Market

Renault-Nissan fights court battle with Indian workers on operations during COVID-19 surge By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logos of car manufacturers Renault and Nissan are seen in front of dealerships of the companies in Reims, France, July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

By Sudarshan Varadhan and Aditi Shah

CHENNAI (Reuters) – Renault-Nissan has told an Indian court it needs to continue production at its car plant to meet orders, dismissing concerns of an employee union that alleged COVID-19 safety protocols were being ignored at the factory, legal filings show.

Renault-Nissan India and workers at its plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu have been locked in a legal tussle after workers petitioned a court to halt operations because social distancing norms were being flouted and company-provided health benefits were outweighed by the risk to their lives.

In response, Renault-Nissan has argued in a court filing – which is not public – that there was a “compelling need” to continue operations to fulfil domestic and export orders. It said all COVID-19 norms were being followed.

The case will next be heard on Monday at the Madras High Court when the state government, which is also party to the case, is expected to file its response.

The legal battle highlights the challenges big companies are facing to keep operating in India amid heightened worries from employees who fear for their health and safety.

“It is a question of life versus livelihood,” M Moorthy, general secretary of Renault (PA:) Nissan (OTC:) India workers union which represents all 3,500 permanent factory workers, told Reuters. “We just want social distancing protocols to be followed and the management to be responsible for any risks to the workers or their family members.”

The factory, which produces Nissan, Renault and Datsun cars, also employees 3,000 contract workers, 2,500 staff members and 700 apprentices.

Nissan, which has a majority stake in the Renault-Nissan India plant, declined to comment for this article.

State government officials did not respond to a request for comment.

India is currently facing its second wave of coronavirus infections. Tamil Nadu is one of the worst hit states recording more than 30,000 cases each day.

The state, an auto hub dubbed as India’s “Detroit”, has imposed a full lockdown until May 31 but has allowed some factories, including automobiles, to continue operating.

Renault-Nissan’s May 16 court filing shows it has pending export orders of about 35,000 vehicles for the May-October period, which if not fulfilled could lead to penalties and loss of business. It also has 45,000 pending domestic bookings for the recently launched Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger cars.

The company’s petition says it has always prioritised employee safety and “has left no stone unturned” to ensure the infection does not spread.

“The travelling public consider private vehicles as a safe mode of travel … there is a compelling need for the state to ensure the continued operations of the automobile manufacturers,” the petition said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.


Most Related Links :
Business News Governmental News Finance News

Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.

[charitable_donation_form campaign_id=57167]

Source link

Back to top button