MUMBAI – Unrest among Indian auto workers has become commonplace, but because of one group’s unorthodox tactics the protests do not have commonality.

A more or less typical situation is playing out at Toyota Kirloskar’s Bangalore plant. Workers’ demands for higher pay have been accompanied by a lockout, suspensions, employee sit-ins and production by of a mere 120 vehicles a day, a fraction of the facility’s capacity of 1,000.

Few if any automakers in India have avoided labor trouble. In recent years Maruti Suzuki, Honda India, General Motors India, Hyundai India and local manufacturers Tata and Mahindra & Mahindra have dealt with fractious employees.

The low point arguably came in the summer of 2012, when the Maruti plant in Manesar was shut down for a month by a strike in which a manager was burned to death and more than 100 other supervisors were injured. India’s largest automaker lost at least 35,000 units of production.

At Toyota Kirloskar, workers recently demanded a pay increase of Rs8,000 ($140) per month but said they would accept half that amount. In mid-March employees were locked out and 30 of them were suspended. After the government intervened, the wholly owned Toyota subsidiary agreed to raise salaries Rs3,050 ($50), but only on condition that every employee sign a future ‟good-conduct” pledge, and that the 30 suspended employees not be taken back.

Rejecting the offer, 20 leaders of the Toyota Kirloskar Motor Employees Union late last month began fasting in protest; 10 have been hospitalized with low blood pressure and blood-sugar levels. Other employees have held sit-ins outside the plant gates.

This week the leaders called off their indefinite fast and instead are joining the rank and file in daily morning-to-evening fasts by rotating groups of workers.

Management has not yielded, instead using a skeleton crew of supervisors and temporary contract workers to maintain drastically scaled-back production. That in turn has prompted complaints from union officials that TKM is using untrained apprentices, a charge denied by the automaker. Government inspectors are investigating the conflicting claims.