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Police arrest protesting Yamaha staff in Kanchi
The labour strife at Yamaha Motor’s factory in Sriperumbudur continued for yet another day on Tuesday after hundreds of workers of the Japanese two-wheeler major resorted to protests raising several demands, including reinstating two employees who were dismissed from service. Police detained and removed the protesters, but the strike is set to continue for more days.
On Tuesday morning, more than 600 workers, part of the Indian Yamaha Employees Union affiliated to the CITU, staged a protest in front of the Kancheepuram bus terminus. Following this, the district arrested the union members and shifted them to a marriage hall in Kancheepuram. All the detained workers and union leaders were released later in the evening, police said.
The protest by the employees started as a sit-in protest inside the factory premise at Oragadam outside the city limits. The workers have been demanding better pay, contract workers to be made permanent staff and that their outfit should be formally recognised by the auto major as a workers’ trade union among other demands. However, Yamaha India refused to relent to these. Meanwhile, Raja Manikandan and Prakash, two workers who were campaigning to make the union official, were dismissed from service. This was the immediate trigger for the present agitation.
The agitating workers, who were on a sit-in since the last week of September, shifted their venue of protest from the factory premises to Kancheepuram bus terminus following an order from the Madras High Court, which directed them to stage protests only 200 metres away from the factory.
In the Sriperumbudur-Oragadam belt near Chennai, dubbed as the ‘Detroit of south’ owing to the presence of a large number of automobile manufacturers and ancillary companies that are part of the ecosystem, workers of a number of firms, including Royal Enfield and Myoung Shin Automotive India, have been on the protest path in the recent past.