Ford declares ‘no production days’ on May 28, 29 at Tamil Nadu plant

CHENNAI: Ford India, the subsidiary of US auto-maker Ford, on Thursday said it would observe ‘no production days’ on May 28 and 29 following a demand from a section of workers to suspend operations at its facility near here.
The announcement comes on a day when some employees at the plant located in Maraimalai Nagar demanded suspension of production by boycotting the lunch served to them, citing high prevalence of Covid-19.
Auto companies like Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd and Hyundai Motor India had recently declared holidays to their respective factories situated on the outskirts of the city after facing similar demands from employees.
Employees of the Ford India plant demanded that the production be suspended in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
“We boycotted the lunch to express our displeasure. Production has been going on… We want the company to declare holidays by temporarily halting production, till the situation improves in the state,” Chennai Ford Employees’ Union sources told PTI.
The company has been operating the facility in a single shift and nearly 1,500 to 1,700 employees work on a single day.
“Given the pandemic, the workers fear for their lives. Besides, the state government has also declared a total lockdown,” they said.
“We want the company to declare a holiday till the ongoing Covid lockdown ends. The Tamil Nadu government has announced a lockdown till May 31. If the government extends it, then we also want the management to extend the holiday..”
A Ford India spokesperson said the company has declared “no-production days” on Friday and Saturday, following the representation made by employees.
“Employee safety is and has been our topmost priority and we will observe NPDs (no production days) on Friday and Saturday in line with the feedback received from our employees”, the company said in an email sent by PTI.
Tamil Nadu has been reporting in excess of 30,000 Covid-19 infections a day. The overall Covid caseload touched 19.45 lakh on Wednesday while 21,815 people have succumbed to the virus so far in the state.