Bengaluru, December 16: Workers of Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) manufacturing unit in Karnataka's Bidadi have been protesting against the company over "additional workload" and "no bathroom breaks" since early November. The protesting workers of Toyota Kirloskar have not been paid since November 9 and the stalemate continues despite the intervention of the Karnataka government. The plant is currently shut even as the state government declared workers' strike and lockout of the unit by Toyota Kirloskar "illegal". Karnakata Apple iPhone Plant Violence: Wistron Reports Losses Worth Rs 440 Crore, Says Thousands of iPhones Were Stolen During Rampage.
Workers of Toyota Kirloskar went on a strike on November 9 when a meeting with the management resulted in the suspension of an employee. "We gathered during lunch to try and talk to the management. But they stopped the second shift and announced a holiday because we gathered in front of the office. We were asking for the management to come out and discuss with us, but they didn’t come," Chandan of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Employees Union (TKMEU) was quoted by The News Minute as saying.
The unit was shut down Toyota Kirloskar on November 10. The lockout was briefly lifted after the state government's labour department stepped it and asked the TKM not to ask employees to sign an undertaking. However, the workers alleged that they were asked to sign an undertaking stating that they will do whatever the management says in order to maintain peace. Few workers turned up to resume duty, but mostly stayed away.
Consequently, the lockout was reimposed. Workers alleged they are forced to do excessive work without even bathroom breaks. According to TKMEU, it took 3 minutes to assemble an Innova, but the company had asked workers to do it within 2.5 minutes without providing additional manpower or extra pay. "If any defects happen because of this, workers will be impacted. They will issue a notice and then cut our salary. This puts a lot of pressure on us, and will eventually make us leave," Prasanna Kumar, the president of TKMEU, told TNM.
On December 14, Karnataka Labour Commissioner Akram Pasha held a meeting with protesting workers of Toyota Kirloskar and declared the strike and lockout illegal. "The workers were convinced to lift the lockdown and start working," Pasha had said. However, workers continued their strike.