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We are working at an institute run by the state government, although being appointed against a particular post have never been given clear job description and always assigned different roles other than recruited for. The only reason for performing those jobs is a continuous threat of either termination in case of contractual employees or forfeiture of increments, transfers leading to non-performance and therefore termination.
There are two HR Managers in Institute, one has been given most of the HR responsibilities and even estates responsibilities. Given the fact that the said person is paving way only for Administrative decisions for his self interest and having no concern regarding employees. I am myself an HR Manager , I have been encouraging forming of Employees Union, I have been as such given a limited role by the Director of the Institute.
I am for time being acting as General Secretary of the Union and because of that have been transferred as well .Now the president of the employees association is asking me to write a letter to director for providing office space to the union. I am aware being manager hr I cannot be part of any union, however in absence of any one to take the responsibility of General Secretary I have for time being accepted to shoulder the responsibility. There is one apprehension in case I write the letter I may further be transferred to some far off place or my services will be terminated on one or other pretext. Could any one please suggest how to go ahead so that both the issues are addressed viz: office space is requested and job/transfer is saved? A draft letter would be highly appreciated.

From India, Jammu
Are you in Jammu? I have no full information about acts/laws applicable for J&K. However on general note I can suggest a few things here.
The bane of Unionisation in India is mainly the ideological differences between Management & Union. We have seen many of the demands could easily be addressed provided management will take a flexible stand on certain trivial & just demands as per applicable acts. That's not happening in India. Both Union office bearers and Management have toe only ego clashes between them and with the result none is understood each other. A go-getter achieve most than the other. I suggest you should study the IR models the TATAs are adopting, frankly I don't see much of disturbance in their units.
Coming to your position, being an officer you have no role to play in the Union therefore you can at best give strategic inputs and guidance without straining the rapport with management. Most of the tiffs are related to wage revision and bonus issues. All other issues could be amicably settled if they are not eating into resources of the Co too much.
I don't suggest you should sign this letter. If this is a recognised Union & as a single bargaining agency under the TU Act, it's just to allot a suitable room for union activities and a formal letter may be signed by the President himself, where is the necessity that only GS should sign. If the bye-laws says so then amend it for authorising the President to sign all communications. If you continue to be GS, you should immediately resign by severing all official involvement with union. Going by past deeds of yours no one would believe that you no more have any truck with the union,that tag will continue to linger on you. Nonetheless you might continue to extend your suggestions and advices if you wish and safe guarding yourself from punitive action by management will only depend on how you are going to camouflage your efforts in sensitive issues. In all these efforts your success or not will be influenced by hardliners in the ranks. Nowadays threats from unions are not taken that seriously. If management is determined union activities can be silenced effectively.

From India, Bangalore
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