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Old 11th September 2012, 14:44   #166
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Originally Posted by carboy View Post
I found these from just one or 2 pages of google results

Strikes in the Auto Sector in India in the recent past.
......
This is not an exhaustive list.
People who took pledge of not buying Marutis because of labor exploitation may have to rely solely on their feet after reading this.
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Old 11th September 2012, 14:52   #167
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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"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"
I thought we were talking about the reason how we got freedom.
Nobody here is disputing that the British looted us. You are adding another step here by going further back in history. and what you say infact gives more credence to what I said earlier. They just didnt have enough left here to loot!

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Britain wanted India as market for their industry, after the war. Why would they let it go?
which industry of theirs? they had already done it with all their powerlooms.
and what could they expect us to buy after looting us of all we had?

we are going way off topic here.
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Old 11th September 2012, 15:03   #168
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Very well written article. Based on various comments on that link and on this forum, I am not too sure if certain points are exaggerated by the worker or the journalist or they are all hard facts.
I am surprised to see that there is no Team-BHPian who works/ worked in the past with the plant (in any capacity) and who could provide some facts (say from management side) perhaps anonymously without risking his job in this matter which may be sub-judice.
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Old 11th September 2012, 15:05   #169
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People who took pledge of not buying Marutis because of labor exploitation may have to rely solely on their feet after reading this.
Sourabhzen, totally agree with you, all cos go through labour issues, how many of them are we gonna boycott?

However purely for Maruti's own sake, I do hope they get their house in order. Something is obviously broken in their labour relations, and the sooner its fixed the better for all concerned.

I really respect Maruti Suzuki for having fantastic marketing, aftersales, and service teams. Won't it be great if they can fix the backend and make it worldclass too?

And India is Suzuki's most profitable market, so Suzuki better get cracking. Frequent strikes and labour unrest are usually symptomatic of mis-management, which I really hope is not the case here.

Last edited by Lalvaz : 11th September 2012 at 15:22.
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Old 11th September 2012, 15:18   #170
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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However purely for Maruti's own sake, I do hope they get their house in order. Something is obviously broken in their labour relations, and the sooner its fixed the better for all concerned.
Completely agree with you on this.

I really admire MSIL alot and hope they fix this and move on. MSIL had virtually a monopolistic rule in India before Daewoo/Hyundai entered. Since then almost all major international and national players are trying to be MSIL in India. Being at no. 1 for so long must not be that easy.

Their products are good, after sale service is excellent and they command and unmatched network in India. All this shall not be spoiled because of shortsightedness of labor unions and handful of management guys.
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Old 11th September 2012, 16:22   #171
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Originally Posted by jhaji View Post
Suppose VIPs hog the road for half an hour on your daily drive. Don't crib. If you don't like it, move to other roads.

If a noisy factory comes up in your next-door flat and your family can't sleep at night. You can always sell off your flat and buy another one.

If a teacher misbehaves with your child at school, don't crib. Just take out your child and put her in another school.
Comparing my house to my employment is not feasible. And the VIP example is by legislation. Certain cars get priority on the road. Teachers are actually scared of telling something to their students on the basis that it may be construed as child abuse.

Can you really equate that to employment? Bonded labor the Maruti workers are not. I understand that it is not feasible to simply quit. Too many people are so caught up in their lifestyle that they cannot envision changing that.

Similarly, the company needs to increase profit margins. Basic economics would suggest that this means cutting costs. From their standpoint, they need to optimize manpower. Why should they be penalized for that?

I doubt that a union is the solution to the problems of workers all over. The actions of the two union leaders (Sonu & Shiv) are hardly isolated. So if the workers are take for a ride by the union leaders as well, how is the union the solution to labor rights? I'll never be happy with my salary. And my employer is happy paying me as less as possible. That's normal. That's demand and supply. If my skills are not unique, my employer will not want to pay me.

OT, my techie friends, let us not forget that the ITeS/ BPO jobs in India exist because of cheap labor!

On a different note, the article just got me thinking: what is the line between basic employee rights and militant unionism to blackmail a company?
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Old 11th September 2012, 21:46   #172
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Comparing my house to my employment is not feasible. And the VIP example is by legislation. Certain cars get priority on the road. Teachers are actually scared of telling something to their students on the basis that it may be construed as child abuse.

Can you really equate that to employment? Bonded labor the Maruti workers are not. I understand that it is not feasible to simply quit. Too many people are so caught up in their lifestyle that they cannot envision changing that.


Similarly, the company needs to increase profit margins. Basic economics would suggest that this means cutting costs. From their standpoint, they need to optimize manpower. Why should they be penalized for that?

I doubt that a union is the solution to the problems of workers all over. The actions of the two union leaders (Sonu & Shiv) are hardly isolated. So if the workers are take for a ride by the union leaders as well, how is the union the solution to labor rights? I'll never be happy with my salary. And my employer is happy paying me as less as possible. That's normal. That's demand and supply. If my skills are not unique, my employer will not want to pay me.

OT, my techie friends, let us not forget that the ITeS/ BPO jobs in India exist because of cheap labor!

On a different note, the article just got me thinking: what is the line between basic employee rights and militant unionism to blackmail a company?
They are two different things: employee rights and one of the means of attaining those rights which is militant unionism. (As regards blackmail, you sound like those politicians who said Anna Hazare was blackmailing the government when he was protesting by fasting.)

What I wanted to say by giving those three examples was that when our rights are violated we fight back, even if we do not win always. We may not actually fight back in many adverse situations, at least we retain the feeling that injustice has been done.

You would probably say that what workers are demanding is not their right. But then you will have to say what are workers' rights. Or do they have none?

You have to make up your mind whether you are against employee rights or against militant unionism, or both.

Suppose, Maruti Suzuki management also does not believe that workers have any rights. That they are well within rights to cut costs at all cost. In such a scenario, militant unionism may be the only means of getting one's right recognized and measures to implement them taken.

Militant unionism is perhaps just a means to increase the cost of 'cutting costs at all cost'. If Maruti Suzuki realizes that their measures of cost cutting by treating the workers this way is going to prove in fact more costly, they may change their ways. Because this is the only language they understand.
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Old 11th September 2012, 22:05   #173
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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
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 .
Can't answer this hypothetical question.

The moot point here under discussion is ethics by workers/administrators at Maruti and it is obvious that in a country like India where thousands do not get a job owing to various factors (reservation, unemployability, etc.), it's imperative that Indian workers are groomed to perform and sustain at a certain level of performance that is rewarding to both the employer and the employee in the long run. The reference to communists is not entirely to disparage them but to highlight how they failed to evolve with the times, at least in India.
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Old 11th September 2012, 22:33   #174
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Hi Folks,

We need to listen to both side of the story. That said murdering someone is not going to solve any issues and i wholly condemn this incident and whoever is responsible for this murder should be put behind bars.

We are well aware that the management wants to get the best output and at the same time humans are not Robots.

And please don't compare IT [I myself come from IT industry] and auto industry assembly line. Kind of comfort and convenience we get can't be compared to that of the workers in assembly line. I agree there is a lot of mental stress in IT while there is physical labor involved in auto industry.

We are talking about pay here. 10th + ITI graduate earns mere 3k to 5k for first 3 years. I don't agree that they are unskilled. My friend completed 10th, did ITI course for two years and joined Hyundai. He cannot be claimed as unskilled because he is running CNC lathes in the company and has full knowledge of computer and knows in and out of CNC machines.

Compare this to a building labour who is really unskilled. All he does is to lift mud/sand/stones/cement and brings in to the building. He comes at 9.00 starts the work at 9.30, 10.30 to 10.45 team break, 1 to 2.00 p.m lunch break, 3.30 to 3.45 tea break and multiple breaks for nature calls. Also he will stop the work at 4.30 p.m then use the another 30 mins to clean himself and change the dress. And the pay, believe me its Rs 350 per day. if you question or condition him, he won't come the next day. I have experienced this myself.

Give some credits to the so called Literates, who pass 10th std and complete IIT's. it is not fair to give them just 3K salary when the above said person earns 10K per month minimum. And this management employs the contract labour and earns more profits.

There is always problem with labour unions. But what i see in Maruti is also that it is not an ethical company. Why bouncer should be invited instead of bringing police and why they should turn off the cctv camera? And this is not the first time this is happening, strikes at Maruti has become an regular affair now. Added to that labour minsiter and politicians will be always on the management side. Maruti has only the first comer advantage in India with good network speed and not on the best products.

As rightly pointed our their work culture and ours are completely different and that is the basis for all these issues.

I do think management and labour can co-exist without issues. Take for eg TATA Jamsedhpur. I read a lot about how the management took care of its employees.

Thanks,
Prakash.

Last edited by prakasse : 11th September 2012 at 22:36. Reason: formatting
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Old 12th September 2012, 09:52   #175
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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What I wanted to say by giving those three examples was that when our rights are violated we fight back, even if we do not win always. We may not actually fight back in many adverse situations, at least we retain the feeling that injustice has been done.
Of course workers have rights! Otherwise we would be regressing to pre-Independence days of blatant exploitation by landowners. At the same time right to employment is not a right. I was arguing against how jobs are taken to be for granted. It should be the responsibility of the employer to provide hygienic working conditions for all employees. But if the employer wants to determine what percentage of workforce it will keep as contractual labor and what percentage as permanent employees, how is it at fault?

Incidentally, I did feel that Anna Hazare was blackmailing the government. But that is a debate for another time.

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Because this is the only language they understand.
This is however where I differ strongly with you. By extension, it would be easy to justify any and every action as all other courses would be "lost in translation."

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Originally Posted by jhaji View Post
You have to make up your mind whether you are against employee rights or against militant unionism, or both.
I'm playing the Devil's advocate mate. Thankfully, Team BHP is one place where you can actually have a meaningful debate with competent people!
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Old 12th September 2012, 10:22   #176
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

I am finding both sides of this debate quite fascinating. While the murder of a manager cannot be condoned, it is fascinating to see some people argue that BECAUSE it took place, that somehow nullifies any case that the workers had against the management. I don't agree with this.

There has to have been something rotten in the way MSIL management handled the whole temporary worker issue. It has been surfacing in the media regularly over the past few years. As responsible management, they should never have allowed it escalate to this level. Surely they cannot be absolved of all blame just because "one of theirs" was killed in the melee. What if a worker or a cop had been a casualty instead? Would your attitude change?

Some of the statements in the original article are quite telling. The sessions described, where bored managers would note down grievances of employees and defer them to the next such session without any actual remedial action taking place, reeks of a situation where the so-called managers were NOT empowered to make any real changes; they were probably just taking orders and following procedure. It's easy to fall into that trap, believe me. I have observed this in the IT industry as well. Perhaps IT employees are not as militant or hungry (literally?) as their auto industry counterparts. But does that make their grievances any less real?

Last edited by noopster : 12th September 2012 at 10:28. Reason: Deleted response to jhaji- didn't realise you were being sardonic :))
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Old 12th September 2012, 10:23   #177
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Hi Folks,
We need to listen to both side of the story. .....And please don't compare .....
We are talking about pay here.........There is always problem with labour unions.......I do think management and labour can co-exist without issues.
Prakash.
The question on what salary shall be given to ITI pass out is also subjective. In 2002 , fresh architects used to get a max of 6K a month. This, when they graduate in at least 5 years.

I think baring TATA there are very few ethical companies. Why single out Maruti? Bouncers are hired because of shortage of personals in police force. Last week a state hospital in Delhi hired bouncers to tackle angry relatives of patients! Moreover, why ask for police when we think that the government is taking sides with Maruti and police is controlled by the government?
Labor minister and government may be on Marutis side but there are many other parties that could have helped the unions to strengthen their case. After all, they could have gained a good political mileage with the issue. Why we do not see any such party coming forward?
On question of Marutiís advantage of coming first, I must say that HM and PAL were existing way before MSIL. And we know the fate od Fiat and Peugot with PAL. They may not have the best products but their products proved themselves in Indian conditions. Hyundai, TATA and many others are in this industry for many years now. Why canít they beat inmore than 10 years of their existence? I remember when Santro and Matiz came to India, people thought that the days of Marutis are over.

ďAs rightly pointed our their work culture and ours are completely different and that is the basis for all these issues.Ē You are right, The management here believe in fixing the blame and the workers believe in working less.

Management and labor can co-exist without issues, but not in north India. If we look at history, the industries here(Faridabad and Ghaziabad for example) were shifted here in late 60ís to tackle the union issues in the east. The labor here were not aware of their rights. There are issues in factories of Escorts and Ford in Faridabad since 70ís and they still exist. These issues are existing because of profit oriented management, partners, share holders; politicized unions, political issues, police empathy and many other factors. People with vested interests do keep fuelling something to keep the issues burning.
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Old 12th September 2012, 13:48   #178
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There has to have been something rotten in the way MSIL management handled the whole temporary worker issue. It has been surfacing in the media regularly over the past few years. As responsible management, they should never have allowed it escalate to this level.
One more thing to be noted here. While those accused of stoking the violence have been arrested & identified (or perhaps sequence is the other way around?), till date the MSIL 'management' remains unidentified.

Why is this the case? Or is it the case of passing the blame to the collective while trying to corner all the praise at an individual level?
Surely, this way of treating the workers would have been approved of by someone in the management. It has to start somewhere. How difficult would it be to identify that person/ team?

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I have observed this in the IT industry as well. Perhaps IT employees are not as militant or hungry (literally?) as their auto industry counterparts. But does that make their grievances any less real?
No no, we are as hungry as anyone else. Its just that our needs are different and also that we think we are smart enough to overcome such issues by changing projects, managers or organisations. Basically as a lot, we avoid confrontation and even if there is one, it would be at a verbal 1:1 level as against a group tirade. Perhaps because no solidarity will be shown by fellow IT majdoors at that moment.

