Are we prepared to tackle the increasing cases of labor unrest? How should management confront such issues of labor unrest?
Are these really cases of labor unrest or part of a wider malaise, as is being hinted at in preliminary reports? Management has to confront these issues with firmness and fairness and the full backing of the State labor machinery to ensure that nobody believes they are above the law i.e. both management and unions. The guilty must be expeditiously charged, enquiry conducted and dismissal effected within the next 6-8 weeks. Speed is of the essence here and justice not only has to be done, but seen to have been done as an old adage reminds us.
We have been hearing pious utterances on labor reforms for several years. What should be the direction of labor reform in India?
This is virtually flogging a dead horse as it seems this is nobody’s agenda. The direction of labor reform must follow the demographics of a developing economy. Globalization has opened up the flow of trade, capital, knowledge, ideas and innovation, across borders and employers and employees must agree to work together based on potential of globalized growth and the government must make it happen now!
Is India Inc. and trade unions ready for a dialog on wage negotiation? What should be the methodology to be followed to arrive at a minimum wage?
Any wage negotiation for a LTS has to be based on productivity gain-sharing equally. India Inc. and trade unions have no option today, but to negotiate peacefully.
The MW must be renamed as the Minimum Living Wage. One of the methodologies for arriving at the minimum living wage based on skill levels, could be determining the cost of daily calorific intake for a 18 year vegetarian male doing manual work, linked to the updated CPI for the area multiplied by 30. Thereafter, the social security benefit costs must be added and the sum thereof could give an indication regionally of survival for a productive life on a monthly basis.
Are there ways in which employment of contract labors be encouraged without making the employees feel that they are losing out in terms of important benefits?
It’s the responsibility of the employer to develop specified procedures that must not create unrest among the employees and should not discriminate in overt elements such as:
-Extending the benefits on insurance to self and family over and above ESI
-Common food/canteen facility to all (best practices being followed should be highlighted]
-Similar salary break-up for temp and on-rolls (at specified levels)
- Extending few long-term benefits such as leave encashment and gratuity.
-Training /up-skilling people so that it helps them to move to the next level.– This generally does not happen in most of the large workforce base companies, they tend to do the same work throughout their tenor
-Just like increments are granted to permanent payroll staff, why cannot increments be granted to temps who complete a year?
It must be understood that going forward, the labor market will become more complex, also there is a larger responsibility of thinking about the social security of such huge workforces. By implementing the basic elements, we are sure the discrimination level will reduce and as a result people would not bother much whether on-roll/contract.