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CASE 1 Sundar Steel Limited was a medium-sized steel company manufacturing special steels of various types and grades.

It employed 5,000 workers and 450 executives. Under the General Manager (Production), there were operation, maintenance, and services groups, each headed by a chief. The Chief of Maintenance was Shukla and under him Mukherjee was working as the Maintenance Engineer. The total strength of Maintenance was 500 workers, 25 executives, and 50 supervisors. Chatterjee was working in Maintenance as a worker for three years. He was efficient. He had initiative and drive. He performed his duties in a near perfect manner. He was a man of proven technical ability with utmost drive and dash. He was promoted as Supervisor. Chatterjee, now a Supervisor, was one day passing through the Maintenance Shop on his routine inspection. He found a certain worker sitting idle. He pulled him up for this. The worker retaliated by abusing him with filthy words. With a grim face and utter frustration, Chatterjee reported the matter to Mukherjee. The worker who insulted Chatterjee was a "notorious character", and no supervisor dared to confront him. Mukherjee took a serious view of the incident and served a strong warning letter to the worker. Nothing very particular about Chatterjee or from him came to the knowledge of Mukherjee. Things were moving smoothly. Chatterjee was getting along well with others. But after about three years, another serious incident took place. A worker came drunk to duty, began playing cards, and using very filthy language. When Chatterjee strongly objected to this, the worker got up and slapped Chatterjee. Later, the worker went to his union and reported that Chatterjee had assaulted him while he was performing his duties. Chatterjee had no idea that the situation would take such a turn. He, therefore, never bothered to report the matter to his boss or collect evidence in support of his case. The union took the case to Shukla and prevailed over him to take stern action against Chatterjee. Shukla instructed Mukherjee to demote Chatterjee to the rank of a worker. Mukherjee expressed his apprehension that in such a case Chatterjee will be of no use to the department, and the demotion would affect adversely the morale of all sincere and efficient supervisors. But Chatterjee was demoted. Chatterjee continued working in the organisation with all his efficiency, competence, and ability for two months. Then he resigned stating that he had secured better employment else where. Mukherjee was perturbed at this turn of events. While placing Chatterjee's resignation letter before Shukla, he expressed deep concern at this development. Shukla called Chief of Personnel for advice on this delicate issue. The Chief of Personnel said, "I think the incident should help us to appreciate the essential qualification required for a successful supervisor. An honest and hardworking man need not necessarily prove to be an effective supervisor. Something more is required for this as he has to get things done rather than do himself." Mukherjee said," I have a high opinion of Chatterjee. He proved his technical competence and was sincere at his work. Given some guidance on how to deal with the type of persons he had to work with, the sad situation could have been avoided." Shukla said, "I am really sorry to lose Chatterjee. He was very \honest and pain-staking in his work. But I do not know how I could have helped him. I wonder how he always managed to get into trouble with workers. We know they are illiterates and some of them are tough. But a supervisor must have the ability and presence of mind to deal with such men. I have numerous supervisors, but I never had to teach anybody how to supervise his men." CASE 2 Sarvodaya Structurals Limited was engaged in the fabrication of heavy structurals. The company had six shops besides engineering, accounts, personnel, sales, and administrative departments. It employed 7,000 men. The chief executive of the company was the General Manager. In one of the shops employing 1,000 men, 900 tons of structurals were fabricated every month. The day-to-day management of the shop was entrusted to the Manager, who was assisted by the Senior Foreman. The three main sections of the shop were Preparation, Marking, and Finishing. In the Marking and Finishing Sections, the work was supervised by two foremen each. The Preparation Section was under the direct supervision of the Senior Foreman, who, in addition, planned and coordinated the work of all the three sections. The Preparation Section was responsible for the collection and. classification of works orders, for reading intricate machine and structural drawings, determination of priorities for execution of orders, checking bills of materials, and processing raw materials for fabrication. This section had 200 men on the rolls. In 1961 the shop started receiving heavy orders, and as the workload increased considerably, the Senior Foreman was unable to cope with it. On the Manager's recommendation, the General Manager sanctioned two new posts of foremen for the Preparation Section. Two Progress Incharges attached to the Senior Foreman were thus rendered surplus and their principal work, namely, reporting progress of work in the shop, was transferred to the Production Planning Department. This action of the General Manager had the concurrence of the Manager. The In-charges themselves were not transferred to the Production Planning Department, as this had its own departmental men to take care of this work. They continued on the rolls of the shop, awaiting orders for transfer to vacancies of equivalent grade in other shops. The minimum qualifications for the recently created posts of foremen, prescribed by a Joint Committee, were a diploma in engineering and five years' experience in a structural shop. The posts were advertised for in the organization but none of the applicants was found suitable for appointment. The In-charges concerned, who were non-matriculates, did not apply, as they did not possess the prescribed qualifications. The posts were, therefore, advertised in the press.

Three outside candidates applied. Only one appeared for the interview and he was not considered suitable for appointment. The case of the two surplus In-charges did not come within the purview of the grievance procedure in operation in the company, as it involved a change in the minimum qualifications prescribed for the post of Foreman. As, however, they were powerful members of the Union executive, the Secretary of the recognized trade union took up their case for appointment as foremen with the General Manager. The Union Secretary argued that they had been doing part of the foremen's job before the posts were created and, in the absence of suitable candidates they should be preferred for promotion. The General Manager maintained that the men concerned were not qualified for the posts and did not posses the technical background required to perform the Foreman's duties. The written job-descriptions of the posts of Progress In-charge and Foreman prepared by the Joint Committee indicated that the job content of the former was only about 25 per cent of that of a foreman, and only, on the administrative side. They did not supervise the work of the Preparation Section in any way, where there were mistries in line for promotion. The latter, though good in their own area, could not be promoted as they were not technically qualified to hold the higher position. After prolonged discussion, the General Manager conceded that in the circumstances, the In-charges would be given an opportunity to prove their fitness for the job. It was also agreed that in the first place, test specifications for the posts of Foreman would be worked out by a Joint Committee and given to the men concerned. If they wished, they would also be given guidance for a period of three months, to learn the job. They would then be subjected to a test by the Training Officer, and if .they passed the test, they would be promoted to foremen. The Manager communicated this decision to the Senior Foreman in the presence of the two men. He readily agreed to give them the necessary guidance whenever they requested it. However, they maintained that "the decision was not only to give them guidance when asked for, but full-time training and guidance in order to enable them to pass the test". On hearing this, the Senior Foreman remarked: "I have no one to spare primarily for the purpose of training them to pass the test. "

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