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DEALING WITH CHARTER OF DEMANDS

JR Kumar B. Com FICWA


Faculty Director- FAPCCI Hyd
One of the important functions of personnel manager is to
deal with demands of the work force and to ensure smooth
and efficient functioning of the work place. This is said very
easily.
In day to day operations, many problems will crop up on
shop floor which needs his attention. Starting with ensuring
timely attendance to Disciplinary issues, there will be many
testing times.
However the biggest test comes, once every three years,
when the agreement with workers’ union needs to be
renewed or fresh agreement is to be negotiated and signed.

This activity starts with receiving the ‘Charter of Demands’.


The Charter of demands may consist of list of demands
raised by the workers which need to be looked into.
In fact , the personnel dept and finance may start working
even before receiving the charter, by preparing graphic
details of existing wage structure in the organisation and
also prepare the similar details of organisation’s in the
neighborhood or similar or competitor industries. It is also
necessary to prepare trends in organisation’s revenue trends
over past few years and extrapolