Perambra lockout has hit turnover: Apollo Tyres

Perambra lockout has hit turnover: Apollo Tyres

Kochi: Apollo Tyres on Tuesday said that the lockout at its Perambra unit has impacted the turnover, and efforts were on to bridge the gap through other plants in India.

“The lockout impacts our topline and some of our customers... All efforts are being made to meet the gap through our other plants in India," Satish Sharma, Apollo chief (India), said in a statement.

The tyre major’s total capacity in India is around 1,000 tonnes a day, of which the Perambra unit produces 300 tonnes.

The 12-day lockout since June 11 was the result of a stance taken by a small section of workers during negotiations over the Long Term Settlement (LTS), he said.

The management initiated LTS talks in November 2009, much before the expiry of the current settlement. When a series of bilateral discussions failed, the State Labour Department had to intervene.

“Despite our best efforts, the trade unions resorted to an illegal ‘go slow’, forcing the management to take disciplinary action," he said.

Sharma claimed that the LTS offered was the best in Kerala, and exceeded the benchmark by more than 10%.

Investments have been made to take the Perambra unit’s capacity to 340 tonnes per day from the current 308.

As per discussions held with trade unions so far, Apollo has also agreed to recruit more people for expansion.

Sharma said that Apollo had always been an outstanding paymaster and employer, and was running an efficient operation in Kerala.

“We know for a fact that more than 85% of the workers are keen on closing this negotiation and returning to work. However, they are being held ransom by a small minority. We are working with everyone with an open mind and doing our best to resolve the issue at the earliest," he said.

The Kerala government is actively engaged in resolving the stalemate.