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Old 20th July 2012, 15:34   #106
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

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Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
I mean there must be something going wrong out there and Maruti must find a permanent solution to prevent such unnecessary and tragic loss of life in the future. Shifting to Sanand is going to solve zilch if they do not put down their heads and solve their fundamental issues and these kind of problems will again rear its ugly head wherever they go. Its not that they had hired all hardened criminals to work for them hence the blame must entirely lie with those who build those Swifts and WagonRs. I am not taking sides here and this is all my personal opinion.
How do you know that there is something wrong with Maruti or it's labour policies? It could just as easily be an irrational and unjustified action driven by corrupt and militant union politics.

Even in a state with relatively fewer labour problems like TN, there have been Naxal/Maoist infiltration of unions with deliberate and calculated instigation to violence. For example see the below:
Naxal trade unions quietly setting up base in Tamil Nadu factories - Economic Times

Last edited by chncar : 20th July 2012 at 15:36.
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Old 20th July 2012, 15:40   #107
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

It is not correct to compare the workers at Manesar plant with the Maoists.

However, these workers are even worse and they are the ones who have been hired as per laws, given justified salaries and benefits, are not overworked but still they do not want to perform their duties.

They fail to understand that the present day Gurgaon owes alot to MSIL and its not the other way round.

I hope that the culprits are nabbed and justice prevail, although it seems to be a remote possibility to me.
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Old 20th July 2012, 15:41   #108
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

I will not get into the employer-employee relationship debate but authorities must find the culprits and courts punish them severely. There can be no justification for violence.

Though not absolutely, this will be a deterrent to miscreants in the future.

I do get pessimist at times and really stopped my self from writing that nothing will happen as this is India, things will be the same after 2 months.
I want to believe that real culprits will be punished.

I read so many posts where people want MSIL to move to Gujarat asap.
Is that the end of it?
will all be right then?.

The thinking seems to be that let these people be taught a lesson and they will come back to their senses once they have no jobs.

This is unfair to all the other thousands of workers of all levels who had nothing to do with this incident. After all MSIL is the largest auto company in India with people from all parts of India (East, West, North and South Indians) and is not a property of any single state.

Similar thing might happen in Gujarat after 10 years and will we be again asking MSIL to relocate?

There are thousands of Indians who have moved from their states to settle in Gurgaon, many from 1981 onwards to work for MSIL or either the ancillaries. Do they move to Gujarat now or go back to their own states.

Moving away is NOT the solution.

I still say strict punishments are in order.
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Old 20th July 2012, 15:49   #109
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

Quote:
Originally Posted by chncar View Post
How do you know that there is something wrong with Maruti or it's labour policies? It could just as easily be an irrational and unjustified action driven by corrupt and militant union politics.

Even in a state with relatively fewer labour problems like TN, there have been Naxal/Maoist infiltration of unions with deliberate and calculated instigation to violence. For example see the below:
Naxal trade unions quietly setting up base in Tamil Nadu factories - Economic Times
I have not claimed that I know but given that I see only Maruti being afflicted so much hence it seemed like a pattern to me. You are free to identify a different pattern though . If it was political parties or Naxal/Maoist infiltration, then the steel city where Tata has two major operations would be a lottery for them as it sits bang in the middle of Maoist territory. Still they seem to be running all their operations pretty peacefully including their mines (psst there are unconfirmed reports that there have been some payoffs). As I said I am aware first hand of how the Tatas handles its labor policies having seen them up close, it was just a personal opinion I was expressing and don't know the facts in the case of Maruti. It could be very well that some of the temps Maruti hired are actually part time criminals which then provides an easy explanation of the orchestrated killing of the GM. Let's not get too OT here.
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Old 20th July 2012, 15:54   #110
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

An interesting read:

BREAKINGVIEWS - Gujarat holds key to Suzuki's Indian labour crisis | Reuters

All I have to say is - One's loss is another's gain.
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Old 20th July 2012, 15:56   #111
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

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Originally Posted by RSR View Post
One report also suggests that the mob broke into the executives' parked cars to remove the side impact protection beams with which they beat up the managers. This sounds highly improbable. It isn't easy to remove the beams that are fixed into the doors with bare hands in a few moments, even for workers who put together these cars. Either they grabbed the impact protection beams (and struts) from the factory floor/inventory or they improvised these deadly weapons from some other material that was lying around.

.
This is partially true. What happened (again as per my friend who was injured in the riot) was the workers picked up parts from the assembly and weld shop that they could lay hands on to beat the managers. One such part was the door side impact beam; it was not taken from the vehicles but from the component section lying on the floor.

The other story also is that the workers beat the GM HR till he fell down and then pushed him into a room and set the room ablaze using petrol. Again these are versions and one will really not be able to understand the truth in entirety but this barbaric act of violence is unpardonable and the people involved need to be provided with the harshest of punishment.
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Old 20th July 2012, 15:57   #112
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

One man loses life in the strife.
Nothing will happen.
This is India.
Justice system does not work for a common man.
The labor leaders will go away scot free because of the political backing they have.

