The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 19 , 2014
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Karnataka offers help to end Toyota tussle

A guard moves a barricade outside Toyota unit near Bangalore on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Bangalore, March 18: The Karnataka government today stepped in to broker an amicable settlement of the Toyota plant lockout.

In separate meetings with the Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) management and its workers’ union, minister of state for labour (independent charge) T.P. Naik suggested a climb-down by both the parties to end the dispute.

“The government is trying to reach a fair settlement between the management and workers’ union. The deputy labour commissioner will take a decision. We hope both plants will resume production soon,” Naik said.

“The minister advised us to be flexible and go for a compromise with the management,” Sateesh. R, general secretary of the Toyota Kirloskar Motor Employees Union (TKMEU) told The Telegraph today.

In a statement, TKM said: “The deputy labour commissioner has called for a meeting with the TKM management and our representatives plan to meet him tomorrow.”

Toyota Kirloskar Workers Union president Prasanna Kumar said they would also meet the deputy labour commissioner on Wednesday.

“We told him (the minister) that the lock-out is illegal as the management did not meet the mandatory 14-day notice period before such an action,” Sateesh said.

“We made it clear to the minister that the workers were flexible. But what we need is an assurance that the increment will be somewhere between what the management proposed and what we demanded... But if the management refuses to do their bit, we will move to the next step of action,” said Sateesh.

Toyota Kirloskar vice-chairman Shekhar Vishwanathan said the company wanted workers to get back as production was being affected.

“We produce 570 cars every day and that is being affected,” he said.