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Updated: December 21, 2011 11:45 IST

Gone in 50 seconds

Aman Sethi
Comment (49)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
INSIDE THE MACHINE: A worker feeds a part into the automated weld shop in Manesar where Maruti makes the new Swift. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
The Hindu INSIDE THE MACHINE: A worker feeds a part into the automated weld shop in Manesar where Maruti makes the new Swift. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

How the speeding up of its assembly line at Manesar brought Maruti to a screeching halt

On most days in this industrial suburb of Delhi, a phalanx of robotic arms weld sheets of pressed steel into silvery monocoque body shells that emerge from the paint shop in shades of arctic pearl white, glistening grey, blazing red and midnight black. A conveyor belt pulls the candy-coloured shells past 369 workstations, where men armed with whirring tools install engines, doors, windshields, and wiring.

On days like these, a Maruti Suzuki rolls off Assembly Line A every 50 seconds in Manesar, Haryana, and the company sells every second car in India.

Then there are days when the assembly line grinds to a halt, production comes to a standstill, Maruti's half-year profits plummet by 60 per cent and market share shrinks to 39.5 percent. Last week, Maruti released sales figures for what must count as a financial quarter from hell. Tensions between the management and labour had resulted in production losses of approximately 83,000 cars, resulting in a shortfall of about $500 million, according to a Reuters report.

This summer, a dispute over the establishment of an independent union in Maruti's Manesar plant exploded, as workers seized control of the Manesar plant triggering a five month standoff with the management. Workers felt that the recognized Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU) was too compliant with the management. A company spokesperson told The Hindu that the management felt that multiple unions would lead to “competitive union politics.”

The issue of wages was never raised during the strike, but two statements reveal the gulf between a management wedded to a particular idea of efficiency and productivity and workers exhausted by the regimentation of factory life. “Indiscipline is not tolerated,” said Suzuki Chief Osamu Suzuki at a meeting with MUKU representatives. “Authoritarianism will not be endured,” said an anonymous worker in Faridabad Mazdoor Samachar, a workers broadsheet.

On Saturday October 29, soon after the most recent settlement between workers and the management, this correspondent and a photographer were given permission to observe the Manesar factory floor under the supervision of the plant's general manager P.K. Roy. Workers were interviewed outside the factory premises where they could speak freely.

Maruti's Manesar premises are spread over 600 acres and house two separate assembly lines (with a third under construction), a separate company called Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd. that manufactures Maruti's diesel engines and a 65- MW gas-fuelled thermal plant that powers it all.

Mr. Roy said the plant was currently configured to work as a ‘50 second line,' to produce a maximum of about 1,152 cars a day over two shifts of 8 hours each. This summer, according to a company spokesperson and workers, the company hoped to produce about 1,200 cars a day, or a 48 second line.

An assembly line is a complex manifestation of the man-hour-work problems encountered in high school mathematics. Workers stand at stations in a giant covered shed as partially built cars glide by on a moving conveyor; workers step onto the conveyor, fit a specific part, step off and walk back to the front of the workspace to wait for the next car.

The automobile industry produces cars in ‘levelled lots', meaning the cars come in repeating patterns of different models and variants. “Work content is not fixed across models,” said Mr. Roy, “In one model it may take a worker only 40 seconds to fit a particular part… in another model it could take more time.” In a 50 second line, cars arrive in mathematically determined lots where cars that need more than 50 seconds per task are offset by cars that need less.

“Prior to the troubles we were making about 1070 cars a day,” said Mr. Roy, “At present we are making about 800 cars a day.”

“[Prior to the worker occupation] we were under intense pressure to withdraw our application for the union… the line was moving too fast… there were no relieving workers,” said Pradeep Foggat, a Maruti worker and one of the leaders of the proposed Maruti Suzuki Employees Union, adding that a Maruti worker spends 8 hours on the assembly, and breaks twice for a 7.5 minute tea break and once for a 30 minute lunch break. Those who arrive a minute after the shift's scheduled commencement are fined half a day's salary.

In Manesar, Maruti produces about 180 variants of three basic models: the 2011 Swift hatchback, the SX4 sedan, the low-end A Star hatchback and its European variant called the Nissan Pixo. When a car rolls in, the worker looks at a large matrix pasted on the vehicle that indicates if the car is a left or right hand drive, powered by petrol, diesel or compressed natural gas engines intended for the domestic, European or general export market. Depending on his work station he chooses from 32 different upholstered seats, 90 tyre and wheel assemblies, and innumerable kinds of wire-harnesses, air conditioning tubes, steering wheels, dashboard trims, gearboxes, switches, locks, and door trims, in an average time of 50 seconds per car.

