The production of Royal Enfield motorcycles at Oragadam plant in Chennai has halted once again. It is the second time when workers went on strike. Earlier, they were on strike three months ago in late 2018. A notice for the strike was issued by the employees’ Trade Union Council on February 12 and the strike began on the next day at 3 pm at the production facility. Reportedly, the considered reason behind calling off strike once again is, the workers are not happy as the authority is not taking their demands seriously such as the wage hike and re-designation of certain employees as permanent staff. Primarily, the strike hit the Oragadam plant in late 2018, which continued for 50 days and affected production badly at the said manufacturing unit.
Eicher Motors, the parent company of Royal Enfield said while filing in the National Stock Exchange, "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 stated that among the manufacturing units the Oragadam plant is one and only where production is affected by the strike. However, a majority of its workforce is regular and still reporting to work. The Vallam Vadagaland and Tiruvottiyur are the other units which are 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 further added.
The previous strike which struck working at the Oragadam plant for the period from September 24 to November 12, 2018, affected the production of about 28,000 Royal Enfields. It was the time when the new Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 were in the queue to hit the Indian market. However, both the motorcycles have marked their presence not just in India but also in the International market. With such production loss due to strikes, again and again, the delivery time for the models will only be extended. As of now, the 650 motorcycles are on sale with a waiting period of about six months. If the demand rises for the 650 twins, it would consider whether models’ production being affected with the strike or not.