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Golmuri Tinplate Workers Union

A Study and Analysis

Submitted By
Anirudh Joshi-H14009 Ankit Kumar-H14012 Anurag Srivastava-H14013 Anusha Mittal-H14014
Asmita Joshi-H14018 Deepak Gupta-H14023 Durga Prasanna Ray- H14024 Mohit Talreja-H14031

OBJECTIVE OF THE REPORT


Our objective is to gain an in-depth understanding of Trade Unions by collecting and
analysing real time data from Tata Tinplate and answering the following questions:
1. What is the background of the Trade Union in the company?

We intend to understand its inception and the events that led to its
formation.

The structure, constitution, members and membership process.

Its ideology, affiliation and sources of funds

2. What is the conflict resolution mechanism?

Have there been any recent or past incidents of severe conflict in the
organization.

If yes, then how was peaceful coexistence being restored in the


organization

3. How has the ideology and the procedures of the Union evolved over the
years, with an analysis of its constitution.
4. What is the membership profile of the Trade Union with respect to honorary
members, full time employees and contract labourers? What is the
perception of the Trade Union towards the non-member workers?
5. What has been the impact (positive/negative) of the Trade Unions
activities (economic/non-economic) on the society as well as the
organization?

6. What is the Trade Unions view of the management and vice versa?
7. What is the future outlook for the Union as well as the organization in the
light of the rapidly evolving Indian economy?

Acknowledgement
The completion of this project is attributed to the kind cooperation of many people. Firstly we
would like to express our gratitude to Prof. K.R. Shyam Sundar for his insightful guidance. The
knowledge imparted by him during the classroom sessions helped us in completing this project.
We would also like to thank Mr. Parbinder Singh, Vice President of Golmuri Tinplate workers
union for giving us complete information about the working, structure, membership, constitution,
etc. of the Trade Union.
We would also like to express our heartfelt thanks to Mr. H.K.Tripthy for meticulously
explaining us the Hot Dip case and giving us the perspective of the TU in this case. He also
showed us the various initiatives of TU like the in house library, gym, and the school.

Contents

Golmuri Tinplate Workers Union.................................................................................5


Background and History.......................................................................................... 5
Objectives............................................................................................................... 6
Ideology and Affiliation............................................................................................ 6
Constitution............................................................................................................. 7
Members and Membership Process............................................................................ 8
Sources of funds....................................................................................................... 13
Economic and Non Economic Activities....................................................................14
Conflict Resolution Mechanism.................................................................................16
Future Outlook and Issues for the Union...................................................................21

Golmuri Tinplate Workers Union


GTWU was formed in 1922. It is the only recognized trade union of Tinplate Company of India
Ltd. It was one of the first trade unions to be affiliated to Indian National Trade Union Congress
(INTUC). The registration number of Golmuri Trade Union is 9.

Background and History


There was no watershed event that led to formation of the trade union in Tinplate. Rather it was the
outcome of concerted effort on the part of workers to form a representative organization to protect
and uphold their interests. The political environment prevailing in the country at that point of time
such as involvement of national leaders in labor issues contributed significantly in this regard. The
trade Union was established with a purpose of improving the lives of the workers in the Tinplate
Company of India and safeguarding their interest. Putting an end to the exploitation of workers and
regulating the working hours were the primary objective of the union.
A significant event in the history of the TCIL has been a strike staged by the workers in 1929. The
union had put forward the following demands

Eighteen detailed demands including 25% increase in wages, system of provident fund,
overtime pay, bonus, maternity benefits, half hour interval for 8 hours of continuous work
etc. as obtained in Tatas Iron and Steel Works.

Union be recognised by the company

All persons dismissed or suspended since formation of the Union, be re-instated.

