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Old 10th September 2012, 21:56   #136
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Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post
That is becuase the average techie does not fall in teh definition of "workman" as defined under the workman's compensation act. Under the Industrial Disputes Act and the Trade Unions Act, a recongnised trade union can only be for workment- the same reason why trade unions do not exist for managerial staff in factories.

Also, although not stricltly relevant, pls note that software cmpanies are governed by the Shops and Establishments Act and not the Factories Act.
Does the shops and establishments act prevent from forming a "techie " union ?
Since the average techie does not fall under the definition of a "workman" cant the existing trade unions coin something differently so that people working in a tech firm form an association for meeting their demands , grievances ?

I know i am being OT , but the reason why i am asking is because the govt has time and again bowed down to the whims and fancies of the "glorified foreign investors " and suitable laws have come in place for a particular types of industries , which prohibit any form of union

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Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Unless there are figures to support this claim of ROI for British, it is not convincing.

Unions are required to put forward employees demand to management. In IT, management negate the need of union by having employee friendly policies and providing a channel to the employees to get their grievences addressed.
I do not think any figures are needed to substaniate .. Just go and learn history .

Are you of the opinion that all the managements in IT related firms have employee friendly policies ? My question is if the managements are so "friendly " with the employees why is it that they do not allow an "association " of employees to represent them ?

Mod Note: Posts merged. Please use multi-quote option instead of creating back to back posts

Last edited by noopster : 11th September 2012 at 06:45.
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Old 10th September 2012, 22:10   #137
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Well some of the last posts are an indication that this thread has now lost its significance (if there was any) and should now be closed for good.

In no time people will start blaming Gandhi for the Manesar troubles! Everyone in the world is wrong but us - thats the philosophy most in India live by.

Suzuki is in India to make money, not to do any charity. But many here feel it should do charity instead! If people have problems working there they are free to leave and find other jobs that they would be happy doing. Its not Suzuki's problem that they cant find other jobs. Suzuki is one of the big employers in the region and one of the reasons for Gurgaon's emergence. If one day they say enough is enough and leave (and that they can - for they cant keep absorbing $250m losses every now and then) whose loss would it be? Just a few bad politicians and bad workers are playing with livelihood of thousands here. Pretty sad.

Last edited by noopster : 11th September 2012 at 06:47. Reason: Please refer rule #14 and report posts that you think warrant moderator action
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Old 10th September 2012, 22:23   #138
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Notwithstanding the impeccable English of a village boy with an ITI diploma under the belt, the article clearly exposes a couple of things: Indians do not know what work is and we take refuge in the destructive trade union practices that the early communists indoctrinated the "working class".

India is a free country and the freedom is there in front of you not to become a sucker. Go, work elsewhere.
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Old 10th September 2012, 22:25   #139
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No one here in this entire thread felt that suzuki needs to do charity . Every company has to earn and everyone has to earn . Just that it has to be done the right way .

May be that is the reason why most of the top companies operating in India are now involved in scams . We do not care what so ever happens . It is just that my needs are met .. I work hard , earn well , why should i care about what happens to others or about what the govt does .

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Originally Posted by lejhoom View Post
Notwithstanding the impeccable English of a village boy with an ITI diploma under the belt, the article clearly exposes a couple of things: Indians do not know what work is and we take refuge in the destructive trade union practices that the early communists indoctrinated the "working class".

India is a free country and the freedom is there in front of you not to become a sucker. Go, work elsewhere.
I would like to know if you would say the same thing if your lands /home had been taken over by the govt on the pretext of offering you or your offspring a job .

Last edited by noopster : 11th September 2012 at 06:48. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 10th September 2012, 23:14   #140
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Originally Posted by greatmana2000 View Post
No one here in this entire thread felt that suzuki needs to do charity . Every company has to earn and everyone has to earn . Just that it has to be done the right way .

