An Indian arbitrator has asked the Japanese car maker, Renault-Nissan, to pay additional wages to its 3,542 workers at the Chennai plant. The arbitrator has asked the Company to pay an interim relief amount of Rs 7,100 per month as backdated dues as per an order passed on Aug 16. After this decision, the financial burden on Renault-Nissan will reportedly be about Rs 70.8 crore, which the Company is terming as unviable in the long run.
The dispute between the workers’ union at Nissan and the management has been on since July when Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangham filed an industrial dispute. Initially, the union demanded an interim relief payment of Rs 20,000 a month since the previous wage agreement had expired in March 2019. The union argued that the cost of living had increased amidst the pandemic situation, and the burden on workers had gone up tremendously. Initially the management offered to give an interim relief amount of Rs 4,500 a month, but the dissatisfied union had disputed.
The union also argued that compared to Hyundai, which is a similar-sized automobile company, was paying its workers and technicians a gross monthly salary of Rs 80,000, while Nissan was paying only in the range of Rs 33,000 to Rs 54,000 for the same work.
Nissan, however, stated that it would be unfair to compare the financial condition of Renault-Nissan with Hyundai Motors. As per media reports, the Company has not been performing too well in terms of profits in India. The arbitrator will further hear 50 other demands filed by the union, which, if agreed to, will cost Nissan 93 per cent more per worker.