Citing failure to reach an agreement with the union and also disruption in the production line, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Pvt. Ltd., at Bidadi, near here, declared lock-out with effect from Sunday.

The management and the union have been discussing the charter of demands for the financial year 2013-2014 for nearly a year. While the members of TKM Employees’ Union had resorted to dharna, pushing for a negotiation with the management, they had also gone on token strike twice — February 10 and February 28.

In a release, the TKM said that the bipartite agreement had not been reached yet despite the Labour Department conducting seven tripartite meetings to reach a settlement.

The release alleged that the union instigated certain sections of the employees, who had resorted to deliberate stoppages of the production line, abuse and threatening of supervisors thereby continuously disrupting business for the past 25 days.

“The company is left with no other option but to declare a lock-out of the premises to ensure safety of workers and management personnel. All these unlawful activities have been detailed in the lock-out notice,” the company release said.

A TKM spokesperson whom The Hindu contacted declined to comment on the inventory and possible effects of lock-out on sales.

The TKM plant at Bidadi, it is learnt, produces about 700 to 800 vehicles (6 models), including Innova, Fortuner, Corolla, Camry and Etios.

TKM employs about 6,400 people, including those in the managerial roles and about 15 suppliers and ancillary units employ around 3,000 people.

Meanwhile, Prasanna Kumar C., president of TKM Employee Union, which has about 4,100 members, denied having affected production or involved in abuse or threatening supervisors.

He also said that over the last one year despite best efforts by the union to arrive at an amicable solution, the company did not respond well. “Reduction of work load and wage revision are among the seven in the charter of demands placed by the workers,” he said, adding that they would be meeting Labour Department Secretary and Commissioner on Monday.

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