Trade Union Vs Management Case Study


Case study Of Oberoi Hotel

MSKS also has a trade union existing in Oberoi Hotel (Mumbai). The employees used to get 65 days holiday per year. The management wanted to reduce 15 days holidays, due to some managerial issues.

As this news spread among the workers, they readily and strongly opposed the proposal. They approached the MSKS for solving the issue. Then a meeting was convened and MSKS kept a proposal in front of the management that they are ready to convince the workers but in return the management has to pay 20 days extra salary in the month of December. The management agreed.

The workers were also content and agreed to the proposal. Now the workers eagerly wait every year for the month of December to come so that they could get good amount of salary. Yet, another success from the part of MSKS.

In the Oberoi hotels frequent theft and pilferage used to take place on the floors of various items such as shirts, towels, tissues, napkins, stationery’s, etc. So the hotel in order to maintain its reputation and goodwill in the industry used to provide the theft items to its customers, for which the hotel had to make extra provision of Rs 50 lakhs to satisfy the customers and thus it had to bear losses upto Rs 50 lakhs.

After a span of time a meeting was arranged between the management and the secretary of MSKS to solve the problem through survey and thus find the proper solution for the same. Through survey it was found that the Account

statement of the Hotel on one side showed the profit of Rs 1 crores and on the other side it had the provisions for loss of Rs 50 lakhs. Thus management
requested the MSKS to find the causes for the same. And after the further examination it was found that:

1) Out of 3 furnished oil tankers received by the hotel, only one oil tanker used to be actually received by the hotel, where as the other 2 furnished oil tankers were found to be missing.

2) Out of 4000 bulk products send by Bombay Dyeing only 2500 products were actually received by the hotel where as other remaining 1500 items were found missing.

After the further survey made by the respective union it was found that the two employees of the hotel were responsible and culprit for this situation of the hotel.

This was yet another success of Maharashtra Samarth Kamgar Sanghatna.

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At a time when multiple changes are taking place at the Luxair airline company, tensions have risen between management and the Luxembourg Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (OGB-L). The management is uncertain about the confederation’s ability to act as a social partner, while OGB-L accuses management of a lack of understanding and proper dialogue. In recent months, grievances against the management have increased, with particular focus on the reorganisation plans for the company’s call centre.

In mid December 2007, the Luxembourg Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (Onofhängege Gewerkschaftsbond Lëtzebuerg, OGB-L) revealed in a press release the intention of management at the Luxair airline company to delocalise some of its call centre activities to Malta. The management reacted immediately to the announcement, publicly denying the apparently misleading information published by the trade union.

Management’s position

According to the Luxair management, no jobs would be lost at the call centre; instead, it was merely seeking to improve its customer services by making services available on Sundays and in the evening, when the number of calls did not justify the presence of more agents at the Luxair call centre. Furthermore, the management criticised the manner in which the trade union had acted, which – in its view – would only generate conflict.

Trade union concerns

However, according to OGB-L, the company joint committee (comité mixte d’entreprise) had been led to believe that the move was a done deal, similar to the situation regarding the reorganisation of the company’s cleaning service. In relation to the latter, the trade union recounted that at a meeting of the joint committee in late December 2007, the Luxair management confirmed that its cleaning staff employed in the VIP lounge had already been replaced around mid September by employees of a subcontracting company.

The trade union considered that it had been deceived, and that increasing instances of disquiet were arising at the company. The principal fear is that the Luxembourg call centre will eventually be closed down. Moreover, the General Secretary of the OGB-L Civil Aviation Union (Syndicat Aviation Civile), Hubert Hollerich, expressed his concerns about the future of staff working at the air terminal, due to the opening of a new terminal in April 2008 and given that it will no longer be managed by Luxair but by LuxAirport.

Union takes firm stand

Faced with what OGB-L considers to be a precarious social situation, the trade union organised an information meeting for staff on 24 January 2008, after which the position to be taken by the union was agreed on by the assembly. Accordingly, the trade union: 

  • demands that an official end be brought to the restructuring process launched in 2006, which provided for a reduction of some 190 jobs;
  • advises strongly against the further wasting of financial resources on consultants employed to restructure the cargo department;
  • demands recognition of staff of the Cargo Centre and of their financial and economic importance within the group;
  • insists that the number of temporary workers employed at the Cargo Centre is excessive and demands the immediate permanent employment of some of these workers;
  • confirms its demand for a linear increase in salaries of 3% a year;
  • insists that a job description and career development plan must form part of collective agreements;
  • demands an assurance from management about the future of staff after the opening of the new air terminal;
  • defends the idea of a modern airport, which it considers as an important socioeconomic player in Luxembourg; however, it is shocked by the ostensibly bad decisions taken regarding the working conditions of ground and flight staff;
  • opposes the management’s declaration that seven minutes in the crew room is sufficient time to prepare for a flight;
  • argues that the management has systematically violated the principle of ‘joint management’.

Restoring social dialogue

In addition, in order to guarantee industrial harmony at the company, OGB-L is demanding transparent and constructive social dialogue. The trade union has indicated that it will lodge a complaint against Luxair’s management for violating the laws regulating the functioning of company joint committees. Although the employer has not yet officially taken a stand regarding OGB-L’s demands, it has declared its willingness to help restore more favourable social dialogue. Furthermore, with respect to Luxair cargo personnel, an urgent meeting was organised in an effort to avert any strike action. OGB-L is satisfied with the results: accordingly, an exceptional premium will be paid to compensate for the extra volume of work carried out last year, while job descriptions, classifications and career development plans are set to be proposed within the next few months.

Odette Wlodarski, Prevent

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