CHENNAI: Protests demanding better pay and protection by labourers working at Royal Enfield and Yamaha seem to have turned volatile as it also hits production at the plant of the two-wheeler majors. Police entered both premises on Wednesday causing panic among protesters.
While workers from Yamaha have been protesting for eight days now, Enfield workers started their agitation on Monday. “Royal Enfield Employees’ Union, who applied for registration, demanded a settlement on their charter of demands, including wage increase,” said R Sampath, vice-president, Working People Trade Union Council and vice-president of Royal Enfield Employees’ Union.
Almost 1,300 workers from Enfield and 750 from Yamaha are taking part in the protest. However, police asked protesters to clear the Yamaha plant citing a High Court order that prevented them from agitating within 200m of the campus.
This caused unrest among workers, some of whom threatened to jump off a cell-phone tower.
“We, however, explained the order to them. The situation is under control now and they moved the protest 200m away from the campus,” said Santhosh Hadimani, Kancheepuram SP.
Royal Enfield had allegedly put up an internal notice stating that the company will consider the training over if trainees do not show up to work by Friday.
Labourers from the plant alleged that police officials tried dissolving the protests forcibly, but Hadimani argued that they kept the situation under control without causing unrest. Both companies have not responded yet.