Reverse migration from several states has begun to take a toll on the revised production schedules of auto companies that have begun production following the gradual easing of the nationwide lockdown.
India’s fourth-largest tyre producer by tonnage, Ceat, is facing manpower shortage of temporary workers following incessant migration of workers from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and other states forcing the central government to start special trains to ferry them.
The Mumbai-based, RPG Group flagship company has recommenced manufacturing operations at six of its seven plants but is facing shortages of drivers, material handlers, utility caretakers to name a few, a top Ceat official told Moneycontrol.
Kumar Subbiah, chief financial officer at Ceat said: “In addition to our permanent employees we have lots of other people working in our manufacturing plants. Availability of those people who are responsible for the maintenance of plant and machinery, utilities, handling of materials, we are facing some challenges.”
Several companies from auto as well as non-auto sectors have reported driver shortage. “We are also facing a challenge to move the raw material from the source to the plants because there is a shortage of drivers. This is not hampering our production but we are in a tight situation”, added Subbiah.
All of India’s automotive and auto ancillary companies have restarted factories after securing the go-ahead from the local administration. However many of them are operating at a quarter or less than half of their full strength because of restrictions on manpower.
“As a company, we are drawing new standard operating procedures and strictly following guidelines on safety. We have put in use more transport for getting the same number of people to the plants. But there are challenges such as there is some resistance from families of the employees and the society”, added Subbiah.
Some employees of Maruti Suzuki at Haryana and Hyundai Motor India at Tamil Nadu tested positive for COVID-19 after the two automakers resumed manufacturing operations six weeks after being asked to shut by the government. There has, however, been no impact of this on production of the two companies.