The labour-capital dispute has reared its ugly head yet again and Toyota Kirloskar – an Ind0-Japanese car making venture situated at Bidadi, off Bangalore – is the latest carmaker to be involved in this tenuous relationship. Failure to emerge onto a consensus regarding a wage negotiation has led to Toyota Kirloskar locking out the factory, in a move that the management claims is to “ensure the safety of its workers and management personnel”.
Tensions between the management and workers at the Toyota factory in Bidadi is said to have been on the rise for the past 25 days with the management alleging production disruptions by a section of disgruntled workers at the behest of the workers’ union. Although the management and the workers’ union has been engaged in talks over a charter of demands for the past 10 months, a mutually agreeable solution is yet to be reached.
Amid this backdrop, it remains to be seen whether the upcoming launches from Toyota will take place as per schedule. Toyota has marked the launch of the 2014 Corolla Altis on the 27th of May. Also lined up for launch in a similar time frame is the Etios Cross, a crossover styled hatchback. If the lockout isn’t lifted soon, these launches could be delayed as Toyota will struggle to meet production targets. The factory operates on a just-in-time production pattern.
The Toyota Kirloskar Bidadi factory, off Bangalore, is situated on a land parcel of 432 acres. The factory has the capacity to produce 310,000 cars each year, and employs 6,400 personnel. Cars built at the factory include the Liva, Etios, Innova, Corolla Altis, Fortuner, Camry and Camry Hybrid. While the Innova MPV and the Fortuner SUV are best sellers in their respective segments, the other cars are steady sellers for the Japanese automaker.