For parts like air conditioning tubes, the worker stands between a set of parts racks. As a particular car variant rolls in, a light above the corresponding parts rack blinks with increasing urgency as the worker runs to it, grabs a part and pulls a cord to acknowledge he has chosen the right part. He then steps onto the conveyor belt, fits the part and rushes back to match the next car to the next blinking parts rack before an alarm rings.

If the line halts, signboards across the shop floor light up – flashing the number of the workstation where the line has stopped and the duration of the stoppage. Another board displays the total time ‘lost' during the shift; a scrolling ticker lists the production targets at a given time of the day, the actual cars produced and the variance.

“For every fault, the feedback is recorded and the worker has to sign against it… it goes into his record,” said a worker, speaking on condition of anonymity as every Maruti worker must sign ‘Standing Orders' that, among 100 other conditions, bar them from slowing down work, singing, gossiping, spreading rumours and making derogatory statements against the company and management. The work record is examined during yearly appraisals.

Workers said that mistakes multiply as the speed of the line increases, work intensity spikes and workers spend less time on each car. But the management feels that productivity is independent of work intensity. One gets the impression that eight hours of intense physical work is seen as the ceteris paribus of the assembly line. Given these eight man hours of work, productivity is determined by algorithms that plot variables like the pattern in which different car models are made, the length of line, the number of workstations. “The speed of a line is a design issue. A worker works for eight hours everyday. The line is designed so that the worker can safely fix a part, rest and resume work on the next car in the allotted time,” Mr. Roy said.

For a worker, line acceleration can be a harrowing experience. “When I first began working for Maruti, assembly lines used to run right through my dreams,” said a worker with a laugh, “These days I suppose I'm so tired that I don't get dreams anymore.”

The morning shift ends at a quarter to four every evening. A new shift of young men stream into the factory and take position at their workstations. The handover is seamless, each worker completes the car he is working on and his replacement starts on the next car that glides in. The unblinking clock keeps vigil as lights flash, alarms wail and the line makes its inexorable progress through the assembly floor.

This is an incomplete article with Hindu imposing its communistic ideas on the readers. A good article is expected to place facts from both sides and let the reader decide. Some important facts are not presented to the reader in this article, for example, a good comparative study will put readers in a better position to appreciate the problem. Readers have no clue about the salary, perks, standard of living, penalty etc. of assembly line workers in other countries and how they compare with that of Maruti workers.

from:  Ananthakrishnan Narayanan
Posted on: Nov 7, 2011 at 22:50 IST

Excellently written article by The Hindu. I'm forwarding this to all my colleaguges who work in Manufacturing Supply Chain consulting. I've been working on automotive manufacturing and consulting for quite some time. We do know that the so called Japanese production model is a reference for many aspiring Manufacturing Quality Engineers and Managers in achieving superlative productivity. If one keenly observes, may notice that sustainability of such a model especially with respect to Human Development has shown very poor track record - be it in Japan (lowest birth rates and highest stress related ailments) or China (recent FoxConn's on-the-job deaths,issues of working conditions and labor unrest) or for that matter many other countries. Question here is would any of us want to be in such a 7.5 minute breaks regimen or want our children to take up such a profession? If we can't we shouldn't preach to others... honestly.

from:  Ilanthirai
Posted on: Nov 7, 2011 at 01:14 IST

It was really a very nasty experience while reading the entire article. Workmen are being treated as machines on assembly line. I have heard from one of my friend who worked for sometime in the finance division that the working conditions are very tough at Maruti and majorities of employees remain on contract basis and even not on the roll of Maruti. This is a clear cut case of modern days slavery being carried out in a broad day light for maximizing profits by a foreign company.

from:  C M Jha
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 22:23 IST

Good article, but need more insight about working condition at Maruti.I am working in Germany from past 6 years in automotive branch. Productivity of German worker is much higher than their Indian counter part. At the same time their job satisfaction is also higher. How? Reason is in Germany, there are rules for working environment (temprature, humidity). For every 2 hour there is break. Workers here get 30 day casual leave in year (apart from sick leave) which they can enjoy with their family not like in India where employee's leave is not granted every time.

