Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Work less - but not Jobless

Work less  -  but  not  Jobless

(  Contributor :  hcp  )


Earlier this month , General Motors announced its intention to close down its Halol ( Gujarat ) plant

That would render some 1100 workers , " jobless "

News reports say , Shri Amitabh Kant , Secretary - DIPP , called GM manager to discuss this issue

We will never know , what exactly Shri Kant told the GM manager

It is possible that he said :

"  Just because you are shifting your operations to Talegaon , you cannot throw 1100 workers on the footpath !

GM is employing some 220,000 workers across the globe

What is so difficult for you to absorb these 1100 into your other factories , worldwide ? Who will believe you if you say , you cannot  ?

You must protect their jobs "

Neither will we know what GM manager assured Shri Kant

But that reminds me when L&T decided to stop manufacture of Diamond Core Drills and Water Well Drills , at its Madh ( Mumbai ) factory , in 1979

At that time , I was posted at L&T Powai Works as General Manager and responsible for all negotiations / settlements with the Labour Union

When they heard about Management decision , C S Nakhate and S V Naik ( Union leaders ) came to me to protest against Management decision to retrench 300 odd workers

They said :

"  Who will believe that L&T cannot absorb 300 workers when it has a work-force of some 7500 workers in Mumbai ? You must protect their jobs "

I agreed not to retrench a single worker , on condition that each and every worker ,  would accept ANY other job offered in Powai - after re-skilling , if necessary

Eventually , all workers rendered " work-less " were re-deployed in various departments of L&T ( - including , at some out-station factories ) , without making any one " job-less "  !

I believe that a much more flexible labour law on retrenchment of workers , when business is losing market , is the only assurance that employers would not hesitate to employ a large number of workers when needed

But it is equally - or even much more - important that Indian managers / employers / business owners , learn to treat workers as " Family Members " of a joint family

A younger brother who loses his job , is not thrown out of the family !

He is supported by other working / earning members 

If Indian employers inculcate such an attitude , workers won't need protection of labour laws

At the same time , there is a crying need to reduce litigation under " Industrial Disputes Act " , by removing from its purview , dismissals / terminations of non-performing employees .

This act should be limited to addressing only " Collective Disputes " and non-performance related cases should be covered by simplified Model Standing Orders

In my own small company , I have personal experience of a group of my employees accepting a 20 % salary-cut , in order to protect the job of a colleague , till business revived !

Employees must be made to understand that such a temporary sacrifice will enable a Company to ride out the bad times , when the only way out is to reduce the manpower costs

They must be told :

" If you are not ready to accept a temporary sacrifice , Company will become
irreversibly sick and eventually , everyone will lose their jobs ! "


hemen  parekh

22  Aug  2015


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