In a gruesome incident, employees of Pricol Ltd., a manufacturer and exporter of automotive products killed the Vice President of Human Resources during labor unrest. Roy J George (47), died after he was hackled and assaulted by angry employees who were protesting the dismissal of 42 of their colleagues in one of company’s branch units on disciplinary grounds. The incident took place in the district of Coimbatore located at India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Roy, who held a management degree from IIM-Calcutta, was in-charge of the negotiation between the management and the agitating workers. According to news reports, he was attacked by workers with iron rods and wooden sticks at the company’s Periyanaickanpalayam plant in Coimbatore. Local police has claimed to have made 9 arrests in the case so far.
In India, where the Constitution gives rights to workers to form unions, frequent conflict between the management and workers is not a new phenomenon. However, most of the times a dispute is resolved either by dialogue or one of the parties backing out. Employees venting out their anger by physically hurting senior managers is a new trend though. At times, involvement of politicians and political parties looking to reap political benefits or settle scores further adds to the problem.
In 2007 angry workers of Graziano Transmissioni in Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), bludgeoned their CEO to death over similar dismissal. In 2006 about 700 workers belonging to Hero Honda Motors were mercilessly beaten by police in the northern state of Haryana after one officer in-charge was assaulted by them during protest.