The unrest intensified and the company had put up a notice saying that they would operate at 50%
capacity, causing the work to be finished on Wednesday each week, resulting in reduced pay for
the workers.
Negotiations began between the company and AITUC president and it was declared that a
settlement had been arrived at. However, the company did nothing. J.N. Mitra, the Vice-President

of GTWU, charged the company with breach of faith and the situation turned violent. The union
officials appealed to leaders like V. V. Giri, Jawarharlal Nehru and Deewan ChavanLal. Support by
these leaders opened up negotiations for settlement on certain demands.
This is a classic example of political influence in Trade Union matters.
Source: https://www.marxists.org

Objectives
Some of the other objectives of the union are
1. Improving the living and service condition of members with a view to raise their standard of life.
2. To regulate the relation between workers and their employees.
3. To foster the spirit of unity, brotherhood and self-help among members.
4. To help members in case of trade disputes, non-employment, sickness and accident etc.
The Union believes that both, capital and labor are equally important for the successful working
of any organization. Hence the workers must have a say in the functioning of the company.

Ideology and Affiliation


The company has always practiced the process of collective bargaining to fulfill its demands.
The union firmly believes that conflict resolution must happen at the negotiating table. As a
result the Tinplate Company has not witnessed a single strike since 1929.
The unions ideology has seen a sea change with time. Rather than just raising the workers
concerns, it now works with the management both for the betterment of the workers and the
company. This is evident from the constructive role played by the union in convincing the Union
government to impose anti-dumping duty on tinplates.
It also works against the oppression of the lower caste workers in the workplace.
It was one of the first trade unions to be affiliated to Indian National Trade Union Congress
(INTUC). Though it shares the ideology of INTUC, it has no affiliation with any political party.

Constitution

The constitution of Tinplate Golmuri Trade Union deals with the following topics in detail:
1. The objects of the Union
2. Membership
3. Functions and powers of executive committee
4. Functions and powers of office bearers
5. .Functions and powers of General Secretary, Treasurer etc.
6. Use of General Fund
7. Elections
8. Constitution Amendment
9. Dissolution of Trade Union

Members and Membership Process


As per the norms ,100% of its general membership is from employees on payroll. These
includes the workers employed in work of permanent and perennial nature .The contract
labourers, temporary wage earners of this establishment, however, cannot acquire membership
of this trade union under any circumstances. These include workers involved with construction,
maintenance and other small projects.
The union classifies two levels of employees who cannot join the union. These include E
level and O level workers.
Besides the union recognizes the employees of the organisation into 3 broad categories.
Managerial staff
Supervisors
Formal level staff
This is classification is done solely to distinguish the level and maintain a hierarchy of
its members. However no discrimination is done while giving benefits to them. The
union is dedicated to working for the benefits of the non-member as well.
The office bearers are elected based on constituencies. These constituencies are based on area of
residence and the number of workers hailing from that area.
The union also puts no limitation and restriction to the workers from joining any other
union. However they are liable for disciplinary actions in case of any illegal untoward
behaviour towards the union and/or towards its member.
Provisions under Constitution

The age limit for an employee to become the union member is 18 and to become an office
bearer is 21.

The number of non-elected office bearers cannot exceed one half of the total office bearers

of the union

The Executive committee can have 10 percent as special members of honorary members.

In order to apply for membership to the union the candidate has to make a written
application to the Executive committee. However, the Executive Committee has the
authority to reject any application without citing any reason.

Registered ordinary members will enjoy equal rights and opportunities in the Unions affair
including the right to vote. Only one vote per person shall be considered and proxy is not
allowed.

A register of the members with name, occupation and address shall be maintained at the
head office of the union and made available for inspection when needed.

The membership termination conditions of ordinary members are listed below

Membership can be cancelled if a voluntary written resignation is made on


one full calendar months notice.

Non payment of subscription for 2 years can amount to cancellation of union


membership. However the Executive Committee has the power to review each
case and give suitable extensions based on circumstances.

Contravention of constitution, misconduct, breach of trade union discipline can


amount to discontinuity of membership by Executive Committee provided
charges are proved to satisfaction to the extent of two third of the members
present in the meeting called for this purpose.

Membership will be ceased on separation from Tinplate Company of India Ltd.

