Dear friends,

One more sacrifice by HR professional for the cause he learnt to live for. One more murder of General Manager-HR by workers .One more occasion for all of us to shed tears for few hours or days…

After that..? I know and you all know. The names of such HR professionals in last seven years who laid their lives for organisations are increasing. But issues came up out of this whole incident committed by persons with criminal mind (Whom we address workers) will remain live and keep haunting us till properly addressed.

Avinish kumar dev, General Manager-HR of Maruti Manesar plant was burnt to death by mindless criminal workers while setting ablaze the Adm. Building of the plant on 18th july. Along with him around 100 officers also got injured including two Japanese officials. Issue was neither of any wage demands nor of any "exploitation or arbitrariness". It was a simple disciplinary matter. One shop floor executive when simply expressed displeasure on work attitude of worker and advised him to be more concentrated, that worker slapped the executive and assaulted openly on the floor. Worker was suspended pending disciplinary proceedings which is minimal action in any industry in such a situation. Union made it a point of prestige. Negotiations went on to resolve the matter. Management even reportedly assured that worker will be taken back shortly but union leaders were adamant to revoke his suspension immediately. This inability sparked the appears to be quite abnormal. Workers of A shift stayed back in the plant. B shift workers were also in plant. Workers used Factory tools and car parts to attack managers and everyone whom they saw. It was riotous. The events of incident suggest it was high level of conspiracy hatched out by workers to attack management officials and lay the fire. Management was caught unawares. Side door beams were used to attack management officials. No worker is reportedly injured. In this fire of Adm. Building, Avinish could not come out as he was attacked brutally and burnt alive to death.

BM condemns this organized act of crime by workers and union officials. we have no words to condemn rather feel speechless. Violence in industrial relations can not be justified in any situation whatever it may be. Avinish family is ruined for no fault of him.

But through this unfortunate incident we should analyze the basic issues which are raised every time after such incident but appear not addressed properly by organizations to prevent such happenings.

The issues which come up are:

Was it not a studied calm boiling inside workers since last year labour unrest and were looking for an opportunity to vent out and 'teach' a lesson to management which could not be smelled by the management well in time?

Could management not sense the ulterior motives of workers well in advance who hatched the conspiracy to attack and resorted to violence while negotiations were going on the fateful day?

Should such incidents of organised violence, riot and arson in the industry be investigated to find out the influence of outside trade unions having political affiliations on workers and expose them?

Are not international HR consulting firms advising many MNCs in India for devising 'Innovative ways and measures to 'engage ' Y gen employees and keeping 'good and harmonious' employees relations proving to be a big failure and unsuccessful?

Are not such agencies always advising organizations to think globally, and not giving proper strategies to equip managements act locally?

Is it not that rampant outsourcing/hiring of people without verifying their antecedents could also be a cause of such mindless violence by workers who are not keen to understand and adapt to the industrial culture and discipline?

Has time not come to redefine the dynamics of employee relations specifically for blue collar employees and understand the total environmental impact on them in which they have born and brought up? Should managements not invest in developing HR / People management skills in Shop floor executives who are first one to face the heat of estranged relationship with employees?

Is it not the high time for the trade unions to introspect as to where their movement is going on? One can read from the history that the workers/ union who have indulged themselves in violence have almost lost ground?

Should managements not accept the challenge of educating their workers and union to be on constructive side always and keep away from any act which harms the organization and themselves?

Should HR professionals be not fully empowered to decide and execute employee relations strategies and not to look at top managements for decisions?

Unless these issues are addressed by organizations, these unfortunate incidents of violence will continue to happen in the industry and HR Person will fall prey to it. This time Avinish has laid his life, next time may be someone else…..


Anil kaushik

Chief Editor, Business Manager-HR magazine

Welcome to Business Manager | Home

From India, Delhi

Preparation for the global SHRM certification exams: SHRM CP and SHRM SCP →
Promoted: XLRI Executive Development Program In Human Resource Management
Excellent write up....
Now management should think the alternatives...Everyone says HR is a powerful department,but it is not like that even for small issues we have look for management decision to solve it, meanwhile everything spoil waiting for decision rather than took the decision.. it is not only spoiling the our career growth spoiling personal too.