May be that is the reason why most of the top companies operating in India are now involved in scams . We do not care what so ever happens . It is just that my needs are met .. I work hard , earn well , why should i care about what happens to others or about what the govt does .
And pray what is this "right way" may I ask??? Could you name some organisations that work the "right way"?

All corporations are greedy and exploitative and manipulative. Thats how they become big. We are just picking on one here who might not be model employers but are far better than your average Indians owned beedi factories (where more people work and for far far less than what even the temp worker at Maruti gets) or the textile factories or any other mass employer! In fact probably more than 100m other people have far better reasons to protest than Maruti employees.
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Old 10th September 2012, 23:39   #141
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

It is always difficult to comment on a sensitive issue by only reading one side of the story. But here are a few things I feel:

1. The salary etc paid seems sufficient IMO - although the 2+1 trainee / apprentice period seems too long.

2. As someone pointed out, it is difficult to control a large batch of semi-skilled labor without strict rules in place. What I found particularly interesting from the article is that people were regularly given a dressing down for a mess up on the assembly line, but hardly anyone was fired for that.

3. All companies try to achieve maximum output with minimum cost - nothing new in this. The idea is to achieve a balance between profit making and being human.

4. A representative union is a must for workmen, and if MSIL tried to stall this - that's unethical.

5. I think govt was intentionally or unintentionally late to the party and could have controlled it - and it was a mistake to sell all of it's stake in MSIL. This clearly shows that although govt ownership of industries tend to buck down growth, govt involvement is always necessary in form of % stake and a board member.

6. some are suggesting how a 10+ ITI person write a blog so eloquently - the blog is authored by a journalist from a firsthand account with the worker.

7. Techies (IT workers) need not unionize as the demand is greater than the supply till now - and pay above average than many Indian sectors. Thus the need is not there at this moment. Also - job switching is very prevalent and few people stick to the same organization for years to be devoted to the union. Also - salary bargaining is always on a personal level, and the companies have most of the things in place (PF/gratuity/leave) which unions tend to achieve via collective bargaining. Facilities are (restrooms / cafeteria) pretty much standard.

The above points are completely from my POV - anyone is free to disagree on any or all of them.
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Old 10th September 2012, 23:52   #142
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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
It wasn't an ugly incident, it was a well-planned attack, a pre-meditated murder.

If you are not aware of the "Japanese" principles, I am talking about, please read the books "The Maruti Story", "The Toyota Way", "Made In Japan" and many others written on the way the Japanese companies work.
Can't quite agree. Moreover, not quite interested in how Suzuki works in Japan. Had it worked, they probably would have got a foothold in the world market.
Actually Suzuki can work "their" way in Japan, and leave Indian operations all together. The consequence: Suzuki will be wiped out in the global market. They have no existence unless India exists for them.
So, a more pragmatic approach would be to learn some "Indian" ways and not thrust those great "principles" here.
I am not being "patriotic", I am just saying there has to be some give and take somewhere. Please?
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Old 11th September 2012, 00:04   #143
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Originally Posted by swiftdiesel View Post
I have worked at the Nissan plant in Sunderland, UK, where Nissan used to build the Micra and now Qashqai. I worked as part of my internship on the engine and drivetrain section. Its called the marriage bay as the engine is mounted onto the chassis.

I found mounting the petrol engine easy but mounting the 1.5 dci was always tricky. The conveyor belt moved giving me a 25 second job time on each car. Had two 10 minute bathroom breaks and a 30 minute lunch break. In my initial days my supervisors were extremely patient as I used to stop the conveyor belt quite often. Most of the time if I have missed it my supervisor will complete the job himself. When the production is heavy the line moves pretty quick and in an assembly line we cannot be laid back. Dancing to the tune of your conveyor belt is a universal phenomenon and not just unique to MSIL as the writer makes out to be. Yeah it is monotonous but there's nothing much a company can do when they have to stick to tight deadlines. Having said that, labour laws are pretty good in the UK and Nissan always stuck to timing which was perfect for all of us. For OT, we receive double pay by the hour!
Dear Friend,
Can you compare the hourly rates paid in UK and India including the cost of living.
I feel it is not a apple to apple comparison!
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Old 11th September 2012, 00:22   #144
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

This discussion is becoming binary with way too many strawmen arguments. One, no one remotely expects Maruti to do charity and two; no one is going to justify murder.

