Companies

Madras HC calls for uniform norms across auto units

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on June 08, 2021

Officials of the Directorate of Industrial Safety have been asked to visit auto units at Oragadam near Chennai   -  S. MURALIDHAR

The order was on a petition filed by Workmen of Renault- Nissan (India) Pvt Ltd Through Renault - Nissan (India) Thozilalar Sangam on Covid-19 protocols.

The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the Directorate of Industrial Safety to visit Renault-Nissan facility and other automobile manufacturing units at Oragadam near Chennai and lay down uniform norms to maintain physical distance among workmen.

In an order, Chief Justice Sanjib Banejree and Justice Senthil Ramamoorthy said if a departure from the uniform [norms] is necessary, the special reasons therefor must be indicated. Till such time, the present norms being followed may not be tweaked by the management, they said.

The order was on a petition filed by Workmen of Renault- Nissan (India) Pvt Ltd Through Renault - Nissan (India) Thozilalar Sangam on Covid-19 protocols.

Pursuant to the initial disagreement between the petitioning workmen and the management at the Renault-Nissan manufacturing facility in Oragadam, production is now going on upon a tentative modus operandi on trial basis being put in place under the aegis of a senior official of the Directorate of Industrial Safety.

It was submitted on behalf of the management that the 3:1 (physical distance) pitch suggested and now maintained is impeding production and may not be necessary in view of the other measures adopted at the manufacturing facility in respect to both the assembly lines in operation. It is the further submission of the management that no gap is required to be maintained in the comparable manufacturing units of other automobiles operating in the State and in and around Chennai and it is unfair to single out this particular manufacturing facility to provide the gap and maintain the 3:1 pitch.

‘Flouting Covid norms’

On the other hand, it was submitted on behalf of the workmen that all that the gap provides is additional time to the workmen to complete the works in the previous three vehicles on the line so that two workmen do not have to come close to each other and work simultaneously in derogation of the social distancing norms required to be maintained.

It was further submitted on behalf of the workmen that in a lockdown situation, where only essential production is permitted, it is unreasonable for the management to continue production at the same rate by citing export orders or the like. At any rate, the workmen submitted that since the present temporary arrangement has been arrived at upon discussion between the workmen and the management in the presence of officials from the Directorate of Industrial Safety, the Court should not indulge the management by easing any of the conditions that may have been imposed.

It will be open to the relevant parties, including the State, to file their counter-affidavits to the writ petition and the application, if necessary.

The matter will next appear on June 14, the order said.

Published on June 08, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor