Dunlop is really looking like a deflated tyre now.
They declared a ‘lay-off’ allegedly without seeking mandatory permission under the Industrial Disputes Act. That was a fatal flaw and it was compounded by another one – the State of West Bengal is going to polls. Dunlop must have calculated that closing down operations in the factory at such transient times may pass.
And they have developed cold feet now. Ruias say that they were sitting in Bangkok debating fate of this plant with managers when the local managers decided to close down the plant. So Ruias rescinded their decision. That’s the official version.
This story sounds so familiar.
It is time for industrialists to invent better excuses for doing a somersault. We saw that the original script of this drama was written by Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways when he told the press that he did not know that over 1000 probationers or trainees were going to be sacked. Having said that, he reversed the decision of his local managers. Dunlop has followed Jet Airways. In Jet Airways case, Raj Thackeray grabbed the credit for reinstatement of employees. We can wait and watch who the Dunlop closure and reopening will help.
Dunlop has had more than its share of labour trouble. The plant is located in West Bengal where Communist party is in power. Who will believe Ruias? Did anyone believe Naresh Goyal?
Pawan Ruia, Chairman of Dunlop has sought ‘co-operation’ of workers! Whatever he may say, it appears that the eventual closure seems to be inevitable. These are all tell-tale signs.
The fact is that these instances show that there are big employers who follow primitive practices of managing employees. This is unfortunately happening when so much attention is being paid to building good work ethic, employee relations and employee satisfaction.
Attitudes, unlike tyres, are difficult to change. Not just workers’ attitudes but employers’ too.