Workers are at risk due to the absence of adequate arrangements in the provision of safety measures in the Renault-Nissan auto plant in Chennai, TN. The workers have been continuously demanding that the management address this issue. When their demand was being ignored, the workers issued a warning that they would begin a strike from 26th May. Consequently, the management had to close the plant on 30th May.
The workers have said that they will not return to work till proper measures were taken to ensure their protection from the virus. The Union has demanded that the plant remains closed till such time the workers are vaccinated or assured hospital beds. The president of the union pointed out that adequate arrangements had not been made for vaccination of the workers. The union pointed out that 5 workers had died and 850 workers had been infected by the virus in the previous year. Almost 420 workers had already been infected in 2021.
The French car company Renault and the Japanese car company Nissan are collaborating in running this plant. Of the 8580 workers, 3580 are permanent workers while 2000 are administrative workers, 2000 are contract workers and 1000 are apprentice workers. The count would be nearly two lakh if the family members and the workers working in the vendor companies were to be aggregated.
The union has demanded the rehabilitation of the families of the victims and also provision for treatment of the workers who have been infected. The union reported that the management does not consult with the workers on any issue and decides unilaterally.
The struggle of the Renault-Nissan workers is just. In this capitalist system, the capitalists disregard the lives of workers in the interest of making maximum profits. Workers have to consolidate their unity and organization in order to be able to defend their rights.