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Yamaha Workers’ Strike in Kanchipuram Plant Enters 9th Day

Union says protest will continue to demand reinstatement of two workers who were terminated without notice.
Yamaha Workers Strike

The strike by workers from India Yamaha Motor Private Limited’s (IYM) plant in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu entered the ninth day on Saturday, with the management refusing to budge from its stand. The workers, who have been on strike following the illegal termination of two workers, are demanding  their reinstatement.

The company management has failed to meet the demands of workers even after several rounds of talks with union leaders and Tamil Nadu labour officials.

“The company management is not ready meet our demands and they are not ready to reinstate our fellow workers who were terminated on September 20,” Kannan Soundararajan of CITU, who is in the forefront of the protest, told Newsclick.

Yamaha, which has a 4% share in India’s two-wheeler market, has employed a large number of contractual workers in the plant, said Kannan, adding that these employees are being denied job security and better wages as the company has  refused to include them in its payroll, despite them having several years of experience.

The workers recently formed a union, but the management was reportedly unhappy with this, which eventually led to a stand-off and termination of two workers who took the lead in organising the plant workers. One of the terminated workers, Rajamanikandan,  is the treasurer of the union that is affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), and the second one, Prakash, is one of the secretaries of the union.

Also Read: Yamaha Workers Continue Strike in Kanchipuram Plant Against Termination of 2 Workers

On the evening of September 20, the workers had gathered for a meeting in the presence of officials from the Tamil Nadu Labour Welfare Board to discuss welfare policies. The Yamaha management refused to be the part of this meeting, and later terminated two workers. However, so far, the terminated workers have not been served any notice regarding the same from the management.

“All of a sudden, the two workers were terminated. When they came for work on September 21 morning, they were not able to access the attendance system, and got to know that they were terminated. They have not got any termination letter,” Muthukumar,  another CITU leader, told Newsclick , had told Newsclick earlier

He said as other workers got to know of the termination, they gathered and started protesting. “At that time, almost 600 workers inside the factory started protesting. Also, nearly 100 workers. who had finished the morning shift duty, started protesting outside,” Muthukumar added.

As the protest progressed, the company management tried to disrupt the protest in different ways, the workers alleged, adding that goons were deployed and a few goons were even sent to Prakash’s house to threaten his mother and brother. Families of other protesting workers were also being threatened, they added.

Following this, the Yamaha management moved the Madras High Court terming the ongoing strike as illegal and secured an interim order saying that no striking workers should assemble in any form within the radius of 200 metres from the plant.

“Now, over 700 workers are continuing their protest 200 metre away from the plant”, said Kannan, adding that the “protest will continue till the demands- including the reinstatement of the two terminated workers and rights of the workers to be unionised- are met.”

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