Labor Unrest at Toyota India
On January 08, 2006, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited (TKM) announced an indefinitelockout of its vehicle manufacturing plant at Bidadi located near Bangalore, Karnataka. Thedecision was taken following a strike, which had entered its third day, by the ToyotaKirloskar Motor Employees Union (Employee Union), the only company recognized union.The lockout notice stated that the strike was illegal as the Employee Union did not give themandatory 14 day notice period as per Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.It also stated that the workers were indulging in violence and destruction. TKM was a jointventure, established in 1997, between Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), Japan's largestcar company and the second-largest car manufacturer in the world, and the Kirloskar Groupof India.Toyota holds an 89% equity stake and while the Kirloskar Group holds the remaining 11%.Toyota has invested nearly US$ 336 million (INR 15 billion) in the plant with capacity of producing 60,000 units per year. Toyota manufactures its world famous cars like Corolla,Camry and Innova at the plant.The plant had a total workforce of 2,378 out of which around 1,550 employees belonged tothe Employee Union. On January 06, 2006, the Employee Union went on strike with thedemand to reinstate three dismissed employees, ten suspended employees, and improvethe work conditions at the plant.
These employees had been dismissed and suspended by the company, on disciplinaryrounds, for attacking a supervisor and misconduct. TKM declared that it would not rehire norreinstate those employees culminating in the strike and lockout. TKM made several seriousallegations against the Employee Union.The company said that the striking workers were threatening to blowup LPG gas cylinders inthe company premises, obstructing the outward movement of manufactured vehicles,illegally stopping production, and manhandling other workers, who were not part of theEmployee Union, to strike.In...
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