Maruti violence sign of building social unrest,says Premji

Violence by the workers had left a general manager dead at the Manesar plant.

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore | Published: July 24, 2012 9:33:14 pm

The recent violence at the Maruti car plant at Manesar in Haryana was a sign “of the social unrest that is building up in the country”,Wipro Ltd chairman Azim Premji said today.

“You have to appreciate that when growth slows down,incremental jobs getting created also slows down very significantly,and unemployed people can be people who generate social unrest,” Premji said on the sidelines of the announcement of the first quarter results of Wipro Ltd here.

“I think the government is taking it seriously,it is going to be a major focus area for all the business and trade associations because it is representative of the social unrest that is building up in the country,including among the unions,” he added,talking about a “new wave of unionisation” in the Gurgaon area where the Maruti plant is located.

“I don’t understand fully the reason for the precipitation but it was pretty extreme,pretty ruthless and it is very unfortunate… It is important that individuals take up the cause,associations take up the cause and the government acts ruthlessly. Otherwise these examples can repeat,” the Wipro chairman said. Violence by the workers had left a general manager dead at the Manesar plant.

While Premji did not comment on the possibility of unionisation in the information technology sector following withdrawal of standing orders exempting the sector from the same,Wipro’s Executive Vice-President,Human Resources,Pratik Kumar called the move “misplaced”.

“Our view is that though it may be well-intended,it is clearly misplaced. The reason the exemption was given to this sector was because it was more globally aligned in terms of the practices,and it needed that flexibility. After decades that exemption being removed… one is wondering what could be the trigger.”

He added that while they would comply with the law,“we will not flinch away from giving our point of view on the subject”.

Premji,who had earlier complained about paralysis in the UPA government,welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh taking charge of the finance portfolio. “I think more than policy initiatives,what is important is that there should be very systematic execution by the government of issues that require execution,which are part of an existing policy,” he said.

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