One cannot clap with one hand. The problems were there from both the sides.

And buying out the leader of the labor agitation (which happened before) Sonu Gujjar and making him put papers was a short term solution. I do not think that it led to any changes on the factory floor.
And now the problem rises its head again.

We Indians always want a short cut. Isn't it? Well mistakes have been made and now someone (guilty/innocent) has to pay for it. You cannot simply shove it under the carpet.
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Old 20th July 2012, 16:00   #113
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

@samarjitdhar, it is well known fact that mob mentality works completely differently from an individual mentality.
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Old 20th July 2012, 16:06   #114
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

This is nothing but a preplanned well supported massacre. No violence of this kind inside a factory can start off spontaneously. The politicians have played their game and innocent people have suffered.
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Old 20th July 2012, 16:10   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chncar

Even in a state with relatively fewer labour problems like TN, there have been Naxal/Maoist infiltration of unions with deliberate and calculated instigation to violence. For example see the below:
Naxal trade unions quietly setting up base in Tamil Nadu factories - Economic Times
That is deeply worrying news

TN simply cannot afford to let violent forces affect the manufacturing sector. TN has had its share of labour troubles and violence (even a couple of killings/murders) by workers/union goons, but this is something on a different level. Once such violent groups are allowed a toe-hold, there will be no end to the troubles.

As a state that is poor in mineral resources and lacks enough fertile land/water for a flourishing agriculture sector (except for small areas like the Cauvery delta region), the manufacturing industry and services are the backbone of India's second largest economy. Even the service sector is largely limited to Chennai, three or four other cities and some tourist destinations. So it would be fair to state that the more evenly spread out manufacturing sector (TN has the largest number of registered manufacturing units in the country), especially the medium (and small) sized industries are those that keep the state ticking, creating employment and generating wealth & taxes. The violent elements should not be allowed to ruin this under any circumstances. There are already enough problems faced by TN industries like the power (electricity) crisis, water crisis, environment issues, rising input costs, corruption, political interference etc. The last thing the state needs is these murderous thugs infiltrating labour unions.

As they say, wise people learn by observation. If those who run the state and those who run its industries are any wise, they would take this tragic incident at Maruti Suzuki as a wake-up call and try to create a conducive labour environment in industries. This holds good not just for TN but for all other states as well.

Last edited by RSR : 20th July 2012 at 16:29.
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Old 20th July 2012, 16:35   #116
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

This is shocking! The poor mans family should be going throught such a hard time!

Its no use investigating if managment was right or workmen were right now! A life lost cannot come back.

From the outside the issues look trivial but i am sure there are 2 sides of a coin! A short tea break could look like a miniscule issue to us when most of us have the luxury to while away hours in an AC office & no curtail on break timings but to the floor worker who has to do physical work with zero defects 9 hours a day, it is a big thing.

The management of course is trying to do more with less as every company is now doing. They want zero defects, more productivity, less salary to ensure that they produce value for money products & be leader of the segment! In one way, the consumer behavior driving for VFM is the cause but thats how it is supposed to be across the world.

The drive for profitability, lesser cost, no defects is leading to huge stress on people. In the long run, when manufactures lose the emotional bonding with its workers, it will end up in more such incidents!

Pray this is the last time we hear something like this!

Last edited by urajkumar : 20th July 2012 at 16:37.
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Old 20th July 2012, 16:55   #117
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

Tragic & Pathetic. These are the words that come to my mind when I read about the whole incident. My sympathies are with the family of Avinash Dev. He didn't deserve to die like that. The most ironic thing is that he was the one who worked on improving the conditions for the workers. He was brutally hit with rods and had taken cover under a table in the office, when the mob sprayed a thinner like substance in the whole room and lit a fire. Since he couldn't walk or run due to fractures in his legs, he was burnt alive. That's just plain barbaric.

However I don't think that Maruti Suzuki Top & Senior Management can absolve themselves fully. They already have had such experiences of Labor unrest in the past. Remember that the last such strike cost Maruti a cool Rs. 2500 Crore Loss. Did they do anything to make sure such things never happened again ? Even if they did, could they amicably come to a conclusion when the Union reported to them about this issue ? No. They let it drag for some hours and then this happened. As a manager, sometimes you have to act swiftly and nip such things in the bud before they become huge and extreme. If by suspending (even temporarily) that supervisor would have avoided such ugly act of violence, they should have done that. Time would have passed and things would have become normal again. But they failed.