Membership will be cancelled automatically on death or permanent insanity.


Membership shall be discontinued if the worker is discharged from the company
and the case of the concerned member is finally decided by the union.
The termination conditions of office bearers from office are

Membership can be cancelled if a voluntary written resignation is made on


one full calendar months notice.

Non payment of subscription for 1 years can amount to cancellation


of union membership.

If a no confidence motion is passed against the office bearer in the Executive


committee by majority of votes then office bearers shall cease to be so.
Office will be cancelled automatically on death or permanent insanity.

Current membership profile and office bearers


Currently it has 1200 worker as its members. Such a large number is a clear indicative of the
welfare work that the union has undertaken for its members thus gathering tremendous loyalty
and support. GWTU is the only recognized trade union in Tinplate and there is virtually no
competition in terms of representing the workers interest.
The Unions executive Committee has office bearers and 38 others members duly elected by the
general body as per election procedure.
The structure of the executive committee is as follows

President
(Rakeshwar
Pandey)
Deputy Prez.
(Rajat Singh)

Senior VP
(Parminder
Singh)

Asst Sec
(V K
Singh)

Vice Prez.

Gen Sec

Vice Prez

(KashiNath)

(H K Tripathy)

(B. K. Lal)

Asst Sec (M

Asst Sec (S

Treasurer(A
K

Singh)

Tiwari)

Singh)

Asst Sec
(Manoj
Singh)

AsstTres.( S
Singh)

Structure of Current Office Bearers

In this trade union The President and General Secretary are honorary members .
As per the constitution the Apart from these the union has an advisory committee with variable
number of members (generally 5-6).
Principle advisors to the President are

K ApoloRaju
A Ramesh Rao
Ranjendar Prasad Singh
Y B Deora

The union also has a committee for amendment of the constitution. A majority of two third is
required for the amendment.

Sources of funds
An ordinary member pays an admission fee of Rs. 5/- and an annual subscription of one days
salary (Basic + D.A.) yearly (in twelve months in equal instalments) by check-off system.
Only in exceptional cases subscription is accepted in cash.
The executive committee has the power to alter the rates of subscription subject to approval of
general body of members.
Membership subscription due from any member during the period of trade dispute or for the
period he is thrown out of the employment on grounds considered by the Executive committee as
unjust may be excused by the Executive committee.

Economic and Non Economic Activities


Trade unions have recognized the need to expand their role in assisting their members in a
variety of areas, and so have undertaken a number of non-traditional ventures on behalf of their
members.
One of the prime concerns that they addressed was that there was no school in five km radius of
the organization. Therefore, they established a school for the laborers and their children called
the Tinplate Union Mahila Mahavidyala. It is in the vicinity of the factory, which makes it easier
for the labourers to manage their work hours.
The Union has also collaborated with the Blood Donors Association (BDA). In case of injury on
work or off-duty, the blood bank can be contacted. This effort has been made together with the
Joint Department Council and thus is open to the general public as well. It aims at working for
the general publics welfare.
One of the major matters agitating the concern of some trade unions is the issue of pension
funds, contributed by members. In many instances, trade unions negotiate pensions for workers.
Contributions are collected and managed by professional firms, which become extremely
wealthy. Trade unions are becoming aware that they should develop the expertise to manage
such funds on behalf of their members. In recent times also, the closure of companies or parts of
companies has led to opportunities for worker ownership and control of business.
Coming to the economic activities undertaken by the Union, the Union has taken the initiative to
help the workers out with their financial troubles. The union arranges for funds for the personal
purposes of the labourers including their childrens wedding, funds for higher education, medical
treatment of workers and their family members. The fund is being contributed collectively from
all Trade Union members.
Injury on duty and Injury on work (one hour before and after the work hours) are covered under

the Death Benefit Scheme(DBS). Another scheme that is being operational right now is the Life
Cover Scheme. After the death of the worker the nominee gets the salary multiplied by 20 times
or 2 lakhs whichever is minimum. Also, under the SevaNidhi plan the workers pay 50 rupees
each and a comparable amount is being contributed by the company to the nominee of the
deceased.