from:  aarya
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 21:06 IST

I have seen and worked at the Assembly line for an Automobile giant in Germany that produces about 1200 cars a day with two shifts. Key points what we need to learn from them is 1) Level of automation : this reduces lots of human effort. Also including - advanced machine tools that reduces the time consumed for fixing a part. 2) There are three 15 minute breaks and a 25 minute break for a 8 hour shift. What is the case in Maruti? 3) It is indeed exhausting after 8 hours of work but it is not worse as it is written here.

from:  Muralidheran
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 19:05 IST

This is a classic case study for Human Resources. The work intervals are not scientific.
Ideally it should be two fifteen minutes break and one half an hour lunch break. Working on
this line could be monotonous and repetitive. Labour costs in automobile plants are
typically 3 to 4 %. Management cannot benchmark the workers in India with workers in
China. There is lack of coherent policies which address issues like stress and fatigued.
Maruti is here for business with japanese style which won't work. The management is
responsible for the loss and not workers. No I am not leftist but a capitalist with a heart.

from:  Amit Choudhury
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 13:51 IST

7.5 minute tea break; 30 minute lunch break; 1 minute late....half day's salary cut; 8 hrs continuous manual work; And you call this as discipline. Mr. Suzuki...you must be kidding. God knows what kind of salaries are being paid to the unorganized and non-permanent workers. On top of it, you want to increase the speed by 2 more seconds!! Yes. Production lines should be continuous. But this is no way to implement it. For those Japanese, Chinese, and European commentators above, you should also compare the working conditions, salaries, and cost of living.

from:  Tej
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 13:18 IST

Thanks a lot for your highlighting the plight of worker on the assembly lines.It is the
policy of the managements to increase the speed of the belt so as to get more
production.Working over these belt,is an horror for a normal person.We must see the
plight of these workers in China,Japan,Germany or USA.After a few years of this work
the body of a person is complete wrack.More over the Indian workers do not get
enough wages to buy and consume protein rich pure food,like
meat,milk,cheese,lintels in the quantities to make for the loss of tissues of their
bodies.Indians as a whole are vegetarians unfit for heavy jobs.

from:  Trilok Singh
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 12:55 IST

Interesting topic fron TH.Being a biggest manufacturer of cars in India,it is common this type of problems to occur.

from:  bharath
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 12:55 IST

'Karoshi'- a Japanese term 'Death from over work' is going to be the
disease of this century. Work related stress, burnout are increasing at
alarming levels in developing countries like India. There is no
institutional mechanisms to prevent stress and burnout issues.

from:  Santhosh kumar
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 12:49 IST

The most interesting aspect is that "wages" were not the issue at all. This seems to be a case of a high amount of stress on the workers at the plant. That is exactly what they are complaining about. The bigger question to ask is - what is the objective "truth" of the matter? Are Indian workers simply unable to work in these conditions? Let us remember that getting to work and getting home from work by themselves can take a lot out of a human being in India. It is interesting to note that some people talking about "discipline" have worked in three countries aligned with Hitler! Let's be kind to these workers. It is demand for Maruti cars that is causing these problems. Let's democratically buy cars from other manufacturers and ease the stress on this company's assembly line.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 12:49 IST

Good work with the article!

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 12:34 IST

To compete with the so called "developed countries" let us make robots of our people? I wonder how many of the people commenting about these workers needing discipline and the like would like their chai break timed to the second, time to greet a colleague counted as an unpaid break, their tiniest mistake emailed around to the entire office and lose half a days salary for an spelling mistake in an official circular(and so what if for a worker in a factory that money probably means one less meal - they anyways eat too much!!!) This is a strange race we are aspiring to win where we are happy to swap the human in us for productivity, competition with Japan and China and German style discipline!

from:  Manmeet
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 12:29 IST

Kudos to Hindu and Aman Sethi for taking time for presenting the workers plight in
this moving and lyrical article. For commentators who are upset about Aman's
presentation of this article I would remind the quote "Reality has a well known liberal
bias". In fact I think Aman went to the extra length to make this a very factual article
and facts are enough to get a picture of this modern day slavery.

from:  Sudheer
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 12:09 IST

Criteria for Discipline, Speed of work are similar to Germany, Japan, China & it is paramount in an Assembly line, especially in Auto Industry. However, one should not fail to mention that, Suzuki is taking too much royalty from Maruti & in even other purchases, rampant swindling are going on. Not giving equitable treatment to Indian Managers resulting in exodus & now,finally Maruti-Suzuki have ended up in Industrial un-rest like this.

