Workers at the Royal Enfield motorcycle factory in Oragadam, Chennai, India, took part in protest action on 13th February against transfers of union office bearers and active members. They have pointed out that this is a clear tactic to undermine the strength of the union. The transferred workers include the general secretary of the union, active union members and women workers of the Royal Enfield Employees Union.
Royal Enfield workers had protested in support of their demands for regularization of workers for 50 days during September-November 2018. The protests concluded with an agreement to continue the discussion towards collective bargaining. The management violated this agreement with the transfer of office bearers to different locations within the Chennai region. When the union gave notice of strike on 11th February, the very next day Royal Enfield management once again transferred union office bearers and workers, this time to far off locations in the states of West Bengal, Rajasthan and Karnataka.
Workers started to protest immediately against this vindictive action. The management has insisted that workers who want to come back to work should sign an undertaking that they will not take strike action in future.
Workers’ demands include:
- Regularisation of employment of all workers who complete 480 days of work
- Provision of bonus to employees who have worked for more than a month
- Revocation of all transfer orders and vindictive actions
- Meaningful engagement in collective bargaining agreement