The labour unrest in the Maruti automobile plant in Manesar leading to a shutdown is not only unfortunate but also an eye-opener to companies which think increased productivity and profits are the only things that matter. They ignore the plight of labour. Although the barbaric act of some unruly workers leading to the brutal killing of a manager cannot be justified, both the management and the trade union representatives are equally to blame for not taking recourse to the grievance redress mechanism in the Industrial Disputes Act. It is a pity that a well established company running on profits is shut down due to mindless violence by a section of workers. It is time outdated labour laws were amended by plugging the loopholes which have been beneficial only to the management.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad

Most disputes leading to industrial violence are due to insensitive managements which make irresponsible and inappropriate comments at critical times. When I was working in a steel plant, a worker died in an accident. It was normal for the company to accede to the demand of the trade union for a job to the next of kin of a deceased worker. The general manager, works, to whom the union representative went with the demand made a casual remark — that such accidents took place regularly and the plant was not bound to give a job. Soon, around 1000 workers gathered outside the manager’s office. The ADM, through his timely intervention, pacified the workers.

O.P. Swaminathan, Bangalore

Manesar will go down as another black mark unless we learn some lessons from the tragic developments there. In the fast-changing industrial and economic scenario, India has to move fast to ensure that the management of human resource is given the priority it deserves.

Highly qualified managers draw negotiated remuneration packages, and regular employees with some job security and contract workers share the same work platform. In such a situation, relationship issues and friction are normal.

M.G. Warrier, Mumbai

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