Workers at the MRF tyre factory in Chennai struck work from February 9. The strike had the overwhelming support of all workers in the plant. Of the total number of workers in the plant of 1,025 barring 66, all the others went on strike. They demanded early conclusion of wage settlement and the removal of CCTVs within the premises as it impacts their privacy. The plant rolls out tyres for light/heavy and off the road vehicles.
One of the union leaders explained that the per day output of this plant is about Rs 3.5 crore. The average wage per worker in the plant is about Rs 23,000 per month and the take home is about Rs 18,000. On the other hand the average wages of workers in other MRF plants is about Rs 40,000 per month. The last wage settlement was done in 2009. The Tiruvottiyur plant is the company's mother plant and the wages here are the lowest.
The MRF management defended its decision to install CCTV camera at its Tiruvottiyur factory as it was supposedly required under the law as also for the safety reasons.
On 25th February, the management gave in to the demands of workers. The management and the MRF Workers’ Union (the recognised union for decades) reached an amicable solution on the long-pending wage revision issue. The management is also said to have agreed to remove those cameras (which are unwanted) and also agreed to not use the cameras for victimisation.
Following this settlement, thousand-odd workers of the Tiruvottiyur plant (the mother plant) are expected to get a monthly hike of Rs 16,500, effective February 1, and would get another hike of Rs 500 a month after two years (effective February 2021).