Japan's Toyota to end lock out at Indian plants

MUMBAI Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:41pm IST

A Toyota Motor Corp logo is pictured on the wheel of a car at its showroom in Tokyo February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/files

A Toyota Motor Corp logo is pictured on the wheel of a car at its showroom in Tokyo February 4, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino/files

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp's (7203.T) Indian unit has decided to end a lock out at its two local vehicle plants, five days after declaring a suspension of production due to a pay dispute with workers.

The factories near Bangalore are Toyota Motor's only vehicle plants in the world's sixth-biggest auto market, where the Japanese manufacturer generates just a sliver of its global sales.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd (TKM), the world's biggest car maker's Indian unit, said on Thursday workers could return from Monday after signing an undertaking on good conduct. It did not elaborate.

The company earlier on Thursday said it had suspended some workers for misconduct at its plants. It did not say how many workers were suspended.

On Sunday, TKM said some workers had disrupted business as the management, labour union and local government negotiated wages.

Suspension of work at the plants resulted in a daily production loss of 700 cars.

Toyota's India plant closures followed labour unrest at other India car plants in recent years, including a 2012 dispute at Suzuki Motor Corp's (7269.T) unit Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

A riot at Maruti left one person dead and over 100 injured, and resulted in a $250 million month-long production loss.

Other foreign carmakers such as Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS)

and Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T) have also seen labour unrest at their India plants in recent years, forcing industry groups to renew calls for the government to overhaul archaic labour laws.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Mark Potter)

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