I will also like to say that those in the mob should be found and punished accordingly. There may have been a problem but that can't justify the violence the workers adopted. Especially brutally assaulting management people. They could have adopted other ways to show their protest on the issue. They could have staged a peaceful dharna or like last time, could have gone to the media. Since Maruti Suzuki has become quite famous for labor issues, the worker union would have got ample coverage. The Media Coverage and Negative Publicity would have affected Maruti Suzuki and its Share Price would have tanked. Then the Management would have been cornered and the resolution of the issue, to the satisfaction of both the parties would have come about.

On a personal level, after seeing this incident I have vowed never to purchase a Maruti Suzuki car again. Why ? Because a company that can't safeguard it's employees' well being or tackle such labor issues has far more problems on it's mind than manufacturing cars. Firstpost also reported that in the past Workers deliberately introduced defects in the cars to get their point across to the management. I don't think I will be inclined to buy cars from a company that can't get its own house in order.
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Old 20th July 2012, 17:21   #118
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

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Originally Posted by urajkumar View Post
The drive for profitability, lesser cost, no defects is leading to huge stress on people. In the long run, when manufactures lose the emotional bonding with its workers, it will end up in more such incidents!
I remember Ratan Tata complaining about the work hours and habits of the JLR UK teams where there is no one in the office after Friday 5:30 . I mean a lot these little issues also have got to do with the culture. work hours or not there is no explanation for life. This is the third (or fourth) unrest in this plan in the last 12 months. Is there something, some undercurrent that is being over looked at MS?

A strike that hits production is bad, but then you lose money not life. If the mob can get so unruly that they do not value life and make an issue bigger than human life, its hitting the ceiling.
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Old 20th July 2012, 17:31   #119
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Maruti is paying the price for being weak_kneed and buckling down to a violent, communist backed trade union. Reinstating workers who indulge in violence never pays. People who talk of the Tata's labour relations are obviously too young or ill read to recollect how Ratan Tata made his reputation by breaking the back of the Rajan Nair led union at Telco, Poona. If the Maruti brass has any brains, they will fire all those workers at Manesar who refuse to resign from the union, move all expansions out of the region, and if the union does not come to its senses, take a one time cost in shutting Manesar down. That is far better than facing similar problems every year
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Old 21st July 2012, 08:56   #120
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Default Re: Strike woes haunt Maruti's Manesar plant again. 1 DEAD & Production hit

First, my condolences to the family of Dev and I wish/pray for a speedy recovery to all who were injured in this incident. I think the least the society/law enforcement can do now for the affected families is to find and punish whoever is responsible for this violence.

I did go through all the posts here - although I agree with the view about how violence can't be justified, I don't agree with the view that this is all due to militant unionism/workers. Its even more worrying to link Naxalism to all this, I know that this happens in some places but its better not to attribute everything to Naxalism as it might hide the real issues. Shouldn't we all discuss and bring out the other side of the issues from the workers side also to understand a bit more about whats happening here?

1) This plant has seen strikes for sometime, last summer there was a big strike and we all know how it "ended". Now there was a lot of blame on how the workers took a "big termination" bonus and left - but why did the management end the strike in this manner?
If workers are blamed for taking that money, shouldn't we all question why mgmt decided to give that money instead of solving the issues for all?

2) Did anyone follow up on what action was taken after that strike? As in what happened to the pay disputes - more importantly did the ration of Temp staff to Permanent staff improve etc? 6 months should be a good enough time to act and improve on somethings.

3) Lots of ppl comment on how well paid MS workers are - but from papers I see that the CTC for a permanent employee is 18k, but CTC for a temp staff is 7-8k. Now if someone is on Temp payroll for a small time its ok, but imagine being a temp worker for a long time and you get half the pay as the other guy for doing the same work. How will someone feel about it.

Everyone quoting the salary is quoting the pay for a full time permanent employee, but the majority in that plant are temp staff. I can understand a company like Fiat India or MS running the plant with temp staff during festival times to meet demands - but MS running the plant with majority of temp staff should surely raise a red flag?

4) We all blame the unions for strikes, but shouldn't we also question the mgmt for these repeated strikes? If they take credit for all the good things, shouldn't they also take the blame for allowing something like this to happen so frequently? Doesn't this mean that the senior management never fixed the root cause?

5) What is the management role in a factory? If they take credit for meeting/exceeding production targets and get hikes/stocks etc for that, shouldn't they be held responsible for loss of production (for whatever reason) also? Why is it that managers can get credit if they could keep the lines running 24*7, but workers and unions get the blame for stoppage of production due to strikes? Isn't the same "militant unions" responsible for MS producing record numbers during the glory days of car sales?

Again to recap - I don't condone violence, the culprits behind the violence should be brought to books asap.

Mods: Maybe a new thread where we can discuss the HR issues involved without mixing it with the violence part? There are lots of managers, factory/company owners here - their insights on these issues will be very helpful for budding managers or even practicing managers. Some of the views expressed by our members about how to deal with these issues are valuable/useful, so I feel a separate thread on this topic will be useful to learn more from them.

Last edited by partha379 : 21st July 2012 at 09:00.
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