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car manufacturers in ‘Detroit of India’ allowed to operate as workers protest COVID risks

Workers assemble Ford vehicles at Ford India’s factory in Chengalpattu, a suburb of Chennai. India, March 5, 2012. REUTERS/Babu

The automaker in India’s automotive hub Chennai will be allowed to continue. The state government said on Saturday. Amid protests by workers fearing COVID-19 in one of the country’s hardest-hit states.

Tamil Nadu’s government on Friday extended the lockdown for most of the city. As the number of infections and deaths in the southern states soared. which averages more than 30,000 cases per day, official figures show.

But the government decree issued on Saturday Said the industry called continuous processes. This includes automotive factories. will be allowed to work on measures such as social distancing to stop the spread of the virus.

It also called on automakers to take immediate action to vaccinate all employees within a month.

Tamil Nadu authorities have increased vaccination in recent days. and companies Including car manufacturers have arranged to drive vaccination.

The labor union stated that Hundreds of workers in and around Chennai, often referred to as India’s Detroit. fell ill with COVID-19 and dozens of deaths

A manufacturing facility operated by Ford Motor Co (FN) and Hyundai Motor Co (FN.N) near Chennai was closed this week after workers protested over unsafe working conditions.

Renault-Nissan The production unit was shut down after workers threatened to boycott the work, saying social distancing norms were being humiliated, while Royal Enfield, which owns Eicher Motors (Eicher.N), shut three units over safety concerns.

Sources from unions at Hyundai, Ford and Renault-Nissan said they were continuing talks with the companies.

“We are afraid to work. The company is citing government orders and asking us to report the work. The government needs to be mindful of the welfare of workers,” said the head of Hyundai’s senior union.

The government of Tamil Nadu also allows agencies to Near Chennai, with export orders such as construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar Inc (Caterpillar Inc.) and Taiwan electronics maker Foxconn (FOX.N), to operate 50 percent of the plant’s manpower.

Global automakers operating in Chennai say they will prioritize staff safety and adhere to social distancing regulations.

“The health and safety of society, partners and employees is our top priority,” Biju Balendran, Managing Director of Renault-Nissan India said in a statement earlier this week.

Our Standard: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles

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