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Old 9th September 2012, 10:46   #61
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

The role of our govt is to be blamed here. What is the govt doing without protecting the labour.

Labor laws and labor court have lost its identity, thanks to the govt.

The whole issue of Manser should have been controlled and taken to closure by the Govt. If needed ban the Suzuki production in India for few months till the Japanese company takes better action and fixes inhumane work conditions.

How is that Hyundai and Ford plants dont see such an uprising?
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:06   #62
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

So I don't think worker's story is entirely true, it reeks of too much innocence. But I feel working condition described may be true, because it is easily verifiable.

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Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Samu, I have dealt with unskilled labour for the last 18 years and I can tell you that they do not have any sense of duty at all, only thing on their mind is to get a fat pay and do very little work and take off for 5-10 days in a month using a variety of excuses ranging from a festival in their village to their relative dying ( for which they need to take 2 days off every week for the next 2 months).
Well, I am not unfamiliar with unskilled labourers, I employ 6 of them myself at my office. And I agree with your assessment of their work ethics. I have had security guards taking off an hour or so on personal chores while leaving the gate unattended.

However management shouldn't go for eye for an eye, then they are giving real cause for grievances. As a policy maker in my company, I always put myself in their shoes in order to understand whether the process is humane and sensible.

The management guys who setup the machine paced assembly line should be asked to do the same thing at least for one day. May be not the actual part fixing, they may not be competent enough for that. Say put them on a treadmill running at the same pace as the conveyor belt. Give them same amount of tea/lunch/bathroom breaks as the workers. If they are still standing at the end of day and also agree to do it for another day, I'd say the process is just fine.
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:08   #63
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
This problem was known 75 years back, yet we have manufacturers employing machine paced processes. Isn't it time auto manufacturers moved to robotic assembly line for all machine paced work, and leave only human paced work to humans?

Those of you who are not sympathetic to the machine paced worker, try it yourself once at your job. Try doing something to pace set by a machine, you will have hard time doing it for more than 10 minute.
Exactly my thoughts. Ironically I just watched the movie Modern Times a few days back. Here is the application of that same machine hopelessly gone wrong.



To me these are just symptoms of a problem where certain theories on economics which falsely celebrate the total triumph of technology over humans and nature to justify industrialization at any cost. We cannot force humans to mesh with technology as much as we wish to pushing limits without breaking the human mind. It is easy to typecast and say yes this happens in all manufacturing sectors and yes all workers must behave and react equally and rationally in excruciating circumstances. In the real world that simply does not happen. I don't want to take on individual arguments being made on this topic because enough back and forth happened on the thread when the Manesar incident happened . I have also heard some simply ridiculous arguments stating that we should stop engaging in agriculture and only be involved in manufacturing.

It's just that we in our blind march of progress have forgotten that resources of any kind on this earth are limited and our obsession of cheaper and more without losing our luxuries is an outrageous fantasy. We will have to re-calibrate our expectations if we intend to stick around longer on this earth and we have to get rid of this false sense that blind application of technology can solve all our problems regardless of the hidden costs.

Lastly here is another video demonstrating how scratching an itch in between tightening of bolts of a Swift or a dZire can lead to mayhem


Last edited by samarjitdhar : 9th September 2012 at 11:10.
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:21   #64
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

I am sorry but I am really dammed by some fake blog account claiming to be first hand account of his experience.

I had a smile when someone claiming to be a Xth pass able to blog with all proper punctuation and proper formatting. Accept it, its fake.

One point, every manufacturing organization are the same, I have worked in BPO and believe me working conditions are no different there. If I am made to provide a write up on my old company I can write up experience which will make people cry. Of course I can add lots of innocent lines like in this and claim to be an innocent babu etc.

There are lots of people from ex-Maruti who made if large by so many MNC care manufacturing coming to set up factory in India, who is stopping them from changing jobs. Its not like they are bonded labourers.

In fact I would say, people in IT who were in US and Dubai would have faced worse conditions than this.

When your job is fitting screws you cant do anything about it, people working in developed markets in US or Germany or Japan do the same work, doesnt mean they dont resort to violence.

All said and done, resorting to violence and then claiming our working conditions were bad blah blah is no way constitutional, one has to quit the job and sit at home if he feels exploited.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I am no way agreeing to some innocent looking first account claiming blog. I would rather get this removed from TBHP site itself instead of spreading wrong message
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:33   #65
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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I had a smile when someone claiming to be a Xth pass able to blog with all proper punctuation and proper formatting. Accept it, its fake.
Who is claiming that it's written by Xth pass? It's pretty clear that its a journalist transcribing the thoughts of a worker(or two).
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:41   #66
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

It is quite clear that it is written on behalf of the worker by the journalist!! Come on!!!
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Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
I am sorry but I am really dammed by some fake blog account claiming to be first hand account of his experience.

