Yamaha India workers move HC against company’s ‘unfair labour practices

Workers of India Yamaha Motors here on Friday moved the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu Labour Department to restrain the company from indulging in any unfair labour practices The plea moved by ‘India Yamaha Motor Thozhilalar Sangam’ (India Yamaha Motor Labour Union), also wanted the court to restrain the company from recruiting new workers, pending disposal of the petition and to abide by the recent advice of the joint commissioner of labour, Chennai, to arrive at an amicable solution. Admitting the plea, Justice S Vimala directed the company and the labour department to file their replies within four weeks. The union submitted there are 814 permanent workers in Yamaha’s Chennai factory, besides 2,500 engaged as apprentices, contract labours and 350 staff. It claimed that the wages paid by the company to its workers are far less compared to those paid by other automobile companies in the Sriperumbudur region and that there is no job protection. The workers have been treated in a shabby manner and were asked to mop the floors and clean toilets. Even their basic human rights have not been respected by the employer, it said. Under these circumstances, the workers realised the need for a trade union to espouse their cause On July 29, the workers held a general body meeting and resolved to register the union and to affiliate it with Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the plea said. It claimed that the union activities did not go down well with the management and the company started victimising the workers, particularly those involved in these activities. Some were even terminated without any reasons and the management refused to participate in any conciliation meetings conducted by the labour department, the petition alleged. The union even informed the management that the workers were willing to resume work if the terminations are revoked, but the company refused to do so even after the joint commissioner concluded that they are illegal, it said.

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