The move comes after many unionised workers at Toyota's two Indian plants near Bangalore refused to return to work despite the ending of a lockout last month over a pay dispute.

Neither Toyota nor union officials at the Karnataka plants were reachable for comment over how they would respond to the order.

"The government of Karnataka, in order to maintain industrial peace and harmony, has issued an order asking the company and the union to restore normalcy in operations immediately,” a Toyota statement said on Saturday.

"All relevant issues between the workers and the management have been referred for adjudication," it said.

It gave no further details.

The Indian unit of the Japanese auto maker, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd (TKM), had lifted the lockout but required its workers to sign a good conduct agreement before returning to work. Workers have refused to sign the undertaking, according to the union president.

The company had started limited operations with the help of non-unionised workers and supervisors. It also has said some union members had returned to work.

(Agencies)

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