The Lessons, Manesar Has Left…..
ecently, India’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL)received a jolt when the infuriated mob of workers at its Manesar plantattacked the officials and set the production line on fire. The incidentclaimed life of one of the Senior Managers, injured nine policemen and left100 officials being hospitalized. Though fingers are pointed in alldirections, here is a quick recap and analysis of the situation from an HRstand point.
With a huge part of Maruti’s labour being contractual (nearly 50%),conventional engagement methods proved to be insufficient. Withcontractual labour, companies usually do not have to provide any extrabenefits and that exactly helps in cost-cutting. But besides cost-cutting,contractual workers also need motivation and engagement. A number of low-cost techniques or non-monetary efforts can be channelled to achievethis. Instead of fighting the workers, it is important to remember that theyare in fact part of the bigger organization and contribute to its success. The sense of belongingness and cohesiveness can in themselves beenough to motivate the workers.In October 2000, the company saw its first major confrontation betweenworkers and the management. Workers were being stopped at the factorygate, their entry made conditional on their signing a ‘good conduct bond’.Now here’s the catch. Signing a bond may not necessarily facilitate goodbehaviour. In fact it only promotes a feeling of distrust and disharmonyamong managers and workers. Managers must take steps to mend thebond instead of taking actions that clearly draw lines of demarcationsbetween the two.In 2001, the management derecognized the old union. The same year,another union was registered under the management’s patronage. Onlyregular workers could become members of the union. While variouswelfare measures were provided to the union affiliated workers, non-regulars were left in the lurch. Though Maruti is considered a byword forlow-cost manufacturing in India, nonetheless it is only fair to consideranother company that built a huge workforce of motivated employees thatwere majorly part-time. Starbucks introduced various plans and benefits