from:  P.S.SRIRAM
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 11:52 IST

To all those people saying discipline is of the utmost importance and who have had the "FORTUNE" of working abroad, I would beg of them to work with the meagre salaries that these workers are paid, plus the climate conditions they work in.... Motivation is a big factor in all this, as one worker has clearly stated,"it was his dream, now he doesn't get dreams" if u dont get listened to or cared for, nobody will feel like working for them. After all, these production lines are set up in India because of the increased revenues that these companies will get courtesy the low level of salaries here.... so their need to be heard is more important than the so called "discipline"

from:  Vinu P Menon
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 11:43 IST

The article gives the impression that measures to improve efficiency
and labour productivity are tantamount to an oppressive slave-driven
shop floor. Systems that provide real time efficiency feedback like
alarms, timers and tickers are seen in a positive light by a motivated
workforce that has as much of a stake in improving productivity as the
management.
But the problem here seems to be that instead of a collaborative,
participatory approach towards improving efficiency, measures have
been taken in an autocratic, top down manner which have alienated the
workers.

from:  gaurav j
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 11:38 IST

well written article without bias

from:  K Abhinav
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 11:13 IST

To compare an Indian worker with his western counterpart would be wrong. Indian worker has a lifestyle 10 times or even more lower as compared to his western or Japanese counter part.

The sternous work at factory and then the meetings in the after math. Trainings and other small time factors included in the work schedule could well mean that the working hours could well exceed 10 hours on a minimum. Then transportation to and fro to the company could be another couple of hours (considering the long wait at bus stands, etc). This would add up total time consumed by the worker to go and work as 12 hours a day.

entertainment factor in a worker's daily work would be close to zero (except for TV, which would only add to his stress).Would be having zero social security support from Government except for PF that could come only later. Insurance would be limited and mostly he/she would have to fend for themselves. Added factor is the rising inflation & raising a family.

Mission Impossible

from:  Sanjay
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:52 IST

What is the message? Should we go back to the socialist era-do minimum work,get maximum benefit?Please,look at the world and compare productivity.Has your correspondent visited factories in China,Korea or Japan?Are you following the norm of relaxed work in your publishing company.Such ,half-truth,half baked articles will only mis-lead people.Already, Indians are famous for coming to quick decisions without analysing.

from:  Raja
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:51 IST

its all fine with the 50 sec production line for a developing nation like India,but who reaps the profits - the holding company in japan and our politicians

from:  ganesan
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:48 IST

Indians till don't learned the modern era`s work principal. They are till living in middle age norms.That is real trouble in Maruti factory.How management slove this trouble shifting factory in Gujarat that only GOD or Modi knows

from:  Ramesh Raghuvanshi
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:38 IST

Beautifully written article! Hope one day we just have machines, people to design them as failsafe as possible, people to monitor their operation and people to troubleshoot any failures. NOT PEOPLE WHO PHYSICALLY WORK WITH THEM AS ONE OF THEM!!!

from:  Shyam
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:34 IST

Brilliant article. Congraulations to Aman Sethi. This brings to life the pace and
intensity of work and the different perspectives on it. I congratulate Hindu to have
brought such an article on the front page and may other news papers follow this
example.

from:  Rengarajan Bashyam
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:33 IST

The article is incomplete without a comparision of what production lines look like in
other Indian and International car manufacture industry. Pay, perks, penalties and
amenities provided should also be compared to make sense of what is written. Many
readers including myself have no clue how the life of Maruthi workers compares with
the rest. Overall it is not a balanced article as most readers will only get an
impression of exploitation of the workers, which may be true but could not be
verified by what is written. Hindu editors should strive to maintain standards of
published work.

from:  Sridhar
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:17 IST

Ran out of characters...Thank you Hindu and the Author for bringing
clarity to agitation.I hope you will pursue this issue with more
articles so the Government take a closer look and come to the rescue of
other millions of workers suffering like this quietly in this Country.

