Automobile maker Renault-Nissan informed the Madras Court the urgency for the company to continue production as the company has to supply to its customers who have placed a booking. In addition, the company stated the car plant has been maintaining all COVID-19 safety protocols, refuting claims by an employee union that the factory has been ignoring them.
It is estimated that this Tamil Nadu plant employs 3,000 contract workers, 2,500 staff members and 700 apprentices.
According to Reuters, Renault-Nissan’s workers at its plant in Tamil Nadu have been locked in a legal tussle after workers petitioned a court to halt operations. The employees alleged that the social distancing norms were being defied in addition the company's health benefits were more than the risk.
The case will be heard on Monday at the Madras High Court. By Monday, another party to the case, Tamil Nadu government, is expected to respond too.
A source from the state government stated automobile companies will be allowed to continue operations, but action will be taken against violators of social distancing norms.
"It is a question of life versus livelihood," M Moorthy, general secretary of Renault Nissan India workers union which represents all 3,500 permanent factory workers, told Reuters. "We just want social distancing protocols to be followed and the management to be responsible for any risks to the workers or their family members."
Renault-Nissan's May 16 court filing shows it has pending export orders of about 35,000 vehicles for the May-October period, which if not fulfilled could lead to penalties and loss of business. It also has 45,000 pending domestic bookings for the recently launched Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger cars.