The workers are fair and square to blame for that level of escalation. From the article there are number of practices that are objectionable and probably illegal that have been highlighted which is what this thread is about.

I don't think anybody can condone exploitation, however in India unfortunately a lot of folks are able to get away with stuff but that doesn't make it right.

In the organized sector there are certain expectations about labour standards and worker rights, and beyond the law leaders like Maruti are expected to have higher standards lest poor working conditions damage the brand and lead to loss of goodwill and marketshare.

Just because we have problems with labour conditions and extreme poverty with for instance rag pickers and ship breakers working in squalor or hazardous conditions doesn't mean Maruti as an employer can have workers in poor conditions and expect gratitude, and everything goes. What sort of medieval society is that? No one wants fellow human beings to suffer if they can help it. These things only happen because inspite of being illegal some people are able to get away with it or as a country we are too poor, overpopulated, incompetent and unable to help, not out of choice. These are educated and trained workers and minimum standards have to be met. No one is doing anyone a favour. This is the requirement of modern civilized society.

As for choice I wonder how many folks will be ok for instance to have automakers offer cars with no seat belts even though it is mandated, one can always argue that the buyer has 'choice' and can always buy another car but that doesn't mean any auto maker can sell anything without meeting standards laid down.

The same applies to Maruti, the issues are about union, lack of bio breaks and other issues highlighted. If someone feels these are justified then clear arguments in favour of these specific issues would lead to clearer debate than needless strawmen about Indian levels of discipline, lazy workers or Maruti as a charity. Millions of cars have been made in India by Maruti and many others before this fracas, this is a reflection of the localized issues so lets keep it there.

Last edited by raul : 11th September 2012 at 00:49.
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Old 11th September 2012, 08:18   #145
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
4. A representative union is a must for workmen, and if MSIL tried to stall this - that's unethical.
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Originally Posted by raul View Post
The same applies to Maruti, the issues are about union, lack of bio breaks and other issues highlighted. If someone feels these are justified then clear arguments in favour of these specific issues would lead to clearer debate than needless strawmen about Indian levels of discipline, lazy workers or Maruti as a charity. Millions of cars have been made in India by Maruti and many others before this fracas, this is a reflection of the localized issues so lets keep it there.
Just my two cents, Maruti has a union (Maruti Suzuki Workers Union -MSWU) already in place to address employee needs. The demand was to have another union as there were set of employees with different needs, which Maruti had rejected saying that there can be only one union.

This according to me is quite reasonable and ethical, you cant expect employers to be talking to multiple unions trying to satisfy multiple needs. It only adds to drama like the coalition politics.

Just one observation, it is easily noticeable based on comments as to who have actually seen the production shop and worked in it and who are the ones who have not.

Just my two cents again (or is it four now ), its easy to comment saying workers need their rights, this is not human etc etc sitting in a software company or a foreign country. But to understand how difficult it is to manage a production shop is a totally different ball game. One need to visit a plant or a production facility and see difficulties from the supervisors view. Not read an article (which might be fake) and comment. It is like those who never visit Govt office or never vote supporting Anna Hazare.
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Old 11th September 2012, 08:43   #146
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I do not think any figures are needed to substaniate .. Just go and learn history.
"India's share of world income collapsed from 22.6% in 1700, almost equal to entire Europe's share of 23.3% at that time, to as low as 3.8% in 1952"
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_India

How did that happen? British eliminated all industries in India and made India, a market for goods produced in Britain. British didn't invest in industrialization, which was sweeping across Europe. Though India was divided into 600 odd parts, each of these kingdoms had substantial revenue to go for industrialization. but British took that income away. So in effect British turned India from a 'giver' to a 'beggar'.

