On Tuesday, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd (TKM) has declared a lockout at its manufacturing plant situated at Bidadi, in the outskirts of Bengaluru, Karnataka. The company was forced to declare a lockout of the plant after its staff members went on a strike at the factory premises following the suspension of one of the workers.
In a press statement, the company said that they strive to maintain a cordial and healthy working environment with the employees and maintain a desired level of discipline in the plant. Despite this, one employee, who has a record of misconducts, was once again involved in a breach of discipline and unacceptable behaviour, which violates the company’s policy.
The Japan-based car manufacturer entered the Indian markets in a joint venture with Indian conglomerate Kirloskar Group in 1997. Toyota’s Bidadi facility has two production plants. The first plant has a capacity of producing around one lakh units per annum and the second plant has a capacity of around 2.1 lakh units per annum. The Bidadi facility produces 3.1 lakh units per annum. There are at least 6,400 employees working at the Bidadi facility.
A lockout is the exclusion of employees by their employer from their place of work until certain terms are agreed to. According to TKM, the sit-in strike is “illegal”. The company was forced to declare a lockout because a sit-in strike means an assembly of people and with the Covid-19 pandemic still raging through the country, it could compromise the health of the employees. The company has to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines.
On October 15, in an official statement, the company confirmed 14 new Covid-19 cases among its employees. On September 30, TKM confirmed 23 new cases among its employees. The company has stated that talks with relevant stakeholders is underway and are trying to resolve the issue as soon as possible.