The workers at Toyota Kirloskar’s plant at Bidadi, Karnataka, have been agitating for almost a month now. The car manufacturing plant, which declared a lockout, has witnessed almost no production since November 10 forcing a delegation led by Vikram Kirloskar, vice chairman, to meet Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, seeking his intervention in resolving the unrest.
The workers had gone on strike following the suspension of one worker for indiscipline. They had resorted to an illegal sit-in strike within the premises, violating social distancing and causing risk of infection amidst the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, keeping the safety of the employees in mind, the Company had declared a lockout. Even when the Company did resume operations10 days later, only a few workers turned up for duty, following which operations had to be suspended again four days later, because according to the Company, at least 90 per cent of the workforce in each shift had to be present for the plant to operate effectively.
When the workers continued their unrest, about 39 workers were suspended for misconduct and placed under ‘Suspension Pending Enquiry, in line with the rules. The Company had assured that the said employees will be given all opportunities to prove their innocence during the inquiry.
Ever since then, discussions have been on between the management and the employees’ union as part of attempts to resume production and return to normalcy.
The CM’s help has been sought now to resolve the unrest so that production can resume at the earliest. The plant, that has a capacity of 3,10,000 per year, was looking forward to the surge in demand for passenger cars during the festive season.