1- Being a bellwether in the manufacturing of heavy electrical equipments with respect to market share and quality, it is advised that company management should prefer Compliance rather than people acceptance with present practices.
As after adoption of legal requirement of 08 Hours working will not only enable the company to comply with the chapter VI & Section 59 of Factory Act subject to 48 Hours, overtime in any week but also clearing Buyer's audit more easily.
2- The apprehension of Plant HR heads are well founded because what workers are earning at present Rs. 40K for 12 hours will definitely reduce their earning against 08 hours work by 32% approximately around Rs. 27,000/-. And reduction in earned wages will lead to difficulties to run or meeting family's requirement which may become the cause of IR Issues. Furthermore, the work culture of mutual trust and respect among management which was already established in company may distort and collapse which may also lead the workers after 8 hours work to socially mobilize and developing network with external agencies/workers of other industries. In long term it may be detrimental to the organisation interest as well as of workers.
3- After introduction of 08 hours working policy, the management has to encounter two disturbances. First on the part of workers and second at the level of labour Authorities. On the worker's part, it will be non-fulfilment of basic needs and difficulties to run/meet family requirements with lesser salary proportionate to 08 hours working and on the other hand it will be on compliance part i.e. (a) non adherence of working hours as per statute & conditions of Standing Order. (b) Three years formal wage agreement between workers & management on 12 Hours Basis which will be considered as void by the Authority. The possible way of introducing 08 Hours working culture may be by restructuring the wage structure without distorting/damaging family budget i.e. take home salary. Though such practice of restructuring of the prevailing wages at 08 hours working will surely be accepted by the employees but it will put a heavy burden on company with respect to CTC and new recruitments etc. Because of this complexity, the management may not like to do it in this way rather prefer for reduction of wages.
Another aspect which may be adopted by Corporate HR Head is to hold the decision for the time being till the arrival of next revision of wage agreement. Because the management will have a sufficient time to take the employees in confidence by endorsing this responsibility to Plant HR. As the 12 Hours system is already in vogue and introduction of new system of 8 hours will definitely become a topic of discussion among employees and management during this gap can expect some good ideas from employees themselves. During this gap period, the management can also arrange trainings/motivation programs having context with aspect impact of prolong working, health, safety, productivity etc. Simultaneously the management not only have to counsel workers and let them in their confidence but also to be advised to prepare data/trend analysis on various aspects of productivity, Company loss, burden, market potential etc. Besides above, the management has also to emphasis on strengthening its contract workers or fixed term employees who may be assets for the company during any unforeseen situations. Therefore, at this transition phase the Corporate HR Head must rely on Plant HR who can introduce 08 hours working culture in phased manner pragmatically through IR Strategies as per situations. In the mean while, the company may have to go for injunction to avoid any loss of company's property. Later on when the favourable condition arrives of worker's confidence, the management can go for further wage settlement either bi-partite or tri-partite.
At the end Company has to move on to compliance and for that HR should start working as early as possible by creating favourable circumstances for the compliance culture. Old habits die hard but some have to meet the fate.