Hi Friends,
                                              Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.
                                                  There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"
                                       With regards,
                                       Hemen Parekh
                                       27 June 2013

Friday, 31 August 1984

GUJRAL STRIKES AGAIN

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). 

31 Aug 1984

To:

Dear Friends


Sometime back I sent you an article titled "Gujral Gamble".
Here is  another.  This time  it is not  about Gujral  but by Gujral. Although   Gujral   has  called   it   "industrial Sickness", I was tempted to call it,
"GUJRAL STRIKES AGAIN";
And this time he strikes at the  managements of Public Sector Units - for  allowing  themselves   to  be   "hijacked  by land-based  Guerillas  who  hold   industries  to  ransom  to enforce their own selfish demands".
The message is loud and clear.
u    freedom of speech and constitutional dissent    -  YES
u    minority trying to paralyse and throttle production    -  NO
As far as  Powai is concerned,  we have no major  outstanding bargainable issues.  The only remaining issue is:
"How to increase Productivity?"
But  productivity  is  not a  bargainable  issue  and  anyone trying   to   hijack   productivity  must   be   dealt   with accordingly.   We cannot  allow  productivity to  be  held at ransom.  Our  next-door neighbour Swami Chinmayanandji would tell us:
"Practise Religion  as though Death  has got hold  of you  by your hair".
And  our   religion  today  is   to  push   productivity  and discipline to the highest possible level.

H.C. PAREKH

Thursday, 23 August 1984

NOT BY HOPE ALONE

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).

23 Aug 1984

To:
Dear Friends

NOT BY HOPE ALONE

     (nor by crackers'.)
So finally  the bonus  (and ex-gratia)  has been settled!   At the  highest,  a workman  will  get  as  much  as  Rs.4,500/-, Rs.360 more than last-year.
So, one question is over.
But   months  after   the  bonus   amount   is  received   and "digested",  there is  one more  question  which  will  remain unanswered.
To know what is that question,  look at the following chart:




In 1981-82,  Company's profitability  was 10.6%  (for  1981-82 maximum bonus + ex-gratia paid was Rs.4,140).
In 1982-83, Company's profitability  came down to 8.2%.  Even then, we settled for a higher bonus/ex-gratia of Rs.4,500 !
Logically we should have settled for less!
So,  I  turn  to  hope  -  hope  that  the  recent   trend  of increasing  productivity all  over. Powai, will  continue  far enough and high enough  into the future to once again take  us to the top of Mount Kailash !  (see chart)
As  the weeks  and the  months pass,  the question  that will keep coming-up again and again is,
"Can we  live by hope  alone ? Will we once again reach  the top of  Mount Kailash  just because  we have  a few optimists among us  ?  can we  reach a  high level  of productivity  and profitability by just WISHING ?"
If the answer  is that none of  this will happen just  because of hope, what else must be done ?

H.C. PAREKH

Thursday, 16 August 1984

SCALA - MOBILE ESCALATOR

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). 

16 AUG 1984

To:

Dear Friends                 

'SCALA - MOBILE ESCALATOR'

In Brazil they call it "indexation"
In America they call it COLA,  (cost of Living Adjustment)
In Italy they call it Scala-Mobile Escalator.

 In India we call it D.A.  (Dearness Allowance)
But everywhere,  it means  the same  thing to  the employees. Whenever  inflation pushes  up  prices  in  the  market,  some index  published  by  the  Government  will  also  rise.   (In India, we call it Consumer Price index-C.P.I).

Whenever C.P.I, goes up, D.A.  goes up, putting more money in the hands of an employee.
The  idea is that  even though  the prices may  have gone  up, with  the  extra  D.A.  in  his  hands,  he  can  continue  to purchase the same quantity  of articles as before.
Rising prices raise the cost of living.

So the experts  thought, "Let us put  more money in the  hands of  an employee-to   take care  of  the  rising  prices  -  to neutralise the cost-of-living rise."
Fine idea!

In fact, originally this is an Indian ideal

We, in India, introduced it 40 years ago.

