Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 16th March 2014, 21:29   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
joybhowmik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 1,313
Thanked: 1,905 Times
Exclamation Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Quote:
"The management and the union have been discussing the charter of demands for the period FY14 for the past 10 months. As a bipartite agreement was not reached, the Karnataka Labour Department has conducted seven tripartite meetings to reach a settlement. But the conciliation efforts have not yet resulted in an agreement, leading to the lockout," the Japanese auto major said in a statement.

The statement also said even as the talks were on, a section of the workers, instigated by the union, has resorted to deliberate stoppage of the production line, and threatened supervisors and continuously disrupted business for the past 25 days.

"In this background, the company is left with no other option but to declare a lockout to ensure the safety of its workers and management personnel," the statement concluded.
Source: The Times of India

Last edited by joybhowmik : 16th March 2014 at 21:30.
joybhowmik is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2014, 22:58   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 681
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default

The production at the two plants having an installed capacity of 3,10,000 units, has been disrupted since the past 25 days.

Last edited by GTO : 17th March 2014 at 14:31. Reason: Removing last line, seems to have been posted in error
jessie007 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2014, 23:04   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
anjan_c2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: India
Posts: 5,531
Thanked: 4,705 Times
Default re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Do not know where the fault lies as of now - management or workers? But the important point is that the Karnataka industrial belt viz. Bidadi, near Bangalore is also falling a victim to labour unrest which is news. The equity holding pattern is 89:11 of Toyota vis a vis Kirloskar Group in this company.

Wish the lockout is lifted soon and the unrest quelled. Or else,another industrial belt not usually in the news for such unrest will make news. We had major labour unrest in Western Maharashtra in the 1980's and now its the Gurgaon- Manesar belt.
Hopefully, this belt should stay away from being branded as one famous for lockouts and strikes.

Last edited by aah78 : 17th March 2014 at 20:24. Reason: Post edited on request.
anjan_c2007 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 07:22   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
TheARUN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,272
Thanked: 493 Times
Default re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

This is bad news for Toyota. There seems to be some problem or the other with manufacturers from the East gelling with our mentality. Suzuki and Hyundai already have problems. Maybe we are not taking too well to the work culture of the Japanese. We seem to love it when the Americans come down and make 6 day working weeks 5 but do not like the Japanese who love protesting by working harder wearing a black band on their arms
TheARUN is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 10:19   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,385
Thanked: 14,314 Times
Default re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

I used to have a relative in labour relations at this plant. He left few years back as he couldn't deal with non-stop tension. The cause is the culture clash, Japanese trying to impose their work ethics to local populace. There was a case where a visiting Japanese engineer slapped a local employee for incompetence. It resulted in instant strike and it took many days to simmer down.

Last year while visiting Japan, I read in Japan Times that baseball team managers often beat the players to extract better performance. So I guess they don't see anything wrong with it.
Samurai is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 10:39   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 390
Thanked: 346 Times
Default re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I used to have a relative in labour relations at this plant. He left few years back as he couldn't deal with non-stop tension. The cause is the culture clash, Japanese trying to impose their work ethics to local populace.
To my knowledge, there are 2 aspects to these labour strifes.

The first one, of course, is the culture. A large population in the hinterlands, having come up through our schooling / educational system (often in the hinterlands) find it difficult to imbibe the consistency-obsessed, quality-obsessed work culture. I mean, everybody loves it as customers , but living it is another story altogether. And unfortunately that is the key differentiator- what other reason is there between the wide quality difference between a Japanese car-vs. aamchi Tata vs. Indian assembly of German cars like the Skodas? So, some tension there is inevitable. How managements manage it is the question.

The second cause, of course, is money and compensation. Different companies have different compensation "philosophies", some more exploitative than the other. At its root, of course, is the desire of most managements to keep fixed pay low, and negotiation only on the variable pay like bonuses and productivity linked incentives. Workers, for obvious reasons, want an increase in their fixed pay more than anything else. This has caused labour issues around the world, not just in India (China, S Korea, Europe and of course, in US as well). Its something the company management has to figure out for their own good.
Contrapunto is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 12:41   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bangalore
Posts: 144
Thanked: 45 Times
Default re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contrapunto View Post
To my knowledge, there are 2 aspects to these labour strifes.

The first one, of course, is the culture. A large population in the hinterlands, having come up through our schooling / educational system (often in the hinterlands) find it difficult to imbibe the consistency-obsessed, quality-obsessed work culture. I mean, everybody loves it as customers , but living it is another story altogether. And unfortunately that is the key differentiator- what other reason is there between the wide quality difference between a Japanese car-vs. aamchi Tata vs. Indian assembly of German cars like the Skodas? So, some tension there is inevitable. How managements manage it is the question.

