Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave).
It is reported that the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena at a Gate Meeting held on Friday, the 23rd November 1979, directed the workers to resort to 'Go slow' in work to secure the demands of reinstatement of 8 workers, full wages for the period of suspension of operations & subsequent strike, additional ex-gratia bonus, etc. in response to this direction, workers, particularly key personnel, have started absenting from work, work to rule, go slow, refusing overtime etc. Which have disrupted the essential services in canteen, transport etc. The shop floor workers have also slowed down their performance in work and are resorting to sporadic work stoppages under the pretext of non-availability of canteen services on time.
Employees are aware that the issue of reinstatement of 8 workers has been referred to industrial Tribunal for its adjudication and the issue of payment of full wages for the period of suspension of operations and strike is before the Arbitrator in accordance with the Settlement dated March 17, 1978. In this Settlement the Union/workmen have categorically agreed not to resort to strike, go slow tactics and any other type of agitation on these two issues and that they shall cooperate with the Management in maintaining discipline and improving production and productivity.
The actions on the part of workmen, described above, amount to serious misconducts under the Standing Orders, and illegal strike/unfair labour practices in contravention of the provisions of the industrial Disputes Act and Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions & prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act. These acts are also in breach of the terms of the binding Settlements dated March 17, 1978 and January 12, 1979.
All workers are hereby advised not to indulge in such indisciplined and illegal acts and to restore normalcy forthwith.
Although, the issues/demands raised by the BKS Union are subjudice, it would have been more natural for the Union to discuss these matters with the Management across the table in a peaceful and congenial working atmosphere, rather than resorting to unjustified direct action.