I had a smile when someone claiming to be a Xth pass able to blog with all proper punctuation and proper formatting. Accept it, its fake.
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:55   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar
I just watched the movie Modern Times a few days back. Here is the application of that same machine hopelessly gone wrong.

To me these are just symptoms of a problem where certain theories on economics which falsely celebrate the total triumph of technology over humans and nature to justify industrialization at any cost.... I have also heard some simply ridiculous arguments stating that we should stop engaging in agriculture and only be involved in manufacturing.

It's just that we in our blind march of progress have forgotten that resources of any kind on this earth are limited and our obsession of cheaper and more without losing our luxuries is an outrageous fantasy. We will have to re-calibrate our expectations if we intend to stick around longer on this earth and we have to get rid of this false sense that blind application of technology can solve all our problems regardless of the hidden costs.
Agree that this boils down to a fundamental philosophical debate about whether the assembly line and modernity is beneficial or not, and whether India needs to industrialise or not.

There are several people in our country (probably the majority in certain states) who believe that living in dignified poverty is better than the loss of individuality triggered by modern production techniques, or the need to be competitive in a global market place. Very often, the people who espouse these philosophies are themselves comfortably off - and do not see why someone poorer than them will want to give up his individuality, and also have a great deal of resentment towards those who become richer than them by being more dynamic (or crass as they would put it). That is the philosophy that prevailed in India from independence, and probably also represents the reason why as a civilisation, India failed to develop modern industrial production techniques despite a number of the scientific drivers for the same such as advanced math having being developed here over 2000 years ago.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that there is no dignity in poverty - to be rich is glorious, and that if India wants to take even a low ranking place in the civilised world, we must abandon our culture of praising incompetence as individuality, and recognise that we have to operate by the rules of the world we live in. Fortunately, India is large enough for both these philosophies to coexist at least for the relatively affluent, people who do not wish to work are welcome to go to rural India and pretend to work on unproductive farms, or go to Calcutta and debate philosophy while sitting on a Katta (that is the Bombay term - I don't remember the correct Calcutta equivalent).

But for the poor, there is no such choice. If they wish to live, they have a choice between staying on the farm earning barely enough to eat at the end of the day, or moving to cities and managing across multiple unorganised sector jobs which give them enough to own a TV even if they have to live in a slum, or if they are very lucky, getting a permanent job in the organised sector where they need to agree to a certain discipline which allows the organised sector company to pay them 4x what their peers in the unorganised sector get.

And for those who think India can ever move out from dirt poor status without a massive shift of the labour force from agriculture to manufacturing and modern services, I say wake up and smell the coffee. Agriculture employs 60% of our work force and generates just 15% of GDP. So the GDP per capita in Indian agriculture is just USD 250 or Rs. 13500 per annum (less than what the Manesar workers earn in a month) even ignoring inequality. Output in Indian agriculture is not going to rise at more than 2% per annum - so for agricultural workers to earn even what the average Indian does today (USD 1000 p.a) ten years from now, less than 20% of India's population needs to be dependent on agriculture in 10 years time. This sort of a massive shift to manufacturing and services is not going to happen without discipline and an acceptance that India needs to beat competition from China, Africa et al by delivering higher productivity per unit labour cost.

We are certainly not going to get there if as a society, we think that the techniques used by Maruti are unacceptable.
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:58   #68
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post

All said and done, resorting to violence and then claiming our working conditions were bad blah blah is no way constitutional, one has to quit the job and sit at home if he feels exploited.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I am no way agreeing to some innocent looking first account claiming blog. I would rather get this removed from TBHP site itself instead of spreading wrong message
Buddy, I hear your point, and resorting to violence is absolutely not justified, no matter how bad the working conditions were.

