Workers at the Royal Enfield Oragadam plant in Chennai have struck work for the second time, three months after the strike was originally called off. The Working People's Trade Union Council had issued a strike notice on February 12, but the strike only began a day later at 3 pm at the manufacturing facility. It's been reported that the workers were unhappy with the lack of progress of the negotiations over wage hike, and re-designation of certain employees as permanent staff. Previously, the employees union had announced a strike late 2018, which extended for a period of 50 days, affecting production at the facility.
In a filing to the national stock exchange, Eicher Motors, the parent company of the motorcycle maker said, "Royal Enfield remains deeply committed, as always in the past, to maintaining respectful relationships with all employees. We believe an engaged workforce and cordial industrial relations, create a culture of excellence where all employees are proud of their contributions to the organisation. It is unfortunate that a certain section of our workforce has resorted to an illegal strike at our Oragadam plant in Chennai despite the company's best efforts and positive intentions. We have been working
closely with our workforce and have undertaken various constructive and confidence-building initiatives."
Royal Enfield further elaborated that the Oragadam plant was only affected by the strike with a majority of its workforce still reporting to work; while the plants at Vallam Vadagaland and Tiruvottiyur, continue to remain fully operational.
"We are focused on resolving all issues in an amicable manner while keeping the best interests of the organization and our workforce in mind," the company added in the statement.
The previous strike at the Oragadam plant saw a production loss of about 28,000 units for Royal Enfield between the period of September 24 and November 12, 2018. At the time, the new Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 were yet to be launched in the Indian market. However, both motorcycles are on sale in India and internationally at present, and a production loss will only add to the delivery time on the bikes. The 650 motorcycles currently command a waiting period of about six months. With the demand rising, it needs to be seen if production will be affected due to the strike.