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Dear Seniors,
I am new to this site. I am the HR head of an ISO certified chennai based Engg company. We have 15 sites accross India, in which one site is problematic for us. Becauae in Maharashtra state outsiders (employees) are only 20% of the total employees. So local majority is too high. Even after paying more than the govt rate of min wages they demanding Rs.10K for unskilled, 12K for semiskilled and Rs 15K for skilled workers. One fine morning they had formed ayn union and registered too. They have conducted stike immediately we had file a case against them in the Industrial court, Labour court by saying this is the illegal strike because without giving 14 days notice to our management they went on strike. On the other hand we had submit a request to ALC to intervened and give justice to us. Concilliation proceeding is in progress but the union is try to conduct again strike to show their muscle power. How I can come out from the situation. Kindly advice me pleaae.

From India, Bhubaneswar
Dear Major Vimal,

Rather than going through the regular route of handling industrial relations, you could have been little diplomatic. Your local HR should have captured undercurrents of union. Secondly, there could be labour unrest too. It was simmering for long and workers have given vent by forming trade union.

You say that "Becauae in Maharashtra state outsiders (employees) are only 20% of the total employees". This is little far-fetched argument. There are manufacturing companies operating in interior Maharashtra like Kolhapur, Sangli, Ichalkaranji etc. There you will find 100% local population. However, unions have remained dormant. There is no evidence to show correlation between homogeneity of local workers and union activities.

Getting skilled labour is always a challenge. You could have been proactive in designing your recruitment strategy accordingly.

Now the only solution is negotiations with the union leaders. Try to offer some sops.

From the HR point of view, you need to create right organisation culture. As a part of this, check how managers behave with the workers. Check what are the problems with the workers? Check whether work is measured through sufficient measures of performance. Check whether managers adopt participative management style. Check whether there is "us and them" divide. Check what is the level of empowerment of managers. Is it that workers view them as puppets of top management?

Other senior members can also contribute.


Dinesh V Divekar

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

From India, Bangalore
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