Toyota India resumes operations as workers return

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Toyota India’s twin car plants resumed full operations Tuesday after its striking unionised employees returned to work after a 36-day stand-off with management over wage hike and other issues.
“All workmen have come to work as planned,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd said in a terse statement hours after the employees entered the factory at Bidadi, about 30km from Bangalore, for the morning and evening shift.
Of the 6,400 employees, 4, 200 are members of the Toyota Kirloskar Motor Union (TKMU), while the remaining 2,200 are on contract.
“All our members have reported to duty and joined the shift as per the roster. We are also relieved that the management did not ask us to sign any conditional letter it was insisting since March 24,” TKMU general secretary R Satish told IANS.
The union called off its month-long strike and the 21-day relay hunger fast after the state government April 19 ordered the management to restore normalcy in operations for maintaining industrial peace and harmony in the state.
“Resuming work has been smooth as we did not face any problem on the shop floor or in the assembly lines with our supervisors or management staff,” Satish said.
Both the management and union have agreed to abide by the government order, which clarified that the lockout was prohibited under the provisions of law (section 10 (3) of the Industrial Disputes Act).
Though the management declared lockout March 16 and lifted it March 24, the unionised employees refused to enter the plants till the conditional letter was withdrawn and suspension of their 30 colleagues was revoked.
“With all issues, including wage hike and suspension being referred to the industrial tribunal for adjudication, we returned to work in the interests of all,” Satish said.
The two plants have an installed capacity to produce about 310,000 units annually.
The 16-year-old 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.