BANGALORE: Renewed talks between Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) union members and the company management failed to end a 24-day impasse, with both sides unwilling to budge from their stands.On Thursday, the Karnataka labour department called for a meeting between the two in a bid to get both parties back on to the dialogue table. Another round of talks is now scheduled on Friday afternoon.
Speaking to TOI, R Satish, general secretary, Toyota Kirloskar Workers Union said, "Nothing happened. The management is not willing to discuss the issue of reinstating 30 suspended union members. Talks can't progress if this issue isn't first sorted out."
While implementing a lockout at its two manufacturing facilities on the outskirts of Bangalore, TKM also suspended 30 members pending inquiry on grounds of 'serious misconduct'.
Last week Shekar Viswanathan, vice-chairman of TKM, said in an interaction with the press, "We only suspended them pending inquiry. No charge sheets have been filed because there is a due process of law. There will be an independent inquiry done and then a punishment if required will be meted out. If it's not required then the workers will be reinstated with full wages."
The 4,300-strong union hasn't reported back to work since TKM lifted its 8-day lockout on March 24 and is currently on a relay hunger strike. TKM claims that 300 members have reported back to work after signing an undertaking of good conduct. This undertaking is another bone of contention between the management and union.
TKM is currently operating its facilities with the aid of 1,200 supervisory staff with production levels having declined by 50% to 60% since mid-March. The waiting period for Toyota cars has risen to between 30 and 45 days.