Madhu.T.K
Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Boss2966
Industrial Relations

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Dear HRites
On 23/12/10 I have attended an Interview (Purpose is to check my level of proficiency). In that interview two questions were asked to me, which I could not answer as expected by the interviewer.
Have you ever faced the Union Problem.
I replied that we do not have any union in our premises as our industry is a Construction Industry. (because it is the fact)
Explain the situations you have faced any IR / Labour Problems.
I replied that I have my own people in almost all the places within our premises including labour camp. In case of any problem, immediately they will bring the same to my notice and I will take the required corrective action as deemed fit. Hence the I never had any IR / Labour Problems in my site.
But with this factual reply the interviewer was not satisfied.
What would have been told for those questions.
Please throw some light on these questions
S. Bhaskar
9099024667

From India, Kumbakonam
Dear S. Bhaskar,

The old set of HR Managers believe that Unions are a problem though they might not be. Many a times they feel that candidate without Union experience will not be suitable for their company, the same is debatable.

The new breed of managers however, can make unions work to their own advantage and also manage any uncertainities.

So the first point depends upon who interviewed you. I am sure that you can handle any union problem if you come across them. But difficult to convince others.

The second point of a lot of HR managers mainly experienced ones have faced a lot of IR / Labour problem in the career. They cannot digest that a new upcoming manager is not facing any IR / labour issues and generally tend to believe that the candidate is lying, though the fact is that many a times the companies run smoothly thanks to the HR manager or the general work enviornment.

I guess that you did your best and right thing by being honest, we cannot really please each and every one, you might get better opportunities in future, all the best.

Take care.

Regards,

Viraj

From India, Pune
Dear Mr. Viraj

At present I am working in Construction Industry, Earlier I was in Defence Forces.

I want to have the original exposure to the Manufacturing Industries. That is the first reason I appeared for the Interview and the second reason is to check my capability whether I have the calibre to tackle the Interview panel.

Presently I am working as Assistant manager (Industrial Relations) in a reputed company. Here I can complete my service for getting my second Pension and I can settle my both the daughters life.

Here I would like to tell a small story.

Once in a forest a Tiger was chasing a deer. Deer got escaped and gone away from Tiger. Tiger lost the chasing game and got tired. Here enters the Press Reporter. Press Reporter asked the Tiger Mr. Tiger you have lost the chasing game and the deer defeated you and escaped from you. Would you like to tell something about the issue.

The Tiger replied. I was running for my food only but the deer ran for its safeguarding its life i.e., survival. That's why the deer escaped from me.

Some companies were bargaining for salary where I did not reduced. But in this company I felt that I have failed, that is the reason I posted this topic to get the proper reply.

My view about the both the question is very clear.

In First Question, If the companies are paying properly and motivating the workmen / employees in a proper manner then the Question of Union does not arise.

In Second Question, with the well motivated employees and workmen there will not be any IR issues or any Labour Problems.

Please accept my sincere thanks for replying my question

With warm regards

S. Bhaskar

9099024667

From India, Kumbakonam
For an HR Manager (in fact a Personnel Manager or IR Manager) exposure to Trade Union settlements, negotiations etc are plus points. What ever be the trends taken place in HR Management, the conventional practices of the so called " Personnel" Management remains the same in any industry especially where age old employees are working. Therefore, we can not condemn the interviewer's intention. It is simple that when a surgeon appears for an interview he will be asked a question and that will be " how many surgery did you perform? and how many were complected and how did you manage?" Similarly, it is obvious that in an interview for the post of HR Manager you can definitely expect questions like "how many trade unions do you have?, how many strikes you have faced? how many wage settlement did you make?....."

And in my experience, even with a lot of changes in Human "Resource" Management, a Personnel Manager who has wide experience in the IR field is a perfect fit to manage employees rather than a manager with so many "soft skills" in his training kit.

Regards,

Madhu.T.K

From India, Kannur
Dear Madhu

The surgery is required for those cases where the initial treatment was not given.

Even the cancer cases, if we diagnose the disease in early stage itself, we can clear it in medicines and if we leave the same for prolonged time then only surgery is required and further also if we do not go for surgery then the diseased person will become deceased person.

Similar to that if we take care in initial stage for wage settlement, increment, bonus, etc with empathy then we need not to go upto Union level or even beyond our level i.e., management level.

At present scenario is that keep the issues pending for long period and let the issue go beyond your level and then with lot of difficulty sort out the issue. Then only you will be considered to be an efficient IR manager. Otherwise you will be treated as calm and quiet nature and very soft spoken personality and declared as not fit for IR duties.

But those people also will recognise the problem in our absense, if they think why such issues does not arise during our tenure.

Thanks for your valuable reply.

With warm regards

S. Bhaskar

9099024667

From India, Kumbakonam
Sorry, I have no more comments to make but I have given my opinion for the reason behind a question asked by the interviewer who may be looking for a Manager who has experience in Union negotiations and settlements in view of his particular case which might be the out come of bad HR practices of not caring the employees. Now you can relate it to the need of a surgery without which the problem is not at all curable. There are lot of establishments which have well framed policies and which say a lot about employee relations but seldom work in practice and ultimately rest in trade union formation. And I believe that trade unions are good for healthy industrial relations and my experience has been like that only.
Regards,
Madhu.T.K

From India, Kannur
Thank you Mr Viraj and Mr. Madhu for your valuable discussions.
The interview experience made me to feel like I have become a loser.
Your interactions in this post gives me some sort of positive feeling that I have to increase my performance level.
With warm regards
S. Bhaskar
9099024667

From India, Kumbakonam
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