Toyota Kirloskar’s labour trouble continues with halved production, while workers go on with relay hunger strikes

The Indian auto makers get their fare share of labour unrest and agitating workers every now and then. While 2012 witnessed the gruesome labour violence at Maruti Suzuki factory, in 2013 Mahindra got quite some trouble handling its workers. Now, in 2014 it is Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s (TKM) turn. Though the Japanese car major has withdrawn the lockout of its twin manufacturing facilities in Bidadi close to Bangalore, the workers are yet to commence work. In fact, it cannot be said as to when the wage hike issue between the company and its workers union will get resolved.

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After the company lifted the factory lockout, the workers refused to resume work as they refused to sign a good conduct agreement provided by the company who feared some labour unrest within the factory premises. The agitating Toyota workers then went in for indefinite hunger strike. However, now the Workers Union has called off the indefinite hunger strike as some of the workers fell ill.

The Workers Union stated that some of the senior workers, who were fast for 6 consecutive days showed health deterioration and complications, after which they were admitted to Rajarajeshwari hospital. The union further revealed that the protest demonstration will be continued, now in the form of the relay hunger strike, in which a different set of union members will be fasting each day to continue the hunger strike. In the meantime, the Karnataka state labour department has fixed a meeting between the workers union leaders and the Toyota Kirloskar management on 10th of April to try to find a possible solution for this problem.

On the other hand, the world’s leading car maker Toyota has revealed that it is facing low production problem in its two car plants because of the agitating workers. TKM says that its production has decreased by half its original amount as the company is now mostly relying on the services of the newly hired contract workers. Toyota revealed that only 300 out of the 4,200 permanent workers have now resumed work, while the bulk majority is protesting outside the plants after almost 15 days post the eight-day factory lockout was lifted by the company.

The issue over the pay hike has been going on between the company and its workers union for about a year now.

Senior executive at TKM, Shekar Viswanathan said that the company’s production has fallen down by 50 percent to 350 cars per day from the previous 700 cars per day. The twin manufacturing facilities of Toyota India produce about 310,000 cars per year, which includes the Toyota cars such as the Camry sedan, Camry Hybrid, the Corolla Altis, and the Etios and Liva primarily for the domestic Indian car market.

The carmaker is still maintaining its demand for taking the good conduct pledge by the workers, as it wishes to avoid any violence. Viswanathan has also negated the workers unions claims that the company’s “good conduct” agreement has certain clauses that prevent workers union activity.

This post was written by

Pavan Kumar – who has written posts on Toyota Cars India | New Toyota Car | Latest Toyota cars.
I am into the auto blogs field for quite a long time. Living my passion of reviewing cars.

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