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

Thursday, 28 February 1985

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY MR.CHANDRAKANT KIRLOSKAR

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).

28 Feb 1985

To:
Dear Friends

Almost 2 months ago,  I presented to you PART-1 of an article written by Shri Chandrakant Kirloskar.
Today I present to you PART-II - the concluding part.
In this part, Mr. Kirloskar asks,  "Why have we fallen behind the advanced countries ?"
Is it because,        
u    we are fatalist by nature?
u    instead of getting rid of our 10,000 year  old social caste-system, we  have extended  it further into  the fields of education and industry?
u    we  always look-up  to either  America  or Japan  for answers to all  our problems and have  nothing in our own civilization and culture to provide such answers?
u    instead  of  being  result-oriented  we  have  become procedure-oriented?  (operation  successful  but  the patient died ! )
Mr.  Kirloskar   has  provided  some  answers   (to  his  own questions) in the-following article.
If you  too have some  answers, please do  write to  me soon, because time is running out !
But while suggesting solutions, try the following approach :         
"Dear Mr. Parekh,         
From today, I will do the following :         
1.________________________         
2.__________________________            
etc. etc.                                                                      

H.C.PAREKH

Thursday, 21 February 1985

INSTANT INDUSTRIAL- RELATIONS !

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). 

21 Feb 1985

To:
Dear Colleague

These  are days  of  "instant-everything"  - instant  coffee, instant music  (computer - created), instant baby  (test-tube version  ?),  instant  health  (Sheri-Louise), instant  death (Bhopal) and even

Instant Industrial – Relations ! .

That is the feeling I got the other day when  I was one of 13 speakers  at an  Industrial  Relations  Seminar  (they always have  "new dimensions"  - I  wonder what  happens to  the old dimensions  ?).  Were it  not for  the thoughtful  absence of some of the  speakers, the remaining speakers  would have got only sufficient time to say,

"It is good to have  industrial-relations and it is better to have good industrial-relations.  Thank you !."

But  then  there  are  sufficient   people  (with  more  than sufficient company-money) in a city like Bombay,  who are all too eager to  listen to a lot  of jargon in the  fond hope of becoming instant IR experts in the course of one day !

What a sharp contrast to  know that the personnel managers of Toyota company

"began a pilgrimage in 1952, to  talk with employees in small discussion-groups, at  their homes,  after work-hours,  in an attempt to re-establish mutual dialogue.

On an average,  they made three  visits a night,  coming home after nine o'clock,  six days a week  ...... The two managers had to  continue their itenerary  for ten years,  before they were convinced that their mission was finally completed".

Ten years, 9000 families, one  hour with each family '. - all to re-establish mutual dialogue !

Is it any wonder that the country with the  least labour-laws has the most harmonious IR climate ?

In the enclosed article on              

"Industrial Relations in Japan" ,

you will come across  many examples of  the Japanese tenacity when it comes to  building trust between  groups of employees - by whatever name called.

A few  months back,  MR. MISU, one-time  director of  HITACHI, said,

"As individuals, Japanese people  are not very brilliant.  We have won only  4 Nobel-prizes in all  these years against 109 won  by  the   Americans.  But   when  it  comes  to  working collectively as a team, we are almost unbeatable !"

I  would request  you  to pass-on  this  article  to as  many supervisory persons  in your  department  as you  can  - just anyone who says he has not  read it.  Some of them, who might still be around in  Powai, in the year  2001 A.D., might want to start their own "pilgrimage" now !

H. C. PAREKH

Wednesday, 20 February 1985

DEAR COLLEAGUE

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). 

20 Feb 1985

To:

Dear Colleague

Recently  you participated  in a  brain-storming exercise  to make out a list of "Issues before the organization".

Having identified  and prioritized the issues,  unless we now move  forward to  find "solutions",  it would  be a  waste of time !

But more than that, would it be "lack of maturity"? In the enclosed article, Ashok Malhotra writes,

"Rarely do  Indian managers show the maturity  of using their negative feelings as a  "resource" for themselves and for the system".

What perhaps  Malhotra does not say  so plainly  is that, the Indian managers  are given to nursing  their grievances (real or imagined) and sulking  in a corner with a "hurt" feeling -little realising  that dynamism of  an organisation  is built upon   the  "dis-satisfaction"   of   its  managers   -  dissatisfaction with  their own performance and  the performance of the system !