from:  Prem
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:16 IST

I am shocked and appalled by the horror the employees are subjected to
all day.My good views towards Maruthi took a beating after reading
this article.My statement to Maruthi & Suzuki management is "This is
not Japan or China, this is India" we love people and this country is
for the people to live happily and peacefully not to work them to
death like some westerner pleasing country.Can the Suzuki guy do the
same in US & Europe..? Our governments are incompetent? If the
narrative in the article is true about breaks to the workers it is
violating our labor law standards.I would put both Roy and Suzuki in
jail for this atrocity to our people.Modi has invited Suzuki to set-up
a plant in Gujarat...does he have no idea why the employees were
protesting...what about their livelihoods if the plant is shifted to
Gujarat.He claims to become a national leader...how can do that when
some citizens are suffering.I am now wondering about other auto plants
and high demand workplaces in the country.

from:  Prem
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 10:14 IST

The problem seems to be conflict between interest of company and workers does maruti penalize its managers for taking a wrong decision(leave aside 1 min break)

from:  Bhupesh
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 09:36 IST

It all boils down to worker discipline and worker productivity - where India ranks amongst the lowest in the world. A one second delay being penalised half a day's wages only highlights the importance that Suzuki places on discipline & productivity and does not mean anything else. A one second loss by each worker is highly disruptive to an assembly line. If indeed the workload/work intensity was unbearable, that should have been sorted out through negotiations. Apparently, pay does not seem to be a factor here. The workers' demands seem to centre around a more militant union which smarts under a system of discipline that other countries accept. And if indeed Suzuki contemplates moving manufacturing out of Gurgaon, these workers who complain about work pressure would only be too happy to have the company back without any conditions as opposed to staying jobless and hungry. Perspective is important.

from:  C K Jaidev
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 09:34 IST

When any management ignores human touch, it is bound to such response.One should not cross the limits regarding the complexity of work as well as extension of working hours for some or other reason.Those who are comparing developed manufacturing markets with Indian one,again ignoring human touch which is part of Indian culture itself in my honest opinion!!!

from:  Rishiraj Sisodiya
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 09:33 IST

the article, though well articulated, is partially biased towards the workers. addressing the problems occurring on the shop floor is in the interest of the management more than anyone else, but it should not come in the form of arm-bending done by a new union; as that will complicate the matters for all parties concerned. Best way is to have a tranparent dialogue, open to anyone interested. as stated in the comments earlier, indiscipline is a big issue in Indian culture which keeps pulling us back from progress. Being from automobile industry myself, i know that when the management demands efficiency, it also provides free medical aid, financial aid in time of need among other sops to the workers.

from:  tanay gurjar
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 09:29 IST

Robotization of human being has its own inherent limit, the ongoing workers stand-offs can be seen in the same paralance. The company mgmt's setting up of a desired target line to achieve daily target must consider human factor. The human workforce has been put on the assembling line to match the robotic highly efficient assembly line. In that case, the timming set for stayal of incompleted car near a work-station plays a big factor affecting long term production. Its management responsibility to ensure the long term well being of the company includes workers' factor as well.

from:  Anand jha
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 09:24 IST

a very good article.. describes the philosophy of conveyor belt in the production line. Reminds the factory scene from Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times. Conveyor belt reduces the man from his humanity to just a machine,
integrates it (him) to the production line, maximize the efficiency or in real sense maximum exploitation of the labor, increasing surplus labor, feeding into the gluttony of the capitalist. Lots been discussed on Fordism and Taylorism, but still been practiced in a more scientific way for exploiting the labor.

from:  Arvind T A
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 09:01 IST

If japanese and chinese workers can do it why can't indian workers do it?

from:  Subhash B ose
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 08:48 IST

The workers are paid well in companies like Suzuki.They have good perks also.In a fully automated industry one has to be smart to work.They are well trained also.So what is harm if workmen are focussed? Imagine the plight of so many automated unorganised sectors in India where the workmen are exploited with poor salary and dismal working conditions!Maruti workmen are princes amongst work force and there is no justification for "The Hindu" to take their example.

from:  S.Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 08:45 IST

A beautiful article giving deep insight. Several things are clear : 1. In this era of high competition, rather workers have themselves become tool in the hands of machinery. They have to work purely finanical without application of mind. Can some one ask these japanese that they used to talk about creativity, innovations from workers, how these will come when they themselves have made their workers purely mechanical tools. 2. They cut half day wage of the poor worker for minor mistake at the assembly line and their holding company chairman in japan , Oshamu Suzuki sitting in japan talks only about discipline. No one has asked him how his holding company took 1892 crore rupee as royalty from Maruti India in 2010-11 as per audited accounts which was just around Rs.1000 crore in 2009-10. Just because indian management is acting as his stooge and has never explained him that the condition of contractual labourers in india are highly miserable as compared to japan.

