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Renault Nissan Auto and Workers’ Union Sign Interim Peace Deal for COVID Safety

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An interim peace deal has been signed between the Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Ltd and its worker’s union Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangam (RNITS) to try out the options to maintain social distance at the shop floor, said a top union leader.

Renault Nissan Automotive is a Franco-Japanese car making joint venture near here rolling out Renault and Nissan badged vehicles.

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The RNITS has approached the Madras High Court citing non-adherence to the Covid-19 safety protocol while operating the plant.

The court on May 31 had asked the company management and the worker’s union to discuss and arrive at a solution in the presence of officials from the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health on June 1.

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Accordingly, the management and the union have agreed on Monday to the empty pitch ratio of 3:1 in the trim and chassis and body shop.

“Simply put, after three cars in the conveyor belt, one slot will be empty so that a worker need not move to the next workstation to complete his work,” K.Balaji Krishnan, President, RNITS told IANS.

Queried on slowing down the conveyor belt as a solution Moorthy, General Secretary, RNITS told IANS: “That would involve changing the speed in the entire production process and reallocation of work.”

Moorthy said as per the current agreement the production per hour will be reduced to 30 cars per hour from 40 cars per hour earlier.

“We will implement this on a trial basis between June 2 to 5 and take a call on the matter later,” Moorthy said.

While the management had demanded good worker attendance across the shop floor during the trial period, the union agreed to instruct the workers to follow the Covid-19 safety protocol as laid down by the state and the central governments.

The RNITS also agreed to maintain social distance in canteen, handwash, bus boarding and other areas and ask the workers to wear masks at all times.

Both the parties have agreed to vaccinate all the eligible workers in the camp organised in the factory. The union also agreed to create awareness about the benefits of vaccination amongst its members.

As regards the quantum of solatium to the families of the worker’s who died of Covid-19 talks are on.

The Union on Monday decided that the company management’s offer of six months salary of the worker’s last drawn pay to the family of the worker’s who died of Covid-19 was unacceptable.

The RNITS has demanded the company to increase the financial assistance to Rs 50 lakh to the family of the worker’s who die of Covid-19.

According to Moorthy, the management has agreed to the compassionate appointment of a family member of a worker who died due to Covid-19 and also to increase the Covid-19 insurance sum by Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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