Toyota re-imposes lock-out at Bidadi plant

Toyota Kirloskar re-imposes lock-out at Bidadi plant as majority of workmen continue strike

Last week, the Karnataka government had banned the strike and lock-out

A worker drives a tug through the Innova Crysta compact multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) production line at the Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd. plant in Bidadi, Karnataka. Credit: Bloomberg.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has once again declared lock-out at its car manufacturing plant at Bidadi near Bengaluru, barely four days after withdrawing it following a direction from the state government.

The fresh move to impose lock-out came as only a few workmen have reported to work as on date and the workers are continuing their illegal strike.

“For the plant operations to run smoothly and effectively, a minimum workforce of 90% in each shift is required and in view of the current situation, it is not viable to carry on with manufacturing activity with a small number of workmen reporting in,” a TKM Spokesperson said.

The company would be initiating next action in accordance with the law, the company said in its statement.

The company had withdrawn the lock-out with effect from November 19 after the state government had banned the sit-in strike launched by the workmen and the lock-out imposed by the management. The government had directed for resuming the operations. It had also told the workmen to cooperate with the management.

On November 9, the TKM Employees Union had launched a strike and the company had declared lock-out on November 10. While the company lifted the lock-out, the workmen have continued their strike in demand for the revocation of the suspension of 39 Union members.

“Few members of the Union are also instigating the illegal strike and disrespecting other members who want to return to work or those who are already working and taking on additional burden caused by the strike. They were also involved in making derogatory and provocative speeches, defaming the company and its officials and threatening the officers of the company,” the Spokesperson said.

Post-withdrawal of the lock-out by TKM management, every day around 400 to 500 union members are trying to barge into the company forcibly at unscheduled times beyond their designated shifts. Such hostile activities of these team members have created a volatile situation around the factory premises and unsafe conditions for the other employees. As a result of this, the company had to enforce the lock-out once again starting November 23, the company said.

“TKM would like to find a quick resolution to this ongoing situation through mutual trust and respect, and with thorough communication with the members. Unfortunately, the same isn’t being respected or reciprocated by some members who have been vitiating fundamentally expected behaviour required for seeking an end to this illegal strike. TKM intends to initiate necessary actions in accordance with the law,” the TKM Spokesperson added.

Despite repeated attempts, TKM Employees Union office bearers did not respond.

Since 1999 Toyota has been manufacturing cars at its Bidadi factory. It employs 6,500 workers in both its plants.