Conflict Resolution Mechanism

Tata Tinplate is characterized by one strong Trade Union and virtual non-existence of any
competing entities representing the payroll employees. The Golmuri Trade Union is recognized
by the management. Most of the conflicts and workers demands are resolved through settlement
under the authority of a conciliatory officer. Due to lack of competing entities the parties may
resort to a bipartite agreement in dealing with some of the non-critical issues.
One of the relatively recent well documented case of a bipartite agreement between the
Management and the Golmuri Tinplate Workers' Union (GTWU) has been regarding Annual
Bonus for the employee for the accounting year 2003-2004.

This agreement was entered into under sec.31A of the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 on the basis
of production and profitability. According to the agreement, although the employees under the
unionized purview were entitled to Annual Bonus of 19.90% of their annualized eligible
earnings; the Management at the request of the Union agreed to round it off to 20%. Whereas as
per the previous year bonus declared was 17% in comparison.
The Union demanded for the increase in bonus since company had shown substantial
improvement in performance levels during that financial year in terms of production and
profitability .The Management on the other hand also acknowledged the contribution made
by the employees and agreed to the demands while maintaining that the enthusiasm for
achieving higher levels of production and productivity should remain same.
Conversely regarding wages and other benefits the Union and Management generally opt for
a binding settlement and an example displaying that is as follows

(2) Source: TATA Tinplate press release (http://www.tatatinplate.com/)

On Friday, the 7th November, 2003 a Memorandum of settlement regarding wages and other
benefits was agreed upon by Mr.BushenRaina, MD, TCIL, behalf of Management of the
Company and Mr.RakeshwarPandey, President, Golmuri Tinplate Workers' Union on behalf of
the union. The Agreement papers were signed in the presence of Mr.PeterLakra, Dy.Labour
3

Commissioner and Conciliation Officer, Jamshedpur.

The earlier settlement had expired on 31.10.2002. The new details were arrived upon after
protracted negotiations spread over 8 months. The new draft provided for a Minimum
Guaranteed Benefit of Rs. 250/- p.m. plus one increment immediately and an additional
increment from 1st January,2004. It also provides for an increase in LTA, Conveyance
Allowance etc. amongst other benefits.
One of the unique features of this settlement is provision for payment of pension to the
nominee of a deceased employee in the event of death while in service contingent upon deposit
of Provident Fund and Gratuity settlement of the deceased employee with company.
The settlement was arrived in a cordial atmosphere. The union agreed for reduction in subsidies
for power and Canteen as well as increase in recovery of House rent. The net additional cost to
the company as a result of the above agreement was approximately Rs. 1100/- per employee per
month
Along with the general proceedings of negotiations for wage, bonus and other benefits we also
came across a very interesting case which holds great significance for the company in terms of
how it was handled and its implications on the organization. We decided to detail the background
and major events to get a better understanding
(3) Source: TATA Tinplate press release (http://www.tatatinplate.com/)

Hot Dip Process Case


The Tinplate Company was the first manufacturer of Tinplate in India. The first steel plate was
produced in 1922 and it remained the leading producer of steel plates for a sizeable period of 50
years.
However, with the onset of reforms to liberalize the Indian economy in July of 1991, a new
chapter had dawned for India and her billion plus population. This period of economic
transition has had a tremendous impact on the overall economic development of almost all
major sectors of the economy. Besides, it also marked the advent of the real integration of the
Indian economy into the global economy. This opening up of the economy meant adverse
consequences for TCIL

