Labor Unrest at Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (Private) Limited

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB104
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2004-2005
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (Private) Ltd.
Industry : Automobile
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

With their demands being rejected by the management, the workers tried to form a trade union and this resulted in a confrontation with the management. Fifty workers of the production team were suspended and four others dismissed in May 2005. Apparently there was a show of strength between the management and the workers.

While the management alleged that the workers were resorting to 'go-slow'9 tactics and were threatening not to return to work until their colleagues had been reinstated, the workers alleged that the management was using pressure tactics such as victimization of active union members and a 'lock-out'10 to break the back of the union.

On July 25, 2005, the workers of the plant were demanding reinstatement of the suspended employees when some workers allegedly attacked policemen on the plant premises.

This led to police intervention and a violent tussle ensued between the police and the workers in which workers protesting peacefully were also beaten up.

The police were reported to have overreacted and it was alleged that they had been overzealous in protecting the interests of the HMSI management, even without any direct request from the company's management (Refer to Exhibit I for some images of violence during the HMSI protest).

For companies, the incident brought to the fore the need to maintain sound industrial relations to ensure productive and profitable operations.

Excerpts >>

9] In industrial relations, 'go-slow' is a term used to define a slowing down of production by a labor force during an industrial dispute or grievance, instead of disrupting production totally by resorting to a strike.

10] The withholding of work from employees and closing down of a workplace by an employer during a labor dispute. It is also called shutout.


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