Hi team,
Please address issue which were not addressed and so it caused the incident.
What is the preventive & corrective action, an HR team should work on it
we need to discuss this to bring the harmonious relations across our industry.
seeking your inputs team

From India, Madras
Dear Sridharan,

Good to note that you have taken up this topic for discussion. I had taken up similar topic earlier. You can click the following link:

http://citehr.com <link fixed>

The major reasons why this problem happened are as below (this is my viewpoint): -

a) Over dependence on contract workers

b) Heavy pay disparity between contract workers and permanent employees

c) No weekly off to contract workers (refer Business Standard of 30-Jul-2012)

d) Senior managers living in ivory towers. They had brushed under the carpet "us and them" attitude.

e) Employers should empower HR. They attach HR to their apron strings.

f) Management science is not above good old proverbs. Management did lot of saving by employing and exploiting contract workers. But everything negated in just couple of hours. This reminds me good old Hindi proverb "Sou Sunar Ki, Ek Luhar Ki".

g) Companies like Maruti Suzuki worry about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). But then Employee Social Responsibility (ESR) precedes CSR. Each company should note this.

h) Lastly, HR should stop playing second fiddle to the management. When employees rights are trampled, they should not play second fiddle. When Rome was burning, Nero was playing fiddle. When HR plays the second fiddle, factories like Maruti Suzuki are bound to burn.


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
In my opinion the major reason for this incident was just an ego clash. It is so sad to know that these tiny issues can even result in loss of life of innocent people. The corrective actions are taken by company & management but what HR should focus is on preventive actions, that can be our forte. In India we have to rely and depend on contractual labor but while doing that we should make sure that diversity - regional ratio, sex ratio is maintained and Company's & HR should be open to support labor unions. If they join hands with them we can really change the complete picture.
From India, Gurgaon
Hello Sridharan,

I think both Dinesh V Divekar & Aditi Jain have given valid aspects to the issue--though Aditi Jain's surmise of attributing the WHOLE & ONLY reason to 'ego clashes' doesn't really jell, given the nature, scope & extent of the damage done [if we see beyond the 'physical aspect' of the incident].

While I do agree with Dinesh's comments reg 'empowering HR', I am not so sure if this specific aspect can be applied to the Maruti incident. Suzuki has a reputation for empowering most of their employees/functions--with the rider that the performance results have to flow, which is understandable & justifiable.

Somehow, the 'profit-only' motive does seem to have overrode all other aspects of operational aspects in the Non-IT sector--there doesn't seem to be any other logical explanation for the over-dependance on Contract labour [as per Mr. Bhargava--Chairman, Maruti--in one of the TV programs, it's ~60% in Maruti, which by any account is quite large].

I think it's here that HR of Maruti failed. Who would have even a semblance of 'ownership/sense-of-belonging' towards the Employer when he/she knows that their wages come-in ONLY if they attend work & they can be fired without notice? From a purely HR perspective, the Maruti HR ought to have seen this situation coming when such is the mix of the labour force.

In a way, Aditi Jain has a point in saying 'In India we have to rely and depend on contractual labor.....'. But it's, by & large, the same the world over.

The KEY would & ought to have been to maintain the Right Balance. Human nature being what it is, when someone sees another person getting more than him/her for the same work, there's bound to be some sort of a counter/reaction--in which direction & in what way & force totally depends on the overall circumstances.

I think the Maruti HR failed to gauge or rather misplaced the silence of the workers as 'acceptance' of the company policies/norms.

Another aspect that's still open-ended seems to be the involvement of outsiders in this incident [should be clear only after the Enquiry is complete]. Frankly, I too wouldn't rule it out altogether. Given the state & nature of our Indian politics, it wouldn't be surprising to see any political party from surreptitiously backing any violent actions of the staff--as long as their involvement doesn't come-out into the open.

That's my take on the incident/issue.

I do hope others too contribute to this thread--and I am with Dinesh in appreciating Sridharan for posting.

The way I see it, this incident/issue has all the portents of becoming a classic course-work Case-Study in all MBA-HR Institutions in the time-to-come, since there seems to be multiple dimensions to this incident.



From India, Hyderabad
Hi team,
Thease all above are very good points to think and work on it.
Thanks for such a great input towards the incident.
if many team members shares their views and learning, it will be really useful to all HR professionals.'
Thanks team,
Sridharan. K

From India, Madras
Mr. Dinesh has projected right points in favour of hr as remedial action towards averting such incidents.I agree to these points.My views say that an HR at GM level would be empowered to exercise all possible implementations to avert such incidents while keeping the management in confidence.Point is even then the failure occured.Somewhere i feel there was lack in understanding the very human values and ethical practices.No Company Like the Maruti will missout on these factors while framing their policies.Secondly it is the discision makers who must review the changes in human behaviuors and monitor the change pattern in employees through best hr practices as i feel, Hr is the only concerned department who can and supposed to interact with human resources and generate the environments conducive to work and sustain human values.

From India, Vadodara
Hi Friends,

I appreciate that such a issue was taken for discussion, that shows how concern all of us on what had happened in Maruti Udyog Manesar Unit.

I am in agreement witha ll the comments above But, what I personally feel is its total failure of Management system followed in Maruti and similarly replicated in other industries. Ultimately, most of the people start blaming failure of HR Department in Maruti and talking of empowering Hr department but, what in opinion is not the failure of HR department nor they have been having less power they were fully empowered.

It is failure of Maruti Managemnet system. If you see the entire story one can notice many things like huge pay difference between Maruti Udyog Employee and contract Employee performing same job,(This is voilation of basic fundamental right "Right to Equality").

Ego clash between Maruti Udyog Employee and contract employees Voilation of social harmony. A business is costodian of society's asset's, It takes everything from Society Energy, Rawmaterial and manpower. it sells back their products to the society, exploits society's natural resources and contributes pollution into the society. So it become essential for them to behave in Socially Responsible manner. its the responsibility of the business to maintain social harmony and take steps to maintain social harmony and peace in society.

In race of earning profit they have forgotten fundamentals and allowed business to be driven by house of thought of "Profit at any cost". They have allowed practice of exploitation of Social resources. It has resulted into out burst in such manner which is not acceptable or supported by any culture.

This incident has not only damaged to Maruti Udyog but also damaged social image of India and specially Gurgaon.

Wrong management policy of maruti Udyog was to be controlled and rectified by all departments not only by HR department. All employee's of Maruti live in same society in which other exploited employees live(same city Gurgaon Not talking about hpousing society). This could have bursted into some other form outside plant also at that time how they cpould have saved themselves and their family. Maruti Management have at that time escaped saying its local or individual problem so, it was responsibility of all Maruti Udyog employees to Stand against such exploitation of their fellow society members.

This shows its failure of management system which have failed to create sociually responsible employees and build sens of ownership among all associated with it.

Wrong management system cannot be justified by blaming any department for failure or any outsider for the same.


Yogesh S Pandey

From India, Delhi

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