Latest Car News in India

Thursday, March 27, 2014

By John Andrew

Toyota Workers willing to discuss on wage issue with management

Workers at Toyota India's plant near Bangalore have said they "are open to discussions" on the wage dispute that has led to a temporary factory closure and a stand-off between the management and employees. However, the workers want the management to revoke the suspension of several of their colleagues and to not insist on a "good conduct agreement," said a senior representative of the union. 
 
"We are open to discussions (over wages) and we think both sides can come to an amicable solution," Toyota Kirloskar Workers Union president Prasanna Kumar, told ET, adding, "We won't remain stuck on Rs 4,000" as monthly salary increase. The management is willing to offer an increase of Rs 3,050. With the company not open to accept either of the two demands, Kumar said "it will take time" before any resolution can be reached with Toyota Kirloskar, which is an 89:11 joint venture between the world' largest car maker Toyota and Bangalore-based Kirloskar Group. 
 
A company executive "welcomed the statement" and said Toyota will decide on its strategy in the coming days, declining to elaborate. Experts believe that the workers' latest position suggests that the management holds the upper hand. "The holding capacity of workers has traditionally been low. And in this case too, workers seem to be softening," said Pranabesh Ray, dean of academics at Jamshedpur-based Xavier Labour Relations Institute. For now, Toyota Kirloskar has started "limited plant operations with the help of non unionised team members" numbering 300, helping the company make 60-80 cars a day, as against an output of 550 cars a day in February according to a representative of the union.
 

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