from:  Anand Mohan
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 08:37 IST

The situation at 'Maruthi' made me remember the Charlie Chaplin movie 'Modern Times' which aptly describes the problem faced by the workers.Your article is objective and unbiased.

from:  M S S Murthy
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 08:23 IST

What is this story supposed to signify.What are workers supposed to do in an automated production line.It is like saying that the Hindu makes its workers slog through the night.Articles published should convey something.

from:  Raghavendran
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 08:05 IST

It was a horrowing experience for me just reading this. It would have been useful to compare the living conditions of these workers in their homes and communities and their salaries. Workers in advanced countries have access to clean water, clean air, schools for their children and health care that is dependable. Given none of the above, I wonder how this added work-line stress must affect the worker? I wonder how these men handle the stress month-after-month?

from:  P.R.Koduri
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 08:02 IST

As a person who was trained in Japan and have worked there, discipline is of paramount importance in any assembly line. In our country we think that democracy means freedom to do as we like and hence people are indisciplined.In the days gone by no cricketer came unshaven to the field. Today most of our cricketers come unshaven. Today indiscipline is common in our country. Our Netas invariably come late for functions - an example of thorough indiscipline. Any nation which is thriving in production and exports has a very high standard of discipline. To inculcate discipline in our country we must have compulsory military vice.I have luckily worked in Germany,Switzerland, Italy and Japan and found high standards of discipline. Maruti should include discipline as a criteria for recruitment.Ex-servicemen and men who took part in NCC are ideal candidates for Maruti.Our engineering colleges should teach the importance of discipline in life.

from:  S N IYER
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 07:44 IST

Mr. Roy deserves a prison sentence in China - where he is made to break 1 boulder every 50 seconds.

from:  Sanket Korgaonkar
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 07:30 IST

Excellently detailed story. The crux of Japanese work culture has been a bottoms-up driven consensus on what can be accomplished in terms of both productivity and quality. While the employees push themselves hard, they do not work in an environment where they take orders from the top. Maruti seems to have lost its way.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 06:51 IST

This type of action led to demise of auto industry in michigan ,USA and GM collapse

from:  Rrao
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 06:40 IST

it is shame worker are exploited like tools computer and running machine, shame ,these should if apply on govt servant,politician,,1% we need not any janlokpal bill,whole media just became mute spectator,this parametre are not in advanced world, their worker have better pay, interval rest and tea,food availiblity , shame on indian govt and media who are nt highlighting worker bad condition and modi like cm offering exploitative condition to MNC to come and exploite and make profit and run away

from:  Bhupinder
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 05:52 IST

I have seen factories which produce the same no of cars per in the time period indicated in various countries. What is wrong is that, based on what I have seen India, fatigue due to lack of ambient temperature. The time given to the workers for tea breaks. The cost of labour in Indian conditions would be about 2% of total cost of car manufacture. So, the managment putting the entire blame on workers shows lack of human touch. This is par for the course for many Far eastern companies. Lack of communication between management and workers is the underlying problem

from:  Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 05:38 IST

You should also take a look at the IT industries which demand work on all days including weekend and holidays. Apparently, GoI has permitted to extract 48hrs of work per week per person. However, there are no records and even if there are the time spent waiting for work to arrive is not taken into account. So, the employees end up working more than 12 hrs per day. Sometimes, just have to sit to attend the meeting at the end of the day...Promotions, etc are based on office politics....

from:  Sivasathivel Kandasamy
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 04:12 IST

wow...even reading this article makes me feel the pain and stress of the workers. This is a modern time slavery. Thanks TH for highlighting this issue. Hope the union gets what it wants.

from:  Sameer
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 03:33 IST

Maruti workers may complain about the assembly line machine like efficiency and speed but the fact of the matter is their counterparts in countries like China or Japan do the same in the assembly lines of the same or even faster speed without much disruption. One needs to ask why is it that in reasonably well compensated workers in an Indian plant make demands like a slower assembly line whereas their Japanese or Chinese counterparts have little or no problem with.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 02:02 IST

Quite a brilliant article. A great insight into automobile
manufacturing.

from:  Suhas
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 01:50 IST
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