Employing 550 employees including management staff. The newly appointed HR manager who is assisted by two HR executives. There is a trade union that exists in the organization.The Administration, Human Resource management, Finance and Sales departments of the organization are situated in a different location from the production department. The office layout is a close plan design with cubicles for managers. Workers are not allowed in to other departments unless they make a prior appointment with the relevant person they wish to meet. The appointments should be made with the respective secretaries to meet the managers.
There is tight supervision maintained at the production department. Workers have been given a swipe card to record their attendance. The organization has not been flexible with workers in term of workers' grievances and their requests. Managers make supervise visits to the production department to make sure there are no workers idling. If workers are found idling they were severely warned. Therefore union officials perceive managers as Law enforcement officers who are not at all sympathetic toward the workers and their needs.Recently, the union officials made a request to the HR department to have an in-house Doctor in the organization but that was rejected. The unions and the workers also feel that their salaries are below the industry standard.At an informal discussion with HR Manager, Managers of the Marketing and the financedepartment said generally workers should be treated in a different way and there must be a gap between the non- managerial employees/workers and managers.
Job satisfaction of managers is very high and they enjoy many benefits and facilities such as special canteen where workers were not allowed, a sports club and gym, managerial trips and free medical facilities. There is no swipe card system to record attendance for managers. Consequently they are highly committed to work and often are able to achieve job targets.
Since the management rejected the trade union's request for an in-house doctor, unions and workers started to behave boisterously. More and more workers started joining the Lanka Industrial Employees' Trade union. Workers tended to behave in undisciplined way even for a slight reason such as absence of a favorite curry or curry not cooked to the workers 'satisfaction. Throwing food around the lunch room, ignoring, rowing and hooting at managers were also done. Posters carrying statements such as 'leaders get food fit for a king, we get to lick plates', 'give us our facilities' and meet our demands' were stuck on some walls of the organization premises, Finally the union decided to launch a strike by the end of the month and informed it to the management.
1. What is the most recent event that led to the boisterous behavior and the strike by the workers and the trade union?
2. Identify other important factors which have and may have contributed to the problem?
3. As the new HR manager, what can HR Manager do to solve this problem?
4. If you were a consultant what suggestions would you make to the management to ensure there is sound employer -employee relation in the organization?