As  someone has  said, "contented  cows may  give milk  - but that is  about all" . And  in an  age where we  may soon have synthetic  milk, even  the contented  cows  are in  danger of disappearing  !.. And then, I am sure, none of  us would like to  be   dragged to  the  21st   century  much  against  our free-will, kicking and mewing !
H. C. PAREKH

Monday, 11 February 1985

CHANGING PATTERN OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

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). 

11 Feb 1985

To:
Dear Colleague       

The Changing pattern of Industrial Relations:

I enclose herewith, a write-up on a research-study conducted by the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies.

After reading this write-up, if you start wondering whether L&T was one of the companies covered by this research, let me tell you that we did not participate in this research.

But that does not diminish the value of this research.  The fact that we are able to identify some of the characters in this study in the context of L&T, only proves its relevance to our own situation here at Powai.

The researcher says,
" --------- in  the name  of professionalism, managements  have tended   to  impersonalize   their   relationship  with   the work-force. "

" They (supervisors)  have   an  authoritarian   style  of functioning which  is not acceptable to the  young, conscious and aware  worker who prefers  an involving  or participatory type of management."

"At present the level of communication is very poor and there is lack of trust.  -----  it  is not enough  to merely communicate with the Union leaders or Union Committee.

Sometime back, some of us met to brain-storm and identify,           

" The Issues before the Organisation".

When the  'ranking' exercise is over,  I have a  feeling that "Developing harmonious  Industrial Relations" will rank quite high on the list.

How do we go about this?  A debate must ensue at all levels.   So, can I request  you to  circulate  the enclosed write-up to all officers and supervisors of your dept.?

H.C. PAREKH

Friday, 8 February 1985

ORDERS LOST

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).

8 Feb 1985

To:
(Manager, Design - Gr. II)

ORDERS LOST

Talking to  Mr. V.G. Desai  (Divn. Mgr.) a few days  ago, he told me that he  has made available to you details  of orders lost  (by Chemical Division) during the last 6 months to competitors.

Mr.  R.N.  Mukhija   (Divn.  Mgr.  -  SWT  Cont.)   is  making  a presentation  on   "competition"  during   the  next  Powai-level Productivity Committee  Meeting on 14th  inst. at 9  a.m. in G-4. You  may wish  to  attend to  get  an idea  of  the  presentation. Earlier Mr. Gupta of Food Div. had made such a presentation.

I  would  highly appreciate  if  you  and  VGD  can  make  such a presentation in the March Meeting.

Regards
Hemen Parekh

A SWALLOW DOES NOT A SUMMER MAKE

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).

8 Feb 1985

To:
Dear Friends

A SWALLOW  DOES NOT A SUMMER MAKE

That is how they say it in America.
But in India, we could say,
"A Bulbul does not a Basant make".
Even  in Bombay,  we are  in  the middle  of  a winter.   The nights are  so cold  that my  thoughts turn  to the  poor who sleep on the foot-path.
In the middle of this cold winter-night,  if I were to hear a Bulbul sing outside my  window, could I  confidently say that Basant-rutu is around the corner ?
Obviously no !
Just  one solitary  Bulbul cannot  mean that  Basant-rutu has arrived !  The Bulbul must have lost its way  !
For Basant  to arrive  truely, we need  many  more  Bulbuls -not   only  one   who   might  have   come   perhaps   by  an accident/chance !
The  same may  be  true of  our  profitability  for  the year 1983-84 !
Yes,  the  figures  are  finally  published to  end  your anxiety" ?
Let us  once again turn  to our "Mount Kailash"  and see  what happened in 1983-84
  
