BENGALURU: The fears that Unlock 1.0 brought with it are playing out at Bosch’s Bidadi plant, where eight workers tested positive for the coronavirus through this week. Workers at the plant are afraid to come to work, and want the management to disinfect the factory and seal it for a few days. However, the management is not inclined to shut down the factory, fuelling their anxiety.
“The management has not given us official confirmation on workers testing positive, but we heard about it. When there are positive cases in an area, a portion is sealed down but no such thing has happened here. It is a risk for us,” said a factory worker, on condition of anonymity. The automobile plant has four duty shifts. The workers’ union has been asking for leave but the management has not agreed so far. Workers are also scared to complain or raise the issue.”
“There is no transparency. There are rumours that five workers tested positive. We are worried,” said another worker. “The management says if they seal down the factory for a few days, there are bound to be more Covid cases when they restart operations, and they cannot keep shutting down the factory. Health officials also visited the plant but there was no talk of temporary sealing,” another source said. The management says the patients’ primary contacts have been given leave and are in quarantine, and their work space has been sanitised.
“After four of our employees tested positive earlier this week, we quarantined those they worked in their department, and those who travelled with them on the company bus. We closed the patients’ work area, disinfected it and only then restarted work. We also disinfect the factory every day. Local health officials too suggested that we isolate the area, disinfect it and resume work,” said Gopalkrishna Joshi, senior general manager of human resources at Bosch.
“We have formed a task force to adopt safety measures to arrest the spread of Covid-19, and issued detailed standard operating procedures. We have educated our employees, and there is a central as well as factorylevel management committee,” he said, adding, “We understand the workers’ apprehension, and are reviewing the matter, taking advice from experts and are in constant touch with the authorities.” However, Dr Niranjan, district health officer of Ramanagara, told TNIE that eight workers had tested positive at the plant — four earlier in the week and four on Thursday.