Bengaluru: The Karnataka Employers’ Association has written to the state government asking it to take stern action against employees who have resorted to protests outside the Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) manufacturing facility at Bidadi, 40 km off Bengaluru.

In a letter to chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar, association president BC Prabhakar has expressed concerns over the possibility of the strike spreading to other industries as well. “We request you to take immediate steps to declare curfew around the premises of TKM, Bidadi, and take stringent action including arrest of troublemakers and also bar them from entering the Bidadi area,” the letter said.

Unless timely steps are taken, there is a possibility of such employee unfair practices spreading to other industries. This will permanently damage the investment climate in Karnataka, the association stated as the protests at the facility has entered the third week.

While the company has declared a lockout for the second time, some employees have continued with the protest. Their demand is to withdraw the suspension of 40 employees and to address some employee grievances. The management, however, said that it will allow the employees to work if they give an undertaking that they will not to indulge in anti-company activities and meet the production target.

Prabhakar said the strike and the lockout were sending a wrong signal to investors especially when several companies are seeing Bengaluru as a possible destination in the backdrop of anti-China sentiments. Karnataka has introduced several industry-friendly policies and laws recently. All of these will be futile if the strike at Toyota continues, he told ET.

In the letter, KEA has accused the president of TKM Employees Union of mobilising 500-600 workmen daily and making derogatory speeches. “It is noticed that the president is urging other factory workers to support the illegal agitation and this will totally vitiate the industrial relations in the entire area,” the letter said.

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