From India, Chennai
Excellent write up Sir ...
There are many factors which comes to mind after reading this :
Where was the security in the factory premises when all this happened ?
After how much time the police arrived and what was their role in handling
the situation ? What provoked the workers to take such a extreme step ?
was it only suspension or anything else ? and it is very essential to know
in what way the law will punish the workers and union leaders .
What could be the preventive measures to avoid such incidents in future .
More views awaited .
Rajeev Dixit

From India, Bangalore
Really appreciate what you said... Decisions needs to be decentralized...

First of all, I strongly condemn this inhumane & illegal act of the workers of MUL. Such shameful act can never be justified at any cost.

But this incident have left us with many lessons to Learn.

I feel that the companies have to reduce this significant gap between worker & management , in terms of policies, facilities, involvement in strategic decisions etc.

Certain practices which increase this Gap between Worker and Management,needs to abolished. Like :

-Separate canteen for Staff & Workers ( There should be single canteen and similar food for all )

-Seprate sitting place for Management & Workers ( concept of separate Admin Building should be avoided i.e. staff should have office space within the production area and workers seats be alloted in that area, proper connect between staff and workers, involvement of families of workers in HR Initiatives.)

-Seprate shift timings for staff and workers ( There should be no G Shift at factory premisis)

-Seprate Increments, Bonus shemes and declaration of these Seprately etc.( Everything has to be in similar pattern )

-Role of supervisor should be limited to only production related Instructions to be given to workers and all behavioural and discipline related issues should be dealt by HR / IR Team.

Though this incident has left a black spot on the function of HR but has also left us with lessons to be learnt as the dynamics of workforce are changing with time.

Also the salary should be linked with the Work load & Performance and not with Work Experience especially in the Industrial Units whih are expanding at similar locations and are paying lesser salary to the fresh workforce having lesser experience, though they giving better output.

Its high time for the HR Minds to think.



From India, Delhi
Dear All
Please go through this thread :
Maruti-Manesar incident - Prayer meeting by National HRD Network, Delhi & NCR chapter
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Why HR is the such a thankless job? HR job has got brain and heart too. HR has to think and act for management, for employee welfare, tries to bring balance between management and employees but still never understood by any? I am sure every HR professional has a passion towards employee welfare! Why are we not rewarded for this passion. Instead we are reprimanded for no fault of ours but for all the suppressed grudges that every other individual has somewhere in their heart. The grudge for compensation, the grudge for promotion, the grudge for the mere fact that they have to serve and come to office also... it is all expressed on the HR department.
Is there anyway that we improve our position in the corporate ? It is time that we think for ourselves now!!!

From India, Delhi
What ever happened at Maruti Manesar plant cannot be accepted in a civilised society.
We should not forget that we are human beings first and he has a family that is waiting for him back home.
Who will take the responsibility of his family, if something goes wrong at his home after this?
Sometimes the animal in a person comes out this incident is the best example for that.
For a fraction of second if the group would have thought about this I think this would not have
Ever issue can be resolved on table through proper discussion I think we have to create an open environment for this to happen.

From India, Hyderabad
Nicely dealt by Mr. Kaushik, whatever be the dispute it should be resolved under the law but voilence lead only & only to the disaster which results the death of like GM-HR of Maruti Udyog Ltd. of Manesar unit.I personally condemn the incident took place in the plant and I send my sincerest condolences on the death of Mr. A.K.Dev- GM-HR.
Thanks & Regards,
Sumit Kumar Saxena,

From India, Ghaziabad
Dear Anil ji,
It a second incident which we know one was at Regeny Ceramics, Yanam and second one now in Maruti. Think at once the HR persons roll of work. He was a betel nut in between the management and workforce, any time he will crush. Its a time to resolve the problems faced by HR, in these situations who will be come to our rescue ?
Thanks for posting the gist of the incident.

From India, Kakinada
Dear JJ,
Well said, even I do feel the same.
To reduce the gap among workers we have planned for a regular visit at differnt sites and try our best to resolve their issues and spread awareness about HR policies, and what they can achieve if they participate in company's problem or giving valuable suggestion.
Apart from it there must be an employee who acts like a "VESSEL BLOWER" and timely inform if any happening is about to crop up.
Mohammad Noman

From India, Delhi

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