In a bid to break the impasse between the workers and management of Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) in Bidadi, the State government has prohibited the ongoing strike by workers as well as the lockout declared by the management. It has asked the management to take measures to reopen the unit. “We expect the operations to resume shortly,” said the TKM spokesperson in a statement.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of representatives of the workers’ union and the management of TKM, convened by Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, who is also in charge of Ramanagaram district, where the plant is located. “We have invoked Section 10(3) of the Industrial Disputes Act to prohibit the ongoing strike of TKM employees. We have also decided to nullify the lockout declared by the management of TKM and instructed them to resume industrial operations from tomorrow (Wednesday) itself,” Dr. Ashwath Narayan told The Hindu after the meeting.
The car-making unit had declared a lockdown at its Bidadi plant since November 10 after its union members commenced a sit-in strike demanding the withdrawal of the suspension of a union member. After a few days, the company suspended another 39 employees, pending inquiry, on charges of misconduct.
The meeting on Monday was attended by Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar, Additional Chief Secretary to Industries Department Gourav Gupta, and Additional Commissioner to Labour Department Manjunath, among others. At the meeting, Dr. Ashwath Narayan expressed concern over the State’s biggest car-making unit witnessing a strike and lockout at a time when there was a dire need to revive the economy, which has been hit by COVID-19. “The entire world is looking at India as an alternative investment destination to China. Several foreign companies, including those from Japan and South Korea, are looking at India, and particularly Karnataka, for setting up enterprises,” he said.