Toyota’s Indian subsidiary has locked out around 6,400 workers at its two plants near Bangalore after workers protested against a delay in receiving pay rises following 10 months of negotiations.
In response to the protests and assembly-line stoppages, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) closed its factories on Sunday 16 March and has not said when they will re-open.
Prasanna Kumar of the Motor Corporation Employees’ Union said: “The lockout is illegal as management did not give the mandatory 14-day notice to employees and the state labour office.
“The lockout was declared unilaterally though we have been negotiating with management on wage hike for this fiscal (year) for 10 months.”
There have been a number of disputes in the Indian car industry in recent years. In 2012 a riot at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant near New Delhi was over wages and working conditions. The company locked out workers for a month, at a cost of $250 million in lost production. The dispute saw workers chase supervisors with iron rods, killing a personnel manager and injuring close to 100 other managers.
The Toyota lockout comes after the failure arbitration talks earlier this year and a lack of progress in negotiations which started last April.