This Article is From Mar 17, 2014

Toyota's Bidadi workers seek state government's intervention over lockout: report


Upping the ante against Toyota Kirloskar Motor's management over the wage hike issue and subsequent lockout at the two plants at Bidadi near Bangalore, the union of the automaker's employees on Monday sought state government's intervention on the matter, according to sources.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor, subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp of Japan, had on Sunday declared a lockout the manufacturing plants at Bidadi, following failure of talks between the management and the union over wage negotiation. (Read more)

"We want the government to immediately intervene in the matter and resolve the issue," Toyota Motor union sources said in Mumbai.

"We have already submitted a memorandum to the government in this regard."

Alleging that the lockout is only for the nearly 4,200 unionized workers at the two facilities, sources said the unions will hold a demonstration in front of the Labour Commissioner's office in Bangalore on Tuesday.

"The two facilities combined have 4,200 regular employees besides 1,500 contract workers. However, the company has declared lockout only for the unionized workers. It is rolling out vehicles with the help of contract workers and those some 1,500 staffers including managers who are not part of the union," they said.

The union is demanding a wage hike of Rs 4,000 at the main level as against Rs 3,050 proposed by the management, they said. 

"We are only asking for the same hike which the management had agreed upon for the 2013 fiscal as well. But what the management is offering us is much below the FY13 level," the sources added.

The management and the union have been discussing the charter of demands for financial year 2013-14 for the past 10 months, the Japanese auto major said in a statement.

"As a bipartite agreement was not reached, the Karnataka Labour Department has conducted seven tripartite meetings to reach a settlement. But the conciliation efforts have not yet resulted in an agreement, leading to the lockout," the company said while announcing the lockout.

The statement also said even as the talks were on, instigated by the union, a section of the workers has resorted to deliberate stoppage of the production line and threatened supervisors and continuously disrupted business for the past 25 days.

"In this background, the company is left with no other option but to declare a lockout to ensure the safety of its workers and management personnel," the statement concluded.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor is an 89:11 joint venture between Toyota, the world's largest auto company, and the Pune-based Kirloskar Group.

The two plants, set up on a sprawling 432 acres of land parcel in the Bangalore suburb, have an installed capacity of 3,10,000 units, split into 1 lakh and 2.10 lakh units, respectively.