The city has come to be known as the Detroit of India for its large concentration of automakers, but a series of labour disputes have rocked it, putting a question mark over industrial peace.
Car markers such as Hyundai Motor India, German luxury car maker BMW and Ford Motor India besides Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia India have set up their plants on the city outskirts employing more than 23,000 people.
As the city and other parts of Tamil Nadu woo more foreign and domestic companies, employees of several factories had resorted to strikes demanding recognition of Trade Union, good pay package.
Employees of Hyundai Motor India went on a flash strike in June 2010 demanding that the management reinstate 67 employees dismissed earlier for demanding recognition of trade union.
Similarly, employees of Nokia India also resorted to strike early in 2010 demanding wage revision. About 75 per cent of 8,000 employees working at Nokia's Sriperumbudur facility constitute women employees.
A tripartite agreement was then signed between Nokia India Employees Progressive Union and the management in the presence of Tamil Nadu Labour Minister T M Anbarasan to sort it out.
Similarly, another tripartite agreement was also signed with the Hyundai Management which has assured it would take back some sacked employees.
However, the latest in the series of strikes is in all three facilities of tyre major MRF at Arakkonam, Thiruvottiyur and in Puducherry.
According to sources, each facility produces truck and radial tyres and contributes about Rs 4,500 crore revenue to the company's total sales volume. When a strike is called in any unit, there is a shortfall in production of at least 5,000 units of tyres, they said.
Union sources said the employees were pressing for recognition of union,wage revision and removal of surveillance cameras. "Employees were against installation of CCTVs in Tiruvottiyur plant since it invaded their privacy.."a Union member claimed.
However MRF Workers' Union President and senior Advocate V Prakash said they would resort to a strike in future in a planned manner. "Right now we are having Union elections for our Tiruvottiyur plant.. after that we will decide on how to take up the issue...", he said.