.
The labour intensive technology used by the companys Hot Dip plant became obsolete and the
competition it faced from international manufacturers adversely affected its manufacturing
process amounting to 27 crore in losses in 1996-97 which went up to 61 crore in 1997-98
financial year. Its major supplier of sheet bar raw materials discontinued from Tata Steel. Due
to this unavailability of the raw materials, in 1998, a plant with 4 crore profit had to be shut in
comparison to a plant running 6 crore loss with available raw materials. The companys
attempt of modernizing the production process and commissioning of the cold rolling mill
(CRM) got delayed causing productivity issues. Also, the reduction in import duties reduced
the Tinplate prices and the company lost its standing in the market. Owing to the poor capacity,
huge expenses and the obsolete technology, the hot dip plant had to be shut in 1999.
Because of the shutting down of the plant around 3500 workers were being retrenched. Some of
these workers had taken the company to the court but had lost the case against the company and
a few others had taken the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS). This angered the workers and
caused extreme discontentment, as they believed that the management should have foreseen the
technological changes in the manufacturing technology and acted accordingly. Workers
believed that it was injustice meted out to them because of the managements incompetence.
Because of the growing violence the government intervened. The government did not provide
the support for the closure of production, by not permitting it, keeping in mind the welfare of
the workers.
Bushen Raina, companys Management Director, was committed to TCILs recovery. He
communicated with the plants workers, managers and union leaders. Open forums were
organized to revive the organization. Another effort from the managements side to pacify the
agitated workers was that, though the production was shut on 2nd January 1999 but 100%
wages were continued to be given to the workers till 15th November 1999. But, it also needs to
be noted that when the production was re-started following the recovery from the turmoil and
CRM-2 was established, besides the existing CRM-1 and ETP-1 plant, only 148 workers from
the total retrenched workers who had taken the company to the court were reinstated through a
tri-partite settlement and the wages were being provided in full amount

Cooperation from the Trade Union

Despite the growing resentment among the workers, the Trade union was highly supportive of
the management for reoperation of the plant. They agreed to work for 28 days and be paid for
only 26 days. The workers continued work despite a 40% reduction in wages.

Cooperation from the Management

The management undertook the responsibility of empowering the workers. Programs were
conducted to enhance the competency of the unionized category of employees. Besides, his
or her work schedule, every employee was given a detailed description of the entire business
process. This included 1600 employees.
Thus we can see that even a grim scenario such as retrenchment of workers which can lead to
a lot of discord and even violence was handled well by the Union and Management. The
affected stakeholders were taken care of without compromising organization goals. This had
long term impact on the companys performance and it has seen an amazing turnaround with
sustained profits and performance.

Future Outlook and Issues for the Union

Even though the management and Union had been working together for the smooth
functioning of the company, the future does not look so rosy for the both the parties due to the
changing circumstances with emergence of contract labors.
Due to globalization, the market has become very competitive. So, the management holds the
view that in order to survive and gain competitive advantage in the market; they need to adopt
more cost cutting measures such as employing contract labor and adopting a leaner and more
mechanized manufacturing process. In foreign countries, there are a lot of statutes governing
contract labors and a mechanized approach is available for employers while dealing with this
but in India contract labor is not organized and not well represented by the government.
The Trade strongly feels increasing prominence of contract labors in the organization will
dilute their bargaining power in representing the interest of payroll employees. The contact
labors are yet to align themselves with the GWTU and have an alternate Union which has
proven ineffective in leading their cause
Furthermore, the Tinplate Company of India Limited employs around 600 contract labors in
addition to around 1000 permanent labors. The kinds of job done by contract labors vary from
maintenance, cleaning, etc. to production. The jobs done by contract labors are mostly
perennial in nature and similar to that of permanent employees in some cases. However, their
wages are not tantamount to that of permanent labors. This maybecome a case of sham and
camouflage under the CLRA act but no measures are being taken against the organization

The trade union envisages that in future the employment will predominantly shift permanent to
contract, so their focus will be to first organize the contract labor and come to a settlement with
the management that is beneficial to both the parties. They believe that they might have to take a
revolutionary approach, going back to from where they started, in order to achieve the same.

In interaction with Mr Parbinder Singh, we came to know that they have already started to
bring this matter to the management but the management have been trying to evade the matter.