At the same time, you cannot argue that 'one can quit the job and stay at home or move to another company'. Remember, these people have financial commitments and given a standoff between management and labourers, the labour would be the first ones to buckle. At the end of the day, they have to pay bills, feed families etc. Also asking them to move to another company may not be fair because the labour conditions may not be all too good on the other side as well. For a correct solution, I completely agree with what Samurai mentioned in the earlier post of making management understand the workers' perspective, plus we require the government to look at the root cause of the labour unrest (without any bias or undue influence from Maruti's side) and then take remedial action / reforms.
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:00   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
There are several people in our country (probably the majority in certain states) who believe that living in dignified poverty is better than the loss of individuality triggered by modern production techniques, or the need to be competitive in a global market place.
Agree mostly with the rest of your post, but there is nothing modern about these production techniques. This was invented by Henry Ford more than 100 years back.
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:11   #70
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

It is possible the management was also at fault. But I would still blame the workers for taking the law into their hands. They should not have killed the manager. If there was a problem with the management they could have taken legal action, which is definitely time consuming but would have lasting results.

Due to their violent actions nobody (ordinary people or politicians) sympathizes with the workers.

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Old 9th September 2012, 12:13   #71
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Originally Posted by carboy

Agree mostly with the rest of your post, but there is nothing modern about these production techniques. This was invented by Henry Ford more than 100 years back.
Relative to India's 2000 year old civilisation, 100 year old techniques are "Johnny come lately". Modern Times (c 1936) depicts the angst felt by some in America as these 25 year old techniques became wide spread. Obviously, many of our peers feel the same angst today.

The amazing thing is that there are so many educated people who fail to realise that assembly line production is nothing new or unusual. In quality assembly lines, the workers are not only expected to do their own work in such a manner but also encouraged to spot errors by others upfront and halt the line where needed, with obvious consequences for the person whose error caused the stoppage.
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:26   #72
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[QUOTE
The amazing thing is that there are so many educated people who fail to realise that assembly line production is nothing new or unusual. .[/quote]

I think most people do realise that. What people (at least me) didn't realise is how hard and probably exploitative it is.
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:40   #73
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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I think most people do realise that. What people (at least me) didn't realise is how hard and probably exploitative it is.
That is because of the corporate life they have seen so far. And some of these corporate folks complain about work condition not really aware of whats happening around the other sectors.

That does not mean the sector can continue to exploit. There definitely comes a time when these sectors will undergo such a change. The more the literacy the more such demands will come forward and there will definitely be a change in this industry. At the end of the day its called a industry for a reason and it will remain a manual labour intensive industry for the world to move forward.

All said and done no matter how hard the conditions were these workers had no right to take the life of that HR. This makes me lose any fairness towards fixing this work condition problem, for, a life is lost for no fault of his(May be).
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:47   #74
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The role of our govt is to be blamed here. What is the govt doing without protecting the labour.

Labor laws and labor court have lost its identity, thanks to the govt.
That sums up everything. Why try to stand on one side of this story? There is nobody to blame here except for the govt who apparently have more "important" issues to solve like catching college students watching some pirated dvds.
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Old 9th September 2012, 13:27   #75
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Default Re: The Maruti Way : Worker's side of the story

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
Relative to India's 2000 year old civilisation, 100 year old techniques are "Johnny come lately". Modern Times (c 1936) depicts the angst felt by some in America as these 25 year old techniques became wide spread. Obviously, many of our peers feel the same angst today.

The amazing thing is that there are so many educated people who fail to realise that assembly line production is nothing new or unusual. In quality assembly lines, the workers are not only expected to do their own work in such a manner but also encouraged to spot errors by others upfront and halt the line where needed, with obvious consequences for the person whose error caused the stoppage.
You seem to unaware that the world has been moving towards what is variously called 'flexible production', 'postindustrial or post-fordist production' for 2-3 decades now. This is one of the things that characterises 'the information age'. Auto industry is one of the last bastions of assembly line production. Nor is assembly line production necessarily connected with high technology. Children employed in cracker (patakha) factories of Shivkasi are also engaged in assembly line production.

But the point is not that assembly line has to be completely eliminated. The process can certainly be made more tolerable and humane. All auto manufacturers don't engage in the same practices and even Suzuki's own Gurgaon factory is much better. Does the future development of auto production has to be like Manesar, or something else?

Moreover, it is not just a question of assembly line production. If workers have to perform such simplified repetitive tasks on assembly line, why does one need such long training periods? Why is the proportion of contract labour so high in Manesar factory? And so on.

Of course, we have to use our judgment when reading any account. Don't believe everything. But where are the alternate sources of information on this matter? Why doesn't Suzuki put facts on the table?

And as regards desirability of market being the sole governing force, one need only reflect on Team-BHP. Why do we need Team-BHP, and an industry-independent Team-BHP run by consumers and enthusiasts, where people give their time and knowledge without a thought for monetary compensation. Would you like it to be sold off to the highest bidder that comes along?
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