Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Sreemoy24
Student

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Rk Fabricators medium-sized company was engaged in the fabrication of heavy structures. The company was spread over at six different locations. Each location was managed independently for engineering activities and administrative activities like Finance, Human Resource, Marketing etc. and were separately managed centrally by the head office. It employed over 5,000 people. The chief executive officer was the overall in-charge for the activities of the entire company.
In one of the plants, about 900 employees were working, and they provided the heavy fabricated structure for machine tools, structure for automated conveyors used in large plants for manufacturing of automobiles, auto components suppliers etc. The day-to-day management was carried out through a plant manager who was assisted by a couple of engineers and supervisors. There are three main departments in the plant; they were cutting, welding and assembly. In the cutting and welding department, the work was supervised by two engineers who, were, in turn, assisted by three supervisors in each section. The cutting section was directly under the supervision of one of the engineers and they got their information directly from the planning department about the size of the material to be cut as per the orders. The priority of the work was set by the engineer and supervisors as per urgency. The section had about 100 workmen on its rolls.
In 2001, the shop started receiving heavy orders and the workload also increased considerably. The engineer and the two supervisors were unable to cope up with it. On the plant manager's recommendations, the CEO sanctioned two posts of supervisors for the cutting section. As there was a shortage of a supervisor in the welding departments, one supervisor was transferred to the welding department. Now, there was shortage of one supervisor in the cutting section. One of the fitters, Natin Paul who had competed his NCTVT elimination along with ITL had been working in the company for the last six years. He was educated in an English medium school and was good in both speaking and wilting in English.
The engineer who was working m the cutting section knew patil very well so he recommended patilís name for the post of the supervisor in the same section. As per the company's norms, the minimum qualification for supervisor should be diploma in mechanical engineering. The HR department had given the advertisement for the same but they could not get a suitable person for the post.
Nitin Patil was also the general secretary of the union. As per the practice, all the union members were also working along with other workmen on the shop floor. Patil being a secretary of the union was very sincere in his work. And because of his position and knowledge, he was respected in his department by his co-workers.
The manager of the plant forwarded Patilís recommendation to the plant manager who in turn, discussed this with the CEO. The CEO did not agree for two reasons
(a) He is already a general secretary of the union, so he should resign from the post first.
(b) and (b) His qualifications were not as per the requirements of the post. These points were communicated to Patil as well as the engineer in the cutting department. After getting this reply, the union president and general secretary met the CEO.
They discussed the following points with the CEO
(a) As per the policy of the company, the supervisor is also a member of the union and
(b) Though Patil had not passed his diploma in engineering, the management could compare his performance at work with any supervisor working in the company and, if Paid did not match the level of performance with them, he would withdraw his name from supervisor's post. After prolonged discussions, the CEO conceded that in the above circumstances, patil should be given an opportunity to prove himself on the job. It was also agreed that if patil wished, he should be given guidance for a period of one month by the engineer concerned and. then, could be absorbed subject to the results of a test by the training officer and, in case he passed the said test, he would be promoted as supervisor.
The Union President and Patil accepted the proposal finally, Patil was promoted as a supervisor after three months.
Questions
1. Analyse the case and identify the main points.
2. If you were the human resource manager in RK Fabricators, what advice would you give to the CEO?
3. Do you agree with the decision taken by the CEO to promote Patil? From an HR viewpoint, what could be the consequences of the decision in future?

Dear Sreemoy,
Your profile shows that you are a student of HRM. I've also gone through your thread created on 3-01-2018 entitled " A case on Noble Paper Union's demands ". I think both the threads created by you are parts of your academic assignment on Case Study. Therefore, it would have been better had you presented them with your own findings with reference to the legal provisions applicable to the issues raised. Otherwise, whatever the answers given by the members would be just spoon-feeding only and I am afraid it may wipe out the habit of original thinking in you later. Always for a single problem the answers may be many depending upon the mind sets of the respondents. One's profession has an overwhelming impact on one's psyche. Now, let us know your views on the following:
1) Is promotion of an employee an essential ingredient of the contract of employment?
2) Can an employee who escapes the ambit of the definition of workman under the ID Act,1947 by becoming a Supervisor be a member or office bearer of a Trade Union as per the Trade Unions Act,1926?
3) Can the view of the CEO that the employee should no more be a member of the union as a precondition for his promotion as Supervisor on the premise that he can not work effectively as a supervisor could be found fault with?

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