Bravo !
Our profitability  has improved by  0.3% in  1983-84 over the previous year.
Time for rejoicing ?  Time to jump with happiness ?
Perhaps  not yet  !. Perhaps  the winter  is still  not over. Perhaps  this Bulbul has  lost its  way .! Perhaps  Basant is still far away!
How far ?
That is upto us !
In nature  we cannot  order the  winter to  "hurry-up and  get out".  It takes its own time.
But in a  business-enterprise like ours,  we can  come out of the winter FAST  - through our own efforts.  If  we work hard (and smart) all  the time, we can enjoy  a Basant-weather all the time !
So  let  us not  waste  time  in  celebrating,  0.3%  rise  in profitability I
Let us ask of ourselves,
"What must  7000 people at Powai  do during the  current year (of which 4 months have already gone I ) to ensure that
our profitability rises by 3.0% in 1984 - 85?
If  a  direct worker  of  Kelvinator  company  in  Delhi  can increase   his   output   from    8   refrigerators   to   14 refrigerators/month  in  5  years,  (an increase  of  75%  in producitvity!) why cannot we ?
And to think that the average wage  of our SSA worker is more than double  the wages (including incentive bonus) earned by a Kelvinator worker !
And if anyone thinks that Kelvinator company may be using
u    more modern machinery
u    superior plant layout
u    better working conditions
u    greater mechanisation/automation
compared to our factories at Powai, then let him go and ask                     
Mr. R.B. Bhambhani      (PGW)                     
Mr. H.M. Daga           (PSW)                      
Mr. P.W. Karnataki      (PGW)                     
Mr. C.T. Nakhate        (PTL)  ) BKS                      
Mr. D.M. Shinde         (PSW)  ) Union
and they will tell you that Kelvinator has
u    a 24 year-old factory building     
u    a very crowded shop-floor     
u    15/20 year old power-presses -   
u    Poor ventilation     
u    very little mechanization

And  yet  they  have  managed  to  bring  about  a  fantastic increase in their productivity.
How ?
If  someone wants  to suggest  that  it is  because  of their production-incentive scheme.
he is RIGHT !
The  earnings   in  Kelvinator  are   linked  to group   and individual performance.  The employees have to
produce          FIRST
earn       LATER

Much the same way as  in the case of the agreement in Premier Automobiles Ltd.  (PAL) in Bombay -  just 2 months  before we signed our own agreement.
PAL workers agreed to FIRST raise  car production from 75/day to 100/day.
PAL  Management agreed  to grant  Rs. 250  per month  to each worker  THEREAFTER  - but  only  as  long  as car  production remained 100/day !  For a 33% increase in productivity  .'
And if  you do not  take into account  this incentive  of Rs. 250 per month  (which can go up and down  with the production and  will  be  a  ZERO at   75 cars/day),  the  rest  of  the comparison  between L&T  and premier  Automobiles  looks like the following:
         MINIMUM WAGE
(ALL COMPUTATIONS AT CPI 2513)


LARSEN & TOUBRO LIMITED
PREMIER AUTOMOBILES LIMITED

Before Settlement
After Settlement
Increase
Before Settlement
After Settlement
increase
BASIC
D. A.
MONTHLY ALLOW.
46.80 868.26 191.00
55.90
911.89 591.50
9.10 43.63 400.50
287
435
183
287
435
543
-
-
360
TOTAL
1106.06
1559.29
453.23
905
1265
360


                              MAXIMUM WAGE
(ALL COMPUTATIONS AT CPI 2513)

LARSEN & TOUBRO LIMITED
PREMIER AUTOMOBILES LIMITED

Before Settlement
After Settlement
Increase
Before Settlement
After Settlement
increase
BASIC D. A. MONTHLY ALLOW.
426.40 2097.98 228.00
465.66 2106.89 745.50
39.26 8.91 517.50
759
435
163
759
435
735
-
-
 567
TOTAL
2752.38
3318.05
565.67
1357
1929
567
PAL workmen also agreed to,
u    a  large  number  of   casual  and  contract  workers  to  be retrenched
u    a large number  of workers working on  truck-assembly line to be shifted to the car-assembly line.
And although you  may not have friends in  Delhi who can tell you what is happening at  Kelvinator, I am sure you have friends here in Bombay who are working  in Premier factory and who can confirm or contradict my statements.
And  if you  do  find  out, how  much  actually  the Premier  car production has gone up since signing  of the agreement, please do let me know !
All  I  know  is   that  the  Maruti  car  company   (Suzuki-Japan collaboration) in Delhi
produced - 10,000 cars last year
plans    -  21,000 cars in  current year  (union's target against management target of 20,000 !)
expects  - 40,000 cars during next year !
And Maruti have  a total of 1900  employees (top - to bottom)  at present.
You may also tell this to your friends working in Premier !
Maruti employees do not wish to keep this a TOP - SECRET !
They want employees all over India to know this !
And  those L&T-ites  who went  and  saw Maruti  factory would  be failing in their duty  if they do not tell you  what they saw and heard at Maruti !

H.C.PAREKH