Americans and Italians introduced it only a few years ago.

Italians call  it "Scala-mobile escalator".   Seems like  they borrowed the  idea  from—our—own—escalator-culture  (remember Bakul Tripathi?).

Except that they  seem to have discovered  something within 5 years  (1979-1984) which we have  still not  discovered after 40 years!  Or do not wish to discover.'

And that is,
Everytime D.A. goes up, cost of production also goes up .'
And if  cost-of-production goes up,  selling-prices must also go up.   (We were forced to  raise the selling  prices of our Switchgear Standard products a few days ago).

If we do  not raise our selling prices,  our profits will  go down.
But  nobody   likes  profits   to  go  down   -  neither   the shareholders nor the employees.
So  what is  the problem  ?   Just keep  raising  the selling prices, whenever costs go up.
But the Italians are thinking.

"No that won't  work.  If we  wish to  sell fertilizer plants in India, our  selling prices must be  lower than the selling prices of the  Japanese manufacturers  (who last month gave a YEN 6 billion  loan to India, to buy  a fertilizer plant from Japan) and our  selling-prices must be lower than those of an Indian company  called L&T.  But we cannot force L&T to raise its selling  prices.   All that  we can do  is  to reduce  our costs, by slowing  down the scala-mobile escalator.—Down with D.A. !"

If our Mr. V.G.  Desai (Divisional Manager  - Chemical Divn.) could hear the  Italians thinking, he would  jump-up and say, "very dangerous thinking!"

He means  "dangerous" for us - for  L&T!  (VGD, let me  assure you, has  no love  lost for  the Italian  workmen'.) And  with all  the  affection he  has  for our  own employees  he  keeps gazing at the following chart.

     

And he wonders,-  how  the Italians  (even Japanese) would  love to  get a copy of this chart ?
Does  Indian  Industry  have  the  "Italian Option"   (of stopping or slowing down the D.A.) ? If not,




3. Can   people   of   Powai,   possibly   increase   their productivity quickly enough  to neutralize the following increases in the wages ?


Increase/ Employee
A.
Jan. 1979 Settlement   (Average)
200
D.A. Increase (Jan. 1979-July 1984)
475 to 1114
Apri1 1984 Settlement (Average)
550
TOTAL
1225 to 1864
How shall we respond to these questions ?

H.C. PAREKH

Tuesday, 7 August 1984

PULL TOGETHER TO SURVIVE

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). 

7 Aug 1984

To:

Dear Friends                  

PULL TOGETHER TO SURVIVE


In  the following  article you  will read  about the  10  best factories of America.
Somewhere in  this article, the  above mentioned words  ("pull together  to  survive"-) appear.  I  think  this is  the  main message  of this  article  - and  for all  of us  in Powai,  a badly-needed message.
Can you  locate these  words ?   If you can,  write to  me and tell me the paragraph  in which these appear.
Do you think there  are other messages in this article  which, we, in Powai,  ought to follow ?   Please send me before  30th August   1984,  a  200-word  write-up   (English,  Hindi,   or Marathi) on what,  according to you, are the messages and  how we can adopt the same in Powai.
The  best write-up  will be  published  in Powai  pageant.   I thought of announcing  a cash prize of  Rs.200/- for the  best write-up.  Then,  when I looked  at the following  tabulation, I  realized  that an  L&T  employee cannot  be  motivated  any longer with a prize of Rs.200/-  !!

MONTHLY PAY PACKET
GRADE
Max.
GRADE
Min
Max


Rs/month
Rs/month
US
1619
2368
TA I
2792
3605
1624
2589
H.V. Driver
1893
3108
1637
2909
Clerk III
2211
3654
SB
1892
3144
Clerk I
3122
3978
2134
3342
2511
3679
2553
3552
Sr. Steno
3432
3978
(Monthly pay packet excludes bonus and ex-gratia)
From the following  article, can you  find out what motivates American  employees  (all employees)  ?  - and  will  it work equally well in India ?

H.C. PAREKH