Bangalore, March 21 IANS | 8 months ago

Toyota India has agreed to lift the lockout in its twin car plants five days after shutting them down over a failed wage hike deal with its employees.

"The decision (to lift lockout) was taken considering the inclination and in the interest of the majority of law-abiding team members," Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd said in a statement hours after talks with its workers' union ended in presence of a senior state labour official here late Thursday.

The company, however, has asked the employees to give an undertaking on good conduct before resuming work Monday.

"As our priority is to lift lockout, we are working on modalities to ensure they (employees) return to work Monday," additional state labour commissioner J.T. Jinkalappa told IANS.

Management and union have also agreed to adjudicate the contentious wage hike issue.

"We have asked management to first revoke suspension of 17 workers before lifting lockout, as we are asked to ensure good conduct," TKM employees union president Prasanna Kumar told IANS early Friday.

The workers, who are all members of the trade union, were suspended late Wednesday for "misconduct and indiscipline".

But the union maintained that the suspended letters were not received by the affected employees, including some working for over a decade in the 16-year old firm.

"No chargesheet was served against them as per the state labour laws prior to suspension. We have sought the state government's intervention for revoking the suspension orders," Kumar said.

The joint venture's factories are located in the Bidadi industrial township, about 30 km from this tech hub.

Union General Secretary R. Satish, however, termed the conditions put to workers for resuming work harsh and that their interests would be harmed.

The Japanese global firm's Indian joint venture's plants are located at Bidadi with a capacity to rollout about 700 cars a day, with an installed production of 310,000 units annually.

Of the 6,400 employees, about 4,000 of them are union members and the remaining (2,400) on contract in both the factories.

The joint venture rolls out a range of models, including Innova multi-utility vehicle, Camry sedan, Prius hybrid, Corolla Altis, Etios, Prado and Land Cruiser, with some of them imported as completely built units.

This is the second time lockout was declared after 2006 over dismissal and suspension of some employees then.

Toyota holds 89 percent equity in the joint venture with the remaining 11 percent by the Pune-based Kirloskar group.

(Posted on 21-03-2014)

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