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Bajaj Auto unions demand halt of Waluj unit after 250 staff catch Covid-19 – Livemint

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Employees at Bajaj Auto, India’s greatest exporter of motorbikes, are demanding the momentary closure of considered one of its vegetation after 250 staff there examined optimistic for coronavirus, its unions mentioned on Saturday, as corporations wrestle to ramp up operations.

India went into full lockdown in late March to curb the unfold of the virus however it has lately eased restrictions regardless of the variety of instances surging, placing some corporations in a tough place as they attempt to revive manufacturing.

The Bajaj Auto manufacturing unit affected is positioned in western Maharashtra, the state with the very best variety of instances of COVID-19, the illness the virus causes. The corporate mentioned in a letter to staff this week that those that don’t present up for work is not going to be paid.

“Persons are scared to return to work. Some are nonetheless coming however some are taking go away,” mentioned Thengade Bajirao, president of the Bajaj Auto Employees’ Union.

The corporate mentioned on June 26 that 140 of the roughly 8,000 employees on the manufacturing unit had caught the virus and two had died.

It mentioned work there wouldn’t be stopped, nevertheless, as the corporate wished to be taught to “stay with the virus”.

An official in Aurangabad district, overseeing the Waluj space the place the plant is positioned, mentioned the variety of instances had now gone as much as greater than 250.

Bajaj Auto didn’t reply to Reuters’ requests for remark.

On Saturday, India reported a report variety of greater than 22,000 day by day instances of an infection, taking the nationwide whole to greater than 640,000.

“We requested the corporate to briefly shut the plant for 10-15 days to interrupt the cycle however they mentioned there is no such thing as a level as folks will proceed to collect for social occasions outdoors of labor,” the Bajaj union’s Bajirao mentioned.

For each worker testing optimistic, 4 who work near them should be quarantined, affecting productiveness, he mentioned.

With an annual manufacturing capability of over 3.Three million motorbikes and different automobiles, the Waluj plant accounts for greater than 50% of Bajaj’s manufacturing quantity in India.

“If an worker stays absent at workplace or plant resulting from any motive regardless of being requested by the corporate … then his/her wage could be deducted 100% through the interval,” Bajaj mentioned within the letter to staff.

In Could, Chinese language smartphone maker OPPO suspended operations briefly at a plant close to New Delhi after some staff examined optimistic.

Employees and union leaders say Bajaj has taken steps to make sure social distancing on the manufacturing unit flooring and in its cafeteria, in addition to arranging separated seating on its buses and offering masks and sanitisers for workers. However they are saying this isn’t sufficient.

“On the meeting line, a number of folks contact the identical engine. We had been sporting gloves however nonetheless caught the virus,” mentioned one employee who was in hospital after testing optimistic for COVID-19.

This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Solely the headline has been modified.

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