A labour union strike and lock out at the Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) at Bidadi near Bengaluru, which has now gone on for 23 days, has the potential to spread to other industries in the region if not resolved, the Karnataka Employers Association has said in a letter to the state chief secretary.
The two car manufacturing plants at the TKM’S Bidadi unit had gone into an initial lockdown on November 10 after the union called a strike over suspension of an employee due to “breach of discipline and unacceptable behaviour within the factory premises”.
Following intervention of the Labour Department of the Karnataka government, which prohibited the strike and the lockout, the factory attempted to return to normalcy from November 20 but another lock out was declared on November 23 over failure of employees to obey factory rules.
The unaffiliated Toyota Kirloskar Motors Employees Union has said that the workers went on strike over an “unsceintific increase in workload” imposed at the factory from November 9, with the aim of increasing the production speed of cars at the two plants, which employ 6,500 workers.
In a letter to the Chief Secretary of Karnataka, the president of the Karnataka Employers Association B C Prabhakar called for measures to end the strike and lock out at Toyota, including arrests of union leaders and imposition of curfew in the Bidadi region, to allow the return of workers to the factory.
The Toyota Bidadi factory, spread over 432 acre, employs around 6,500 people and can produce up to 3.10 lakh vehicles. The two plants at Bidadi produce the Innova, the Fortuner, the Toyata Yaris and the Camry Hybrid.