The second cause, of course, is money and compensation. Different companies have different compensation "philosophies", some more exploitative than the other. At its root, of course, is the desire of most managements to keep fixed pay low, and negotiation only on the variable pay like bonuses and productivity linked incentives. Workers, for obvious reasons, want an increase in their fixed pay more than anything else. This has caused labour issues around the world, not just in India (China, S Korea, Europe and of course, in US as well). Its something the company management has to figure out for their own good.
Another indirect cause could be the company's performance in the market. Having one's market-share go down to 4.7% despite being in the market for so long, and having "awful performers" (to quote GTO) in their portfolio must also be a factor (albeit indirect) in wage-negotiations. If Toyota sees no hope in its market-share improving, IMHO management would be less inclined to agree to any revisions.
carZest is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 18:34   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Delhi
Posts: 36
Thanked: 17 Times
Default Re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Unfortunate! Here is India who may like to aim at becoming a global manufacturing house and then such incidents which result from the archaic labour laws in India.
The state government also must play an active role in such situations and try and act as third party mediator to drive some sense into both the parties.
Hiteshs77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 18:44   #9
BHPian
 
gomzi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 783
Thanked: 125 Times
Default Re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I used to have a relative in labour relations at this plant. He left few years back as he couldn't deal with non-stop tension. The cause is the culture clash, Japanese trying to impose their work ethics to local populace. There was a case where a visiting Japanese engineer slapped a local employee for incompetence. It resulted in instant strike and it took many days to simmer down.

Last year while visiting Japan, I read in Japan Times that baseball team managers often beat the players to extract better performance. So I guess they don't see anything wrong with it.
Interesting anecdote! However from a management perspective, I'm surprised that such a state of affairs has come about even after Toyota having spent so many years in India which would have given its Japanese managers a feel for the cultural differences here. I dare say the same Japanese engineer would not have even dreamt of slapping an employee in any western European or US plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carZest View Post
Another indirect cause could be the company's performance in the market. Having one's market-share go down to 4.7% despite being in the market for so long, and having "awful performers" (to quote GTO) in their portfolio must also be a factor (albeit indirect) in wage-negotiations. If Toyota sees no hope in its market-share improving, IMHO management would be less inclined to agree to any revisions.
Failure of the Etios models should be down more to the product designers and planners. Recently I read about a Toyota manager stating to journalists that they need to re-skin the cars to make them more attractive to the market and just having competent mechanicals will not do.
gomzi is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 18:44   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
NetfreakBombay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,387
Thanked: 338 Times
Default Re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
There was a case where a visiting Japanese engineer slapped a local employee for incompetence. It resulted in instant strike and it took many days to simmer down.
In that case, this "tension" is well-deserved. They should shut the shop if they cant communicate with employees.

If this employee is incompetent, he/she should have been fired.
NetfreakBombay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 19:29   #11
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,385
Thanked: 14,314 Times
Default Re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
In that case, this "tension" is well-deserved. They should shut the shop if they cant communicate with employees.
This was at least 7-8 years back.
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2014, 19:30   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 390
Thanked: 346 Times
Default Re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by carZest View Post
Another indirect cause could be the company's performance in the market. Having one's market-share go down to 4.7% despite being in the market for so long
Good point. Though it may be a stretch to blame shop floor employees for that. Etios has been a strategic blunder, it has been a major distraction and drain on funds both of which affect profitability. But for that, if heads have to roll, it should roll at the top. Which, I feel, must happen. Senior leadership must be held accountable for wrong strategic choices as much as an assembly line worker is held accountable for unit-level defects. If I was an employee there, and I see no consequences to leadership for failing to perform, but having to forego my salary increases even to keep pace with inflation, surely I will not be sympathetic.

IMO, If Toyota leadership does the "right thing", I am sure they will find their workers much more amenable to compromises.

Thoughts?
Contrapunto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th March 2014, 07:21   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sydney, AU
Posts: 844
Thanked: 587 Times
Default Re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Bad news for Toyota. Already they are suffering from market slowdown and the problems are getting more complex. Making comments without assessing the actual situation is useless. Having worked in a Japanese organization, I think Japanese companies normally work on very minimum resources. But they always keep a humanitarian view on all operations. Toyota has been in India for almost 15 years now, by this time the salaries of their workers must have reached to a decent level. Probably there will be some issues related to next year's salary increments negotiations. Hope they will settle it very soon.
MaxTorque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th March 2014, 07:32   #14
BANNED
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 776
Thanked: 687 Times
Default Re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Fiat India had closed down due to labor culture. Hindustan Motors, Bajaj became sick & almost closed down. Suzuki labor had beaten a manager to death.

Strikes and lockouts are only too common due to a handful of union leaders misleading ignorant employed & contract workers.

Fact is our labor productivity is pathetic & unionism has ruined many a company. We urgently need labor reforms to become more competitive with China.
gsurya is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th March 2014, 09:06   #15
Distinguished - BHPian
 
sudev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,513
Thanked: 2,387 Times
Default Re: Toyota declares lockout at Bidadi Plant - March 2014

Labour exploitation is always to be assumed?

Having managed reasonably large labour force in the past my experience is that unionism is short focused only on improving benefits and pay. They do not take a larger view of the company and economy. Yes the benefits should percolate down to labour but along with commitment to company and productivity.
sudev is online now   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Official: Spyker declares bankruptcy Tushar The International Automotive Scene 2 24th December 2014 16:32
HM joins the fleet, declares price cut on all models throttleking The Indian Car Scene 5 10th December 2008 16:12
Japanese tuning firm Trust/Greddy declares bankruptcy Amien The International Automotive Scene 5 12th September 2008 08:03
George Bush declares war on oil addiction amit Shifting gears 6 3rd February 2006 17:05
Lockout at Toyota car plant! jkdas The Indian Car Scene 19 24th January 2006 11:59


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 05:24.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks