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Old 8th September 2012, 18:48   #16
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Originally Posted by Nilesh5417 View Post
Japanese culture reeks of hierarchy! But i'm sure that the labour law is implemented in spirit unlike our laws which have been specifically designed to suit the managements.
I think internationally Toyota is supposed to be the champion in treating employees very well, training them well and giving them a lot of responsibility and authority. No idea if the same is true in Toyota India also.

Also Toyota has gone in for robotics in manufacturing far more slowly than even other Japanese companies like Honda.
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Old 8th September 2012, 19:02   #17
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Wow, this job sounds great. Apprenticeship at 19 and permanent at 22. Working only 8 hours a day. Overtime pay. Subsidized tea breaks. Company transportation. Incentive pay. nine casual leaves and 12 sick leaves per year.
The Japanese way of work is good for the Japanese. They are hard working and dedicated. They start work 45 mins before shift and finish 45 mins after just to gain face with their employer. They commit suicide if they lose their employer's trust. They are unimaginative and are as clockwork. The Indian way is creative. We like to laze and to find excuses. We make good politicians and godmen. We do not make good factory workers. It is alien to our culture. Suzuki should not try to force us to work according to their work ethics. The Suzuki plants should have been staffed with Japanese citizens, atleast at sub management level. The Indian govt is to blame.
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Old 8th September 2012, 19:03   #18
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Reminds me of the movie Modern Times that I watched again a few days back. While that movie was funny this account is starkly dark and scary. Individual facts can be disputed but I doubt this would be too far from the truth. In my opinion I can only attribute to our own crazy obsession of "kitna deti hai" and value for money at any cost. We must have a gazillion features in a car not necessarily for safety but for fancy show off which make companies like MSIL cut corners and the easiest piggy bank they raid is worker welfare and salaries. As long as this obsession remains we will see such situations unfold not only in MSIL but in others as well as other sectors.
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Old 8th September 2012, 19:26   #19
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

I am saddened to see the stste of affairs.

Even though the account may be biased, the story comes across as a horror.

The japanese people are alien to the concept of work-life balance, or even life! All they know is to slog like machines.

Im in no way stating that slogging is bad, we have to do it to get ahead, but employing tactics like "permanently" contract labour, and underpaid and deprived labour should not be acceptable.

Good luck guys, you have a mountain ahead. Blast through it!

Best,
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Old 8th September 2012, 19:33   #20
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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 think internationally Toyota is supposed to be the champion in treating employees very well, training them well and giving them a lot of responsibility and authority. No idea if the same is true in Toyota India also.
Also Toyota has gone in for robotics in manufacturing far more slowly than even other Japanese companies like Honda.
I do not work in TKM nor do I own a Toyota car. I have been professionally associated with TKM since 1998. I am in the know of enough information to state that TKM pays very well and looks after its workers. I have eaten food in their canteen and visited their plant a few times.

Guess you cannot compare TKM with MSIL because the scale of operations are not comparable.

The article made very interesting reading. The scale of violence surely indicates a deeper pain that what is being made out by MSIL

No Cheers

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Old 8th September 2012, 19:34   #21
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Don't see any reason for the workers to crib. A young uneducated kid gets a permanent job paying Rs. 15,000 per month for an 8 hour day. Yes the work is hard, but that's how assembly lines are. I don't know if many Team BHPians are old enough to have read Sputnik, the Soviet equivalent of Reader's Digest. But there was once an article in it where a Soviet worker talked of similar conditions in a US auto plant in the early 1980s. This is clearly not a reason for murder, which is what the Maruti workers committed. If they don't like the work, they are free to quit and go back to their villages, where they would get 1/4 of that income for 12 hours of back breaking work in the fields. The fact is that India has plenty of unskilled labour, and until India gets much richer, unskilled labour cannot expect more. As recently as in the mid 2000s, some of the large investment banks in India used to hire CAs and IIT graduates as trainees for Rs. 15,000 per month - and get those kids to work 100 hour weeks on a regular basis. So don't see why an ITI qualified person should crib about a 3 year training stint.

Of course the government can come in and say don't have such conditions, or pay people more - but that will have consequences. Today, India has become the hub for small car production for Suzuki,, Hyundai, Renault Nissan et al. If our labour costs rise, people will still produce for the Indian market but production for export will shift, and more automation will be brought in even for the production that remains. Net result, hiring for the next generation of ITI graduates will stop, and the only way for progress for the next generation of Indian youth will cease.

If you want to see the unintended consequences of stupid government intervention, look no further than what has happened after the AP government's crackdown on MFIs. Instead of paying "usurious" rates of 2.5% per month to MFIs, people are now paying 6-7% per month to money lenders. And instead of soft pressure from their neighbours to repay, I am willing to bet that they face much direr consequences as has been amply depicted in several movies from the 1960s.

BTW, the article was by Shivam Vij. Not surprising coming from him - he is the classic arm chair socialist.

Last edited by Hayek : 8th September 2012 at 19:47.
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Old 8th September 2012, 20:04   #22
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

@Hayek: completely agree with you. Even today, govt. contract specialist doctors (Orthopedic Surgeons) in Bangalore get a salary of Rs.18,000/- per month at an age of 32 for a 8 hour shift with one Sunday on duty and a 24 hour stint once in 4 days.
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Old 8th September 2012, 20:20   #23
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

The trouble with any one-sided story is exactly that - it's one-sided. We did nothing wrong, the other side is to blame for everything. I'm not saying conditions at Maruti weren't/aren't stifling but if you read between the lines the unknown worker suggests Avanish Kumar was fine when the workers left, "how he died is a mystery - nudge, nudge, wink, wink - we did see some management types go upstairs and then a fire started."

This had the potential to be great journalism but it's an opportunity lost. The truth in such cases lies somewhere in the middle and this write-up fails to reveal it.
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Old 8th September 2012, 20:22   #24
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Life can't be a bed of roses. These people atleast had plenty of work and was in a highly secure job environment. On the other extreme you will find a IT guy employed in a Tier 1 company but on bench with no work but with constant fear of getting fired, hanging above his head like a damocles sword. Ask him, you will get a different perspective of life.

Last edited by poloman : 8th September 2012 at 20:26.
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Old 8th September 2012, 20:51   #25
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

I quite dont get what the original write up was. Most companies work like that, not just in India. I have been fortunate to do consulting work at some of the big manufacturing companies and it's the same everywhere. This person who is cribbing about adding wheels every 40 seconds must see how workers do their jobs in a blast furnace. I dont think those workers were paid more than what I have read MSIL pays their workers. These workers have never wreaked havoc, even though their working conditions are tougher and more hazardous.

I do not endorse that working conditions should not be improved. It's clearly a choice of the worker to evaluate whether he is comfortable working there or not. Taking law into their own hands and going on a rampage cannot be accepted.
I myself have worked 14 hr shifts for a year with only a day off in a week. That did not make me go beserk.
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Old 8th September 2012, 21:08   #26
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

The thing that attracted attention to me was the lack of relievers for the workers. That is a bit inhumane, when all is said and done.
I wonder how may cars per worker they were able to squeeze through. The japanese were known to produce well over 30-40 cars per worker, at a time detroit was doing 14-15. Maybe suzuki wanted this at Maruti as well, but then that has to be achieved by proper means, not forcing it on the unwilling worker.
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Old 8th September 2012, 21:48   #27
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

I have read many articles on manesar issue on Firstpot, Forbes, Business Standard, Outlook, Open Magazine and others. One prominent issue recurring is exploitation of temporary workers. Nothing can be more frustrating to employees, where permanent and temp workers do same kind of work, put same efforts but temp workers have no job security and no benefits, forget about equal pay. But whole industrial landscape is changing, Are Team-Bhpians aware of new auto companies which use pull based, decentralized and open source automobile development and manufacturing. Examples are http://wikispeed.com/ , http://www.localmotors.com/ , http://www.gordonmurraydesign.com/istream.php and http://www.riversimple.com/. Though it is not a business forum, I suggest admin to start a new thread which highlights new innovations in auto manufacturing, design and business models.
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Old 8th September 2012, 21:56   #28
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Sad story this. Even if the pay was adequate for the labour, measures like severely docking the incentive pay even if the worker is few minutes late, grossly underpaying overtime work,scarce leaves is inhuman. Hazardous and tougher work conditions(like the blast furnace) in other industries does not justify such measures anywhere, even at the blast furnace. The 8 hours he is at work, if he is allowed to work with dignity and encouraged, I am sure the workers will produce as much than when insulted and forced to do so.
This means this is not the last time we are going to see labour strife at Maruti.
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Old 8th September 2012, 22:00   #29
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

This story looks like the one of a person who has the least motivation to do his job. Seriously we all go through exploitation in some form or other in our work place....We all have issues with our seniors/ management. Simple question - what on earth prevented this man to leave and go join any other job. I am sure he would be paid more than 5000 even if he joined as an office boy in any office.

Did this chap not know that he had to fit bolts to every car before signing up for the job? I dont think anyone put a gun to his head to do it, so why complain now. Larger picture of this can be seen in Bengal, where industries are suffering every day (If they have managed to exist till date). Not sure that we will have industries left to fit bolts if we pay heed to these. LASTLY, HE REMEMBERS ALL DATES DETAILS BUT SURPRISINGLY DOESNT KNOW HOW FIRE STARTED.....HATS OFF
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Old 8th September 2012, 22:21   #30
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

So eloquent and so perfect for a 10th standarder. I pooh pooh the people who question our education system.
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