Strikes continue at two major motorcycle manufacturing plants in India near Chennai. Workers at Royal Enfield resumed a strike on Monday which began in late September and demonstrators continue to call for change at Yamaha's factory in Oragadam, according to a recent report in The Economic Times¹.

Royal Enfield

Workers for Royal Enfield began their strike on September 24, but trouble had been brewing for some months prior. In April 2018, workers joined together in creating the Royal Enfield Employees Union and by July had delivered wage and bonus conditions to management.

Demands also allegedly included the reinstatement of more than 100 probationary employees². According to statements given by R. Sampath, vice president of the Royal Enfield Employees Union, management gave no response³.

Notice was given later in the summer that a strike was imminent, but still management refused to respond so on September 24 close to 3,000 employees went on strike.

Workers were poised to return to work this past Sunday, but upon arrival management demanded returning employees turn over their cellphones. This policy was not in place prior to the September 24 strike. As of now it’s reported that as many as 4,000 Royal Enfield employees of a total of 6,000 are participating in the strike.

It’s yet to be seen what the resolution to this issue will be, but Eicher Motors Ltd. informed reporters that in the time since the beginning of the strike in September, Royal Enfield has suffered production losses reaching 10,000 motorcycles.

Yamaha

The activity at Yamaha’s factory in Oragadam began September 20 following termination of two employees, with management allegedly giving no explanation for the firings.

At that time, 700 remaining employees staged a sit-in in order to compel management to reinstate the two individuals who had been let go. Both employees were attempting to form a workers union, according to The News Minute³.

Talks continue as of the writing of this article, with employees on strike at Yamaha continuing the sit-in while temporary workers break the line to take over duties until a resolution is found.

FOOTNOTES

  1. "Royal Enfield employees go on strike again; Yamaha workers' stir continues," The Economic Times, Bharani Vaitheesvaran, October 1, 2018, 20:23 IST

  2. "Workers at Royal Enfield's Oragadam factory commence strike again," Business Standard, TE Narasimhan and Gireesh Babu, October 1, 2018 23:30 IST

  3. "3700 Yamaha, Royal Enfield, Myoung Shin workers go on strike near Chennai," The News Minute, Mega Kaveri, September 25, 2018 17:48