Lockout Declared at Factory Outsourced to Apollo Tyres
Apollo Tyres gave word on December 6 that a plant owned by PTL Enterprises that produces tyres exclusively for Apollo entered a lockout situation as of 2am December 6. Tension between workers and employers at the Kalamassery based factory, in India’s Kerala state, has been uneasy for some time. According to Apollo, for the past few months “workmen have been resisting management efforts to increase efficiency and bring down costs, during these times of economic stress and demand slowdown.”
In a press release, Apollo Tyres reports that “despite consistent attempts by management to resolve the situation, the negative and non-cooperative attitude of workmen continued. On Thursday, December 4, workmen at the Banbury, Curing and Mould Fitting sections of the plant suddenly stopped work and refused to complete the production quote of the day, affecting work downstream and the day’s production. On Friday, December 5, workmen stopped trucks loaded with tyres – meant for the export market – from leaving the factory premises.” Apollo adds that the management at the factory declared the lockout on December 6 to “prevent any untoward situation.” The regulatory authorities have been informed of the situation, adds Apollo.
The PTL Enterprises plant in Kalamassery employs around 1,100 workers and produces 87 tonnes of cross ply light truck, truck-bus and agricultural tyres per day for Apollo, who purchases 100 per cent of tyre production. A majority of this production is earmarked for Apollo’s export markets. Given the developing situation, as a precautionary measure over the course of the week the company moved the majority of its finished tyres out of the plant so it could fulfil export orders. Any pending export order with Apollo Tyres will be met from its other manufacturing facilities, the company adds.
The company says it is closely monitoring the situation and hopes for an early amicable resolution. It also maintains that during this phase of slowing demand, production cuts by automobile manufacturers and high costs, it is imperative to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Given this, the company says it is keen that all its manufacturing facilities (outsourced or company owned) in India or abroad function under optimal conditions.