Bangalore : A deadlock between the management and union of Toyota Kirloskar Motor took a new twist on Monday after a lockout at its two plants at nearby Bidadi was lifted, with employees not resuming work as they objected to signing a good conduct undertaking.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor said it welcomed any steps taken by the Karnataka government that would help resolve the issue at its plants in Bengaluru at the earliest. The company said it will keep shifts at both its plants in Bengaluru running, and that team members were welcome to join duty provided they sign the “simple good conduct undertaking.”

The union said the first shift employees were stopped at the gate as the management insisted they sign the undertaking.

“We refused to sign, but they insisted on signing it and did not allow us inside,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor Employees Union (TKMEU) President Prasanna Kumar told reporters here.

He said they had planned to meet the chief minister to seek his intervention. The chief minister’s officials said he was in Mysore and he could not intervene directly as the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls is in place.

“According to our plea, the lockout has to be lifted unconditionally, suspension of 30 members has to be cancelled and all our problems relating to workload, unsafe work conditions, wage revisions have to be solved. Government has to intervene and solve these issues,” he added.

No compromise on discipline: Mgmt

The company, however,  said that employees must apologise first. “Discipline is required when you are in an industrial environment with a large number of workers. They need to obey rules. The words compromise and discipline don’t go together,” Toyota Kirloskar Motors Vice Chairman – External Affairs Shekar Viswanathan told PTI. He said the issue with the workers’ union at the plant has now gone beyond the wage hike negotiations. Kumar said the management has kept 30 members in suspension, pending enquiry without issuing any chargesheet.

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