Indo-Japanese car making collaboration Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited has announced that it would lift the lockout at its Bidadi factory, off Bangalore. The lifting of the lockout comes on the back of the management deciding that the workers of the Toyota factory could return to work from Monday, the 24th of March, after signing a “simple” undertaking that promises good conduct.
Here’s official word from Toyota regarding the lifting of the lockout.
Considering the inclination and in the interest of majority law-abiding team members, we have decided to lift the lockout implemented vide notice dated March 16, 2014. Consequent to our above decision, the team members are welcome to resume work with effect from March 24 after signing a simple undertaking on good conduct.
Although Toyota has made the offer to lift the lockout from Monday subject to the undertaking from the workers, the TKMEU workers union is yet to agree to the terms of the undertaking. Until the workers union finds the undertaking kosher, the fate of the lockout hangs in balance. Since the lockout on the 16th of March, Toyota has faced a production loss of 2,800 cars. The Liva, Etios, Innova, Corolla Altis, Camry and Fortuner are built at Bidadi.
Notably, the Japanese car maker has suspended 17 workers affiliated to the Toyota Kirloskar Motors Employees Union (TKMEU) on charges of misconduct and indiscipline, and the fate of these workers remains unknown at this point in time. Labour trouble at Toyota isn’t new. The company had faced a similar lockout in 2006, which ended with the suspension and dismissal of a set of workers.
Worker-management conflicts at auto-making factories in India have been regular occurrences over the past few years. Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, General Motors, Bajaj Auto, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India, are some of the automakers who have faced worker-management conflicts over the past few years.