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Dear All, Need your support for improvement on how workers should behave? Methods of communication? Workers started a new union in which some of them talking too much on the shop floor
From India, Madras
Human Resources Manager-self Employed
Manager - Hr
Management Consultancy
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant
+1 Other


The answer to the question on how workers should behave is to be behaviour in accordance with the rules and regulations of the establishment. Communication is in itself a big topic and we need to know what is hampering the communication, it is not possible to suggest solutions.
In such situations, it is normal for the new leadership/union to assert and make room for itself. They will try to be vociferous and look for an occasion to prove themselves. Management must be extra sensitive and has to react with a clear intention on how to tackle this new phenomenon. If the management is in favour, give the new union importance, call meeting with the office bearers, resolve some issues they have taken up and give them full credit. If the management is antagonistic to the new union then the opposite will be the reaction. This requires strategising looking to the long term and short term objectives of your IR.

From India, Mumbai
Nagarkar Vinayak L

Dear Colleague,

You need to appreciate that forming union is a legal right of employees and any attempt to disturb it by the management as a knee- jerk reaction have adverse impact on mutual relationship and operations.

Talking too much on the shop floor is not a matter of serious concern and will eventually die down. It is better to ignore at this stage.

Many organisations have unions and they have worked out cordial relations to resolve bilateral issues.

So my view is to accept it as part a of life and work out strategies to form healthy, workable relationship in the long- term mutual interests.

Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai

Dear Colleagues,

This situation must be treated the same way we will treat employees gathering in the utility room for tea and take a long time chit-chatting. If work is affected, then they should be told. In the matter of union members talking at shop floor, they should be gently told to keep their conversation brief and they may have their meetings after work.


From Malaysia, Ipoh

It is a very sensitive issue needs to be handled much cautiously as taking any step as this would tamper the smooth operations and relations. As a first step try calling the union representative and brief them accordingly subject to them taking the managements view depends on your IR with these people as some unions are aggressive and some are co-operative. Looks like as per your statement that the union has just recently commenced and hence it would be possible to call them for a meeting and discuss this issue. Also specify that any interruptions during work hours would lead the Management to view it seriously. It is better if you could try to have a standing order in place. However this also needs the concern of the union representatives and needs to be registered with the Labour authorities prior to being put into effect. If this is available that you can quote the clause on behaviour and specify all such unnecessary wasting of time and gossiping which effects operations/productivity can be laid down and communicate in your meeting with union representatives and also displayed on your notice board.
From India, Chennai

Dear Friend,

The formation of union is right of employee. The moral obligation of the employees and their union is to maintain harmony at work place/shop floor during working hour. But the matter turns a matter of concern when work and productivity goes down due to union activities by the employees.

This incident may look small but require proper watch before it gets vulnerable, do not ignore.

This matter should be raised in works committee meeting to address the issue. You can call the leaders of the unions for a formal discussion, management does not have any issue with formation of the union but more concerned over the issue of indiscipline during working hours and loss of productivity. If required, take the note of discussion and reaction of union leader for the solution to the differences between employer and employee.

There are views from other sr colleagues, you should go by all and also appraise the issue to labour department informally while meeting.

From India, Mumbai
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