The recent incident at Maruti Suzuki Limited plant at Manesar (Haryana), where workers had resorted to strike demanding formation of separate union for Manesar plant, has again highlighted the issue of establishing a harmonious labour relationship of workers with the state management.
The incident at Maruti Suzuki is not an isolated case, since the state for the past few years has been observing a similar incident where workers have entered into a conflict of interest with the management, resulting in strike.
The incident at Rico industries in 2009 (manufacturers of gear and brake parts), which resulted in the death of a protesting worker, saw workers in huge numbers joining the protest impacting the auto industry in Haryana.
According to the information obtained from Minister of Labour and Bureau Department, the data from January to September 2010 reveals, 141,461 Man-days were lost in Haryana, second highest after Tamil Nadu where 314,644 Man-days were lost during the same period. The officials in the state government maintained the high number of Man-days lost needs to be relatively studied in context with number of industries in the state and number of workers.
The state government officials continue to believe the labour policy of the state is good and the problem in auto industries, caused by few irritants, was good and it was because of certain irritants that the problem was being created, industrialists howvere feel it otherwise.
Former CII council (Haryana) Chairman Lalit K Jain believes there is a need for reforms in the labour policy. Even though the state government continues to assure industrialists on tackling the industrial disputes effectively, the issue remains unsettled.
Jain believes the issue of maintaining harmonious relationship between labour and management needs to be dealt with priority considering auto companies are looking for expansion in other states.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Private Limited (HMSI) subsidiary of Japan’s Honda motor company is setting their second production facility at Bhiwadi in Rajasthan. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Private Limited (HMSI) had suffered production losses on account of labour unrest in Haryana in 2009.
P P Arya, a former professor in Punjab University, maintained the government officials were not playing a proactive role in ensuring harmonious management worker relationship.