Back in November 2020, Toyota Kirloskar Motor had announced that it had halted production at its Karnataka facility after the members of workers’ union went on a sit-in strike in the company premises. The union went on strike because their demand to withdraw the suspension of one the workers was not met. Toyota’s spokesperson had said earlier that the suspended employee was found in breach of discipline and unacceptable behaviour which is in violation of law and service policy of the company.
The spokesperson further added that the Union resorted to an illegal strike in which team members unlawfully stayed in company premises.
Then, in light of the continued illegal strike by Toyota Kirloskar Motor Employees Union, the management was forced to announce a second lock-out on November 23rd 2020. However, the company had resumed production with over 1,200 team members who had expressed their intention to work with discipline, through a simple undertaking of good behaviour. Thereafter, in view of a meeting held between Dr Ashwathnarayan, Honourable Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka with the TKM ( Toyota Kirloskar Motor ) management and having observed a gradual improvement in safety situation, both inside and outside the company premises, TKM Management had decided to withdraw the lock-out, without any compromise to discipline and productivity.
This was in the interest of both team members and their families as well as the company. Consequent to the lifting of the lockout, operations would enhance with effect from the second shift of January 12, 2021, in both the plants. Employees returning to work will sign a simple undertaking for good conduct and report to work. The Suspension Pending Enquiry of 66 unionized employees for serious misconducts will continue and domestic enquiries will be conducted adhering to the principles of Natural Justice.
Toyota’s official statement read, “We believe that our success depends upon the dedication of our team members. Furthermore, as a people-centric company, TKM has been at the forefront of providing a conducive working environment including competitive compensation packages, as well as unique welfare measures over and above the statutory requirements, to improve the quality of life of its workforce. As a world-class manufacturing company, we will continue to introduce favourable and unique policies that support our employee while further fostering a safe and rewarding working environment that suits the diverse needs of our team members and their families.”
Furthermore, “The safety and well-being of all our stakeholders and especially our employees being of utmost importance to us, and we would like to emphasize that basic discipline will continue to be the cornerstone of our business principles and we will not compromise on behaviour and acts that threaten Toyota’s safety philosophy and its brand value in the country.”
We are extremely grateful to the Government of Karnataka, Labour department, Police Department and other authorities for lending their strong support in restoring peace in and around the plant premises and assuring the protection of loyal employees who have and will return to work. Over the years, TKM has nurtured a strong bond with the state of Karnataka and we will actively promote this spirit not only within Toyota but will continue to support the community at large while upholding the state’s conducive business environment.”