Royal Enfield and Yamaha plant workers in Chennai go on strike

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“The strike started on Monday, 24th September morning with members of Royal Enfield Employees’ Union, who applied for registration, demanding a settlement on their charter of demands, including wage increase,” said R Sampath, Vice-President, Working People Trade Union Council and Vice-President of Royal Enfield Employees’ Union.

He also added that both permanent and contractual workers are participating in the strike. The company had taken action against 120 employees who were on probation. They were banned from entering the plant while the company has also not addressed the issue of wage hike demanded by the Union.

On August 13, a strike notice was served on the company and a conciliatory meeting was called by the Labour Department. However, it is alleged that on all three occasions, the company officials did not turn up for the meetings. “We were left with no option but to resort to strike,” said Sampath.

Yamaha Motors factory has around 2,500 contractual workers and apprentices while Dongsan Automotive India has 117 workers who are also protesting against nonpayment of wages for over 7 months. 140 workers of Myoung Shin Automotive are also on strike for recognition of their union while 3,000 workers of Eicher Motors Limited have been on strike from Monday onwards.

According to S. Kannan, District President, Kanchipuram, a conciliation meeting has been called on September 26 and it has to be seen whether the management representatives would attend it. He said the India Yamaha Motor factory has about 2,500 workers consisting of contract workers, apprentices, and others.

Kannan said 117 workers at Dongsan Automotive India are also protesting against the manner in which they were sent out and non-payment of wages for the past seven months. He also added that about 140 workers at another automotive component maker Myoung Shin Automotive India Pvt Ltd (MSI) are striking work for recognition of their union.

Meanwhile, about 3,000 workers (permanent, contract, apprentice and others) at Eicher Motors Ltd’s factory at Oragadam near here rolling out Enfield Bullet and other motorcycles are on strike.

Yamaha India has moved to court and gotten police protection as the strike intensifies. In its petition filed in the court, Yamaha India said, “ingress and aggress of vehicles and people from in and out of the factory premises and to further vacate the trespassing workmen by ensuring that no striking workers assemble illegally in any form within the radius of 200 metres from the petitioner’s (Yamaha’s) factory.”

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