MRF declares lockout at TN plant

Tyre maker MRF Ltd on Monday declared an indefinite lockout at its Arkonam plant in Tamil Nadu following labour unrest, raising concern among some auto companies manufacturers about maintaining production.

"The management has declared lockout at the company's manufacturing plant situated at Arkonam in Tamil Nadu with effect from 3 pm, on 17 May on account of labour unrest in the factory,'' the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

About 3,000 employees of MRF in Arkonam and Puducherry were on a 'sit-in' strike within the premises of the respective facilities since 9 May. The workers went on strike as they were ''disappointed with the management, as the company denied recognition to [their union].'' They also protested that 150 labourers had been dismissed by the management so far.

The Arkonam plant produces 10,500 radial tyres a day, while MRF's Puducherry unit makes 26,000 units of tyre and 42,000 tubes a day. MRF is the original tyre supplier for companies like Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki.

"Our motorcycle production will be impacted as MRF is 100 per cent original equipment supplier for us," Honda Motors head (sales and marketing) N K Rattan told PTI.