This is the history I have learnt. Please provide any source (reliable) to educate myself if this is not the case.
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My question is if the managements are so "friendly " with the employees why is it that they do not allow an "association " of employees to represent them ?
Unions led voice to workers and gives collective bargaining power. Management can't stop forming 'Unions' in IT. But IT employees don't feel the need for a union because management has channel (either via HR or Manager) to address employees grievances.
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Old 11th September 2012, 09:01   #147
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Unions led voice to workers and gives collective bargaining power. Management can't stop forming 'Unions' in IT. But IT employees don't feel the need for a union because management has channel (either via HR or Manager) to address employees grievances.
Thats all just papertalk. IT companies are equally exploitative and ruthless and there are hardly any ethics. You are valued if you are required else they can just fire you at will.

Recently there was a guy in news (in Bangalore mirror) who got his job back at IBM after years of fighting out in courts. He was fired from his job. His offence - he pointed out the fire hazards at his work place!!!

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Old 11th September 2012, 09:18   #148
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Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
"India's share of world income collapsed from 22.6% in 1700, almost equal to entire Europe's share of 23.3% at that time, to as low as 3.8% in 1952"
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_India

How did that happen? British eliminated all industries in India and made India, a market for goods produced in Britain. British didn't invest in industrialization, which was sweeping across Europe. Though India was divided into 600 odd parts, each of these kingdoms had substantial revenue to go for industrialization. but British took that income away. So in effect British turned India from a 'giver' to a 'beggar'.

This is the history I have learnt. Please provide any source (reliable) to educate myself if this is not the case.

Yes , that is the exact point . The British turned India into a "beggar" , but again after the 2nd world war the British were more or less the same . The losses at war were so much and they had promised independence in return for helping them in war .


Unions led voice to workers and gives collective bargaining power. Management can't stop forming 'Unions' in IT. But IT employees don't feel the need for a union because management has channel (either via HR or Manager) to address employees grievances.
Unions in IT companies are not allowed according to the law .. I might be wrong , but to boost the IT sector and give assurance to investors the law does not permit associations . That is my understanding . I might be entirely wrong on this though .
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Old 11th September 2012, 09:23   #149
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I am not an assembly line expert. But there are some issues which I find pertinent.

1. If the workers had such poor levels of morale (whether justified or not) what was the management doing? Ironically some other auto companies' management knew that Maruti plant is having fundamental issues. The management is paid to manage the plant. None has guaranteed them saints as workmen. Managing them is part of the business.

2. This logic of 'we pay you and you do as we say' doesn't work in this day and age. None of us work on that logic. I personally know that Maruti's management doesn't work like that. The only way ahead is by ensuring that employees' morale and spirit are prioritised and managed. Their concerns should be addressed. If there are practical limitations (which is where the industry norms etc. come in), it should be explained. The arguments that we had done in Japan doesn't hold true. The Japanese managers are different. Japanese employees are different too. Indian managers and workmen are not trained as intensely as Japanese colleagues. I know from my Japanese colleagues that none of the Indian plants including Japanese origin plants are anywhere near as well managed as Japanese plants.

Note: I recently had a chance to witness an automobile plant in a 'troubled regions' being optimised for efficiency. It is a slow process of educating and winning their confidence.

Lastly quoting one of the IIM prof's remark while evaluating a proposal to save a few seconds on an assembly line. "Whatever you do to improve a plant never forget the basic principle. We are dealing with humans and not machines!"

Last edited by Trapezio : 11th September 2012 at 09:27.
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Old 11th September 2012, 09:36   #150
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Unless there are figures to support this claim of ROI for British, it is not convincing.
Ditto for the non violence getting us independence claim. what numbers are there to support the claim that it brought us independence?
Numbers are surely there to support the RoI part in terms of how bankrupt Britain was after the war. anyone interested can look them up.
at the end of the day, its subjective opinion.

even today the Maruti story raised eyebrows because of the gruesome death, correct?
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