Home / Companies / News /  Toyota shuts Bidadi unit after staff strike

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd on Tuesday declared an indefinite lockout at its manufacturing facility in Bidadi on the outskirts of Bengaluru, terming as “illegal" a strike called by the workers’ union.

The staff resorted to the agitation after the suspension of one worker. The firm said the worker concerned has a “record of misconduct" and the action was taken after he was found to have violated factory discipline.

The unit of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. has two plants spread over 432 acres in Bidadi, where it manufactures its flagship Innova, Fortuner and Camry Hybrid, among other vehicles. The two plants have a total installed production capacity of 310,000 vehicles a year and employ 6,500 workers.

“Despite our efforts to maintain a cordial and healthy working environment based on active employee participation and maintaining desired level of discipline in the plant, one of the employees who has a systematic record of misconducts was again involved in breach of discipline and unacceptable behaviour which is in violation of law and service policy of the company. Accordingly, he has been placed under suspension pending enquiry," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The lockout comes days after Toyota Kirloskar expressed relief over a hint of revival in sales in October after a prolonged slump.

If the worker stir is not resolved shortly, it will affect the company’s plan to tap the ongoing sales recovery.

Reacting to the company’s step, Pradeep.N, the vice-president of the workers’ union said, “Our treasurer (Umesh Gowda Alur) had gone to speak to workers on their grievances inside the factory while the management announced his suspension pending inquiry citing some made-up charges".

Members of the 3,460-strong union are camping outside the factory after they were asked to vacate the complex where they were protesting since Monday afternoon.

Malyaban Ghosh in Mumbai contributed to the story.

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