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Unfair Labour Practices: A Case Study*

CASELET, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
ET Cases - GSMC, 5 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Esrafil Ali, Research & Teaching Assistant, Indian Institute of Management, Raipur

Case Preview

Unfair Labour Practices: A Case Study

 The Manas Electricals Equipment Pvt. Ltd., had its plant 25 km away from Mumbai, located in an Industrial area of Navi Mumbai. The Company was the manufacturer of electrical transformers and equipment in two different units. Their employee strength was 248, consisting of Managers, Technical and Non-Technical staff. Since its establishment in 1985, it was having a very good market with growing demand from public and private industries and achieved a turnover of INR50 crores. All the  employees were satisfied with the working conditions. The industrial relation situation was satisfactory at that time.

By 1990, due to the centralised decision making process prevailing in the organisation, there was often a delay in the sanctions given that resulted in poor customer service. The organization was having two units located in two different places that required employees to participate in the decision making process. However, that was not encouraged in the organization...................

Background

Managers, supervisors and workers were having half an hour rest for taking lunch during each shift and a rest room was provided for those who were bringing their own food to eat. However, some of the workers had to go out about a kilometer for their tea, lunch and dinner since the location of the company was at an isolated place on the outskirts of the city. However, half an hour was considered too less time for having their lunch. As a result, some workers were coming late frequently.............

The Groundwork

After a few days, the factory manager of the company received a notice from a local union. The letter was addressed to Sunil, Chairman and Managing Director.

“Dear Sir,
I was to intimate to you that all the workers of our company were exploited with the management decisions and policies. They were not getting sufficient labour welfare facilities as per their rights and need. The workers had many pending issues which were not settled in due time by the management. Most of the workers had joined our union for their safeguard and interest. In view of this, all the workers had requested to discuss the issues with the management..............

Action…

Avinash Sarode, being a popular and experienced union leader, made a serious attempt to create industrial peace for which he had thorough discussions with the labour advisor. He called Sunil to the Labour Advisor’s office and recommended that..............

What Next?

Despite the Avinash Sarode’s proposition, Sunil had reservations for the suggestion. As the company was well maintained, having a canteen in the factory area would create nuisance. After persuasion by Avinash Sarode, both the parties came to an understanding to sign a settlement for having a Canteen in the factory premises. Accordingly, the settlement was signed by both the parties, copies of which were forwarded to the Inspector of Factories.............

Assignment Questions

General questions for discussion:

1. Does the matter of not providing canteen by the employer amount to unfair labour practices?
2. How did the Employer justify the action of not providing canteen by them?
3. ................

Teaching Note Preview

Unfair Labour Practices: A Case Study

 

Synopsis

The Case describes the issues related to industrial relations in the organization. The organization carried out unfair labour practices in the premises. The issues related to labour welfare; health and safety were not resolved on a timely basis in the organization. Management was not taking responsibility of providing canteen for the workers which resulted in conflict among the workers and supervisors. An individual issue of a worker who was issued show cause notice for being late to his regular duty, resulted in collective dispute for the employees. The aggrieved workers formed a union and filed a complaint of harassment by supervisors, lack of canteen facilities and unfair labour practices before the Inspector of Factories, Thane and Deputy Labour Commissioner. Through the experience of not having canteen for the employees in the organization, the case tries to elucidate the role and responsibilities of the employer, union and labour and how the unfair labour practices can lead to wastage of time and productivity in the organization.

Pedagogical Objectives

The Case depicts the causes of poor industrial relations and unfair labour practices in the organization. In the process, it describes how management commits mistakes or what leads to industrial disputes. The basic objective of the case is to facilitate the participants to come out with the pros and cons of the decisions taken by the management and labour to resolve the issues cited in the case. These pros and cons will set the direction for the better resolution that may be taken or practiced for the smooth functioning of the organization and to prevail harmonious industrial relations.

In nutshell, the objectives are –

  • • To analyze the situations and understand the pros and cons of the issues in the case
  • • To elucidate the role and responsibilities of Management, Labour and Trade Union under the jurisdiction of labour laws

 

Target Audience

The case is designed for the students of Post Graduate Programme in Management. It may be included in their advanced level Human Resource Management & Labour Law courses for discussions. Students are required to have basic level knowledge in Labour Laws to discuss the case. This case may also be used in the corporate training programmes for practicing managers. This will enable them relate the theory with their real life experiences.

Assignment Questions

General questions for discussion:

  • 1. Does the matter of not providing canteen by the employer amount to unfair labour practices?
  • 2. How did the Employer justify the action of not providing canteen by them?
  • 3. ....................

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Product code: HRM-2-0050, HRM-2-0050A

Abstract

This case study's objective is to shed light on the issues related to industrial relations in the organization. The Government of India enacted the Factories Act 1948 in order to provide certain labour welfare facilities to the employees working in the organization. The Act regulates that the Principal Employer should provide and maintain the health and welfare of the employees working in the organization. Through the experience of not having canteen for the employees in the organization, the case tries to elucidate the role and responsibilities of the employer, union and labour and how the unfair labour practices can lead to wastage of time and productivity in the organization.



Pedagogical Objective

  • To analyse the situations and understand the pros and cons of the issues in the case
  • To elucidate the role and responsibilities of Management, Labour and Trade Union under the jurisdiction of labour laws

Case Positioning and Setting

The case is designed for the students of Post Graduate Programme in Management. It may be included in their advanced level Human Resource Management & Labour Law courses for discussions. Students are required to have basic level knowledge in Labour Laws to discuss the case. This case may also be used in corporate training programmes for practicing managers. This will enable them relate the theory with their real life experiences.


* GSMC 2016, IIM Raipur

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- Abstract
- Caselet
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)


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