It all started with a chat with
Prof Vijayan who is a good friend. We were at SHRM’s Annual Conference when we
got in a very interesting conversation.
Prof Vijayan invites me every year
to address his senior students. I mentioned to him that we must do something
different for them each year; our addressing them on HR issues was [hopefully] holding their interest, but it was not creating excitement for me. So the
conversation veered on what can be done which is ‘different’ and ‘interesting.’
In the enthusiasm that the
conversation generated, I assured him that I will hold a very unique one-day
program for them. That was typical of me, putting cart before the horse, I had
no idea of what kind of program I could organise.
But as the day, originally fixed
in January, approached I knew that the program had to be about presenting
‘alternative perspectives.’ So we did it. And I felt satisfied with the
outcome, though admittedly the final arbiters are the Welingkar HR students.
Pics show audience
Dilip Pawar of Bajaj Auto spoke
first. He talked about the strike, their famous demand for shares of Bajaj
Auto, subsequent settlement, and their changing stance. Bajaj Auto employees
union [Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana] has taken very mature stance in
Industrial Relations. They have created a vision for themselves, contributed
substantially to empowerment of women, launched a housing project and to top it
all, this union has declared a policy of Industrial Relations!
Pradeep Thakare spoke next and
explained the struggle of Bosch union. They have devised a very innovative
scheme and he explained it. He also spoke about their contribution to
Pic shows Pradeep Thakare of Bosch
Ajit Parab and Pravin Malkar
explained the story of GSK’s Thane plant closure. Although they have won
substantial compensation for their employees, the scars remain. Contract labour
became jobless, and employees largely about 40 yrs of age are finding it
difficult to go thru the stress of career change. Their family responsibilities
are not yet over, and they are acutely aware that the compensation is not the
Pic shows Ajit Parab of GSK Employees Union addressing seminar
Ms Anjali Bedekar who joined SBI
union and was the first woman President of that union, spoke on ‘Gender and
Trade Unions.’ Some deep insights in this never earlier heard subject. We have
heard about Gender and Corporate ladder but not in the trade union context.
Pic shows Ms Anjali Bedekar speaking on 'Gender and Trade Unions'
Tushar Shirwalkar and Sunil Gupta
presented the Balmer Lawrie – van Leer story of transformation of Industrial
Relations. More about it soon.
Pic shows Tushar Shirwalkar of BLVL speaking. His colleague Sunil Gupta is seen in the background
Arvind Shrouti presented his
perspectives on Industrial Relations in his unique way and his speech was
straight from heart. It was as always well received, the audience seemed to
enjoy every moment.
Arvind Shrouti of Option Positive addressing the seminar
I summed up the deliberations and
facilitated discussion between students and speakers. And Prof Vijayan closed
the seminar with his observations.
Alternative perspectives lead to
transformational learning. And when you have a very receptive audience like
Welingkar Institute students whose questions require deep diving for the
speakers it becomes a very learning moment for all.
"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone
monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."
Labels: Alternative perspectives, Industrial relations, Welingkar Institute