And all that anger will be channelised out on the road ranting at other drivers after a rough day at work. Or sending it down the chain at the organisational level.
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Old 12th September 2012, 15:27   #179
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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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 .
Union can only be formed by workmen. IT industry doesnt employee workmen. IT folks are white collared employees. Even in banks, officer grade and above cant form unions, the peons and workmen have unions. Only interesting abberation is that airline pilots are still classified as workmen. Hence pilots are allowed to form unions.

Regarding exploitation of workers by Maruti, its frankly quite embarrasing seeing some posts on how our members react. It is so easy to sit here and say, if you dont like your job, you are free to leave. Or saying companies are justified in doing anything, as long as they make money. Can you imagine not being allowed to go to a pee break, or lose 3/4 day's salary if you are one second late to work, inspite of coming to work 30kms away by your own means? Can you imagine being given only 3 days leave incase your loved one dies? Or being harrassed by your supervisor on the shopfloor each day? All these pressures and harrassment builds up over time into solid resentment. I am not justifying murder in any way, but people are killed everyday for far less.
If workers are sticking with Maruti for 3k/month (temp) or 15k/month (perm), that shows how bad the job senario or alternative employment senario is, especially for the lower strata or have nots.
We cannot have labor laws or govt sitting and doing nothing when our countrymen are being exploited to such a level.

This blog/article has been an eye opener for me. Earlier, before this article I had sided with Maruti management and their actions, but not any more.
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Old 12th September 2012, 17:10   #180
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

please do pardon my language - but this is nothing but bull ****!!!

what are the workers expecting? they are getting paid WELL. very well indeed.

just a few things that have caught my attention in particular - are they expecting incentive in their absence too? if a car is getting missed - are they expecting that in the morning they should be awarded for it? are we not the customers who cry loud when something is not right in our new car??? do you think it's the management who has been ignorant while the car was getting assembled?? i think not.

the workers are complaining about that they have to get up early to reach their work on time?!?!?!?!?
are they expecting that the factory should start at 11 so that they can easily get up, beat the traffic, come in at their leisure, have their morning tea at 11:30, have lunch at 12:30, work a while - and then take some rest (since they have just had lunch - it would be HORRIBLE to expect them to work without their afternoon siesta!!) maybe resume work by 2, have tea break at 4 and then a meeting at 6 - where they should be appreciated on their inefficiency and missing out putting some part in the car!!

BRAVO!!!!

3 months they have shut down the plant in strike - and they are expecting that they should be paid a salary for sitting around!! great!!
they are creating a ruckus - why?? because 36 of their "brothers" were not taken back by the company. on these grounds they can kill - slaughter OR do what they please!!

first they were complaining that the company is charging them 500 per month for transportation - and now since the company is not providing them with transportation they have a problem.
they are complaining that half day's pay is cut and 3/4th day's incentive is cut if they are late - if its hurting them so much - why can't they come a couple of minutes earlier???

the workers who took the VRS were paid a few lacs of rupees - what more are they expecting?!?!? the company should award them about a couple of crores for taking the VRS? the writer himself has written - for tightening nuts and bolts - you are not left with much business sense. for tightening nuts and bolts - you were getting paid handsomely, were given lot of amenities - and that time you were greedy for more. did the author even realise that if you have no talent whatsoever other than tightening bolts - you are the one who would end up losing more? any company can hire anyone to tighten some nuts and bolts - but can you get a company which can pay you so well for doing something like this?

they didn't want to sign the good-conduct contract - why?
they say - even we are workers like contractual workers, why are they exploited - ***. did you think this while you were getting paid almost 3 times of what they were getting?

they were demanding for a basic pay of 25000 + incentive for tightening nuts and bolts !!! even when the management offered Rs. 10000 as raise each year - they are expecting a mid way!!! these are the nut and bolt tightening guys!!

these guys are getting paid to "WORK" for 8 hours. i am sure no one pays anyone to come and spend 8 hours!! if the morning meeting has to happen - it has to happen before they start working!!
a worker misbehaves - but the management has to reinstate him because of the pressure. if they don't the management is beaten up!! and these are the guys who are crying foul!!

in so many years - there was not a single episode of short circuit causing such a huge fire. it happens when all the things are going bad and co-incidentally their HR guy is the only one who is caught in the fire.

the idiot is saying that 1800 contractual labour was fired!! hell the contractual labour ARE the daily wage labour. there is a contract between the company and the contractor to arrange for the X number of labour!! it's not a contract between the company and the labour!!


I request the moderators to not promote this nutcase's article!!

those who are into manufacturing industry would realise that this is a total BULL **** by someone who has absolutely no idea on how the workers behave irrationally, how violent they get and how they exploit the SC/ST freedom the government has given them.
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