Article (May-2018)

Articles

Trade unions need to change its approach

S.K.K.Warrier

Designation : -   President HR & GS

Organization : -   First Global Engineering Services Pvt. Limited, Misurata, Libya

01-May-2018

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How do you see and define new age labour relations? How it differs from old age industrial relations dynamics, thought process and action approach?
SKK The Current scenario in Industrial Relations are more dynamic, diverse and complex as compared to past. The current industry pace, environment socio-economic status and the time industry is passing through has made challenging impact.
There is complete change from the past, as there were no technology used by HR professionals and everything and anything were based on individual one on one conversation and posing of different questions to understand the hidden truth and under currents. It was more of personal touch at all levels be it individual, family, friends, social and community circles etc. In past we had mix of labour more of school pass and less of qualified or certified personnel.
With the pace of time and changing technological time, the current scenario is quite different from the past. The industry has appropriate advanced technology available for assessment of individual characteristics, social networking sites to understand one's outside activities, attitudes, thinking and so on.
Do you think that trade unions are slowly becoming irrelevant in this age of knowledge and digital economy, and if so, and what corrections they should make in their approach and perspective to stay relevant?
SKK The Trade Unions have yet not changed its approach and thinking matching the pace of the time. This saying looks true …"if you do not change with the pace of time you will perish"…
The Trade Unions approach is same whereas the level of Literates, technically qualified and specialised manpower is entering the industry and hence the approach has to be more refined and matured instead of same old tactics of Strike, Go slow, Dharna etc. etc.
Trade Unions are not irrelevant as far as manufacturing is concerned in a way it is good for large industries engaging large manpower and hence speaking with the representatives of workmen and communicating is positive and effective. Only thing that Trade Union has to change is its strategy to handle this more complex scenario of fast moving time.
Is Labour Day representing origin of collectivism losing its shine and if yes, why?
SKK The Labour Day, gate meetings etc. etc. has lost its importance in view of different class of people joining the industry. The collectivism approach has lost interest amongst the working class due to higher IQ and educational level.
In manufacturing sector, will robotics going to impact blue collar jobs negatively and if yes, what Proactive steps HR should take in advance to maintain a fine balance in job opportunities and technology advancements?
SKK The Plan of introducing Robotics in manufacturing is a long term plan and hence HR has to proactively have strategy either for reshuffle or separation etc. envisaging the human related problems likely to impact the progress. Well planned strategy on realistic basis and with consent of all stake holders will never fail. Also should be ready with PLAN B and C alongwith Plan A.
How do you evaluate the objectivity and impact of labour reforms undertaken by Govt. on labour relations?
SKK The present Government has good intentions to bring overall labour reforms in the country so that the pace of development can get momentum for the good of the country. However still great efforts are required by the Government in terms of bringing multiple legislations into three broad legislations : 1. Wages Legislation; 2. Social Security and Welfare Legislation; 3. Industrial Relations Legislations. Factories Act, Mines Act, Plantation Act and Shops and Commercial establishment Act should be separated from Welfare etc. provisions and focus on technical provisions. Similarly, the Jurisdiction of Inspection Authorities also need to be clearly defined for better understanding of Industry. For actual industrial reforms the technology should be used wholeheartedly and widely at all spheres of compliance such as online approvals, online exemptions, online submission of returns, online notifications etc.
How dignity of job and respect for labour is enhanced in the industry?
SKK It is by display of fair attitude and reflections. "Fair for Fair" policy. Policies and Practices should not change from person to person. Open and fair consultative approach, respect for suggestions small or big. Deliberations on continuous basis with honest intention can enhance dignity of job and respect of labour. For this, mindset of every management professional interacting with labour needs to be changed.