The Karnataka government today stepped in to help resolve the imbroglio over the lockout at Toyota Kirloskar Motor's two manufacturing plants at Bidadi near here, saying it was working for a fair settlement.
The state Deputy Labour Commissioner has called for a meeting between Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) management and union representatives tomorrow to resolve the issue.
"Government is trying to reach a fair settlement between company management and workers' union. The Deputy Labour Commissioner will take a decision. We hope both plants will resume production soon," Labour Minister Parameshwar Nayak told reporters here.
Nayak held separate talks with the management and the workers' union at his residence here.
In a statement, TKM said: "The Deputy Labour Commissioner has called for a meeting with TKM management and our representatives are planning to meet him tomorrow."
Expressing hope for an early resolution to the stalemate, it added: "The lock out continues as of today and we are hopeful that an early solution can be found."
Toyota Kirloskar declared a lockout at the two plants at Bidadi on March 16 following the failure of talks between the management and the union over wage negotiations.
The union is demanding a wage hike of Rs 4,000 as against Rs 3,050 proposed by the management, Toyota Kirloskar Workers Union President Prasanna Kumar said.
Kumar said they are meeting the Deputy Labour Commissioner to sort out the problem. He alleged the management was diverting attention from the issue of their charter of demands related to workload and safety by imposing the lockout on the plant.
"We are asking the management to lift the lockout and provide the job. We are asking for salary increase from 2013 and we are discussing with them. But this was shocking to us," he said.
He said as many as 600 employees have been affected by the lockout and accused the management of "falsely leveling allegations that employees are slow in production and threatening the supervisor".
According to him there were a total of 6,000 workers of which 4,000 were union member and the rest non-union members.
Production has gone down because of decreasing sales, Kumar said, adding, "We didn't reduce production. They have reduced the working time."
Toyota Kirloskar Vice Chairman Shekhar Vishwanathan said the company wanted workers to get back as production is being affected.
"We produce 570 cars every day and that is being affected," he said.