Toyota Kirloskar employee stir: Govt sets Dec 7 deadline for both sides to reach a settlement

The Labour department officials held a marathon meeting with the representatives of employees union and the management on Monday, and said they have to settle their issues in about a week’s time failing which the government will intervene, and ini...

Bengaluru: The State Government has set a deadline of December 7 for the Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKML) and its striking employees to sort out their issues amicably, and resume full scale production activities.

The Labour department officials held a marathon meeting with the representatives of employees union and the management on Monday, and said they have to settle their issues in about a week’s time failing which the government will intervene, and initiate legal proceedings.

“We cannot sit idly as hundreds of families are suffering due to the strike. I have been getting requests from many workers and their families to intervene and end the strike. We will resort to legal action to bring the strike to an end if things continue like this even after December 7,” Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar told ET.


As of Monday, the minister said, about 700 workers have given an undertaking to the company, pledging to abide by the workplace discipline as laid down by the management. “Karnataka is a peaceful state, and free from industrial unrest. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa does not want our state to acquire a negative image outside because of this strike. The very purpose of recent changes to labour laws was to get more investment,” the minister said.

Production of vehicles at the TKM facility is slowly picking up with some more workers returning. “There is no lockout,” a company official said, adding that those who are interested can join work after committing to abide by the company’s discipline.

The 432-acre modern facility, located at Bidadi, about 40 km from Bengaluru, is currently producing about 120 vehicles a day, a tad lower than the requirement. But since the company has already ensured sufficient inventory at the dealers' end, there has not been a crisis at showrooms, sources aware of the subject said.
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The TKML Workers Union has continued with the strike insisting that the company first withdraw the orders of suspension of 40 employees. The TKM management has not budged from its stated position that they are not ready to negotiate matters related to workplace discipline.

Sections of employees are learnt to have approached political leaders in Ramanagara district, but nothing much has come out of it. The district in-charge minister CN Ashwath Narayan as well as minister Hebbar were the first who tried to mediate, but their efforts were in vain.

The employee stir, which began on November 10 , has entered its fourth week now, raising concerns among all stakeholders, including the Industries department which has been highlighting availability of skilled labour as well as the peaceful labour climate as one of Karnataka’s key strengths.
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