority stake in the plant and argued that the company followed all Covid-19 guidelines at the facility. There were no comments on the issue by the company.
With India going through a second deadly wave of the pandemic, the current standoff reflects the challenges that are faced by companies in the country in resuming operations. With more than over 30,000 new cases a day, Tamil Nadu state is one of the worst affected in India.
Labour unions say that Covid-19 infections have affected hundreds of workers near the auto manufacturing hub of Chennai while dozens have died of the disease.
Following workers’ protests and strikes last week, production was stopped at their plants by Renault-Nissan, Ford and Hyundai.
Workers at the Renault-Nissan factory refused to get back to work on Monday as they argued in the letter that their demands, including social distancing, rehabilitation of families of the dead workers and medical treatment of the workers affected by Covid-19, had not been met.
A senior government official in charge of industrial safety was ordered on Monday by a two-judge bench to visit the factory on Tuesday to conduct an inspection while the workers were also asked to get back to work which will give them the opportunity to meet the government official and together with the management would be able to check safety measures at the factory, the court said.
"Distancing norms have to be maintained without exception,” the court said and directed the management and workers to arrive at an amicable solution.
Production at the plant, which is the only manufacturing base of Renault-Nissan in India, has been reduced by the company and is currently only made 7,129 cars during the 13 working days in May compared to a target of 18,852 cars, the company said. 17,207 cars were manufactured at the facility in April.
"They are disrupting the work which will impact the business and lives of thousands of people including the workmen's own dependents," Renault-Nissan said in a filing dated May 31.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc