Toyota to resume production with limited staff amid face-off with union

Topics Toyota  | Workers strike

A Toyota logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show. Photo: Reuters
Amid the continuing stand-off with workers, Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) on Thursday said it would resume operations involving supervisory and other staff. A significant number of workers continue their strike following differences with the management, it said.

“As on December 3. 2020, the company would like to confirm the resumption of production involving supervisory and other staff and workmen who have signed the undertaking despite the continuation of the illegal strike by a group of workers," a spokesperson for TKM said in a statement on Thursday.

The suspension of one worker, who is also an office bearer of the union triggered protests and a strike in Toyota’s Bidadi plant, near Bengaluru. The local arm of the Japanese firm has been in a lockout since November 10.  

Though the state labour department ordered workers to call off their strike and resume operations on November 19, the company says that less than 10 per cent returned and that it was forced to extend its lockdown four days later as the situation was “volatile".

Production at the maker of Innova and Fortuner has been crippled and it’s operating at less than 10 per cent capacity.

In a statement on Thursday, the Toyota Kirloskar Motor Employees Union said, “The workers were ready and willing to report to work. But the management did not allow them to report on the flimsy ground that they reported late,” the statement said.

They alleged that the management has been inconsiderate to the workers’ concern regarding the work load. They also claimed the company has been making frequent changes to the production norms without prior consultation with the recognised union.

The workers have been demanding re-instatement of the 40 suspended workers, including the office bearers. They also want the workload issues to be addressed.

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