Outsourcing of employees was the latest trend in industrial sector, said Head, operations and maintenance, Reliance Industries Limited, Gadimoga unit, M.V. Subba Rao, on Saturday. The role of human resource departments in industrial units had become more crucial in the present scenario, he said.

Mr. Subba Rao was the chief guest at the inaugural session of the conference on ‘The Current Labour and Industrial Scenario' organised by the Andhra Pradesh unit of the Employers' Federation of Southern India (EFSI). Speaking on the occasion, he recalled how Reliance had overcome the problem of shortage of technicians when it launched sub-sea drilling operations. “At that time, the HR departments focused on outsourcing and picked up training workforce. The rest is the history,” he said, adding that gone were the days when industries used to hire employees on contract basis.

Mr. Subba Rao observed that from catering to sweeping, outsourcing was at its peak in all the industries and many outsourcing firms were attaining global status. “There is a total change in employee recruitment process,” he said.

Head (ER) of the ITC Limited, Guntur, K. Chandrasekhar, said that there was no trade union in their new unit at Mysore, as most of the work had been outsourced. “Going by our past experience, we preferred to opt for outsourcing,” he said. Chairman of EFSI Andhra Pradesh chapter M. Appayya, in his opening remarks, said that trading union culture was fading away in many industries.

He said that there was a need to follow the amendments to the labour laws very closely. Referring to the recent rampage at Regency Ceramics at Yanam, he said that a critical review of employer-employee relations in the industries was the need of the hour. Secretary of the EFSI's Andhra Pradesh chapter S.L.N. Murthy was present.