The Madras High Court has directed the automakers to address the issues flagged by the state government regarding the safety of workmen with respect to the COVID-19.
- Madras HC allows Renault-Nissan to continue production at Chennai plant
- The court directed carmakers to address issues flagged by Tamil Nadu Govt
- The court’s nod came with a rider to follow pandemic related norms.
The Madras High Court has allowed Renault-Nissan to continue production at its manufacturing plant near Oragadam in Tamil Nadu. As reported by PTI, the court’s nod came after a week-long tussle between the automakers and workers’ union. At the same time, the court has directed the automakers to address the issues flagged by the state government regarding the safety of workmen with respect to the COVID-19. The carmakers had temporarily halted operations at the Chennai facility after workers went on strike, complaining about working conditions amid the COVID-19 and medical facilities provided to the employees.
As directed by the court earlier, senior officials of the Directorate of Industrial Safety conducted an audit at the manufacturing facility on June 1 and submitted a report.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy gave the go-ahead with a rider to follow pandemic related norms while passing further interim orders on a writ petition from the labour union of workmen, represented by its president K Balaji Krishnan.
As directed by the court earlier, senior officials of the Directorate of Industrial Safety conducted an audit at the manufacturing facility on June 1 and submitted a report. The court said that the report included several additional measures to be taken up by the carmaker to make the facility COVID-19 protocol compliant.
“In the light of the immediate changes brought about at the manufacturing facility at the suggestion of the government officials, it appears that the management has shown sufficient concern for the safety and health of the workmen and that there would be no dropping of the guard as far as safety measures are concerned,” the judges observed.
The court also said that given the high incidence of infection, the workmen also cannot be immediately faulted for being apprehensive. In any event, the exemption granted during lockdown by the Revenue and Disaster Management department in May requires a pandemic related protocol to be followed. The court further mentioned that the issues flagged by the Directorate of Industrial Safety have to be taken care of by the management for the production to continue.
The carmakers had halted operations at the Chennai facility after workers went on strike, complaining that the company not prioritising their safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Nissan spokesperson said, “We carefully resumed operations of the plant earlier this week, after a brief pause due to the challenges posed by the recent increase in COVID19 cases in India, with an even more vigorous and transparent people first approach that holds their health and safety paramount to our operations. We have already implemented changes in one of the production lines, as per previous agreements regarding employee safety with the union, and will be cascading them across a second production line at the earliest, while also acting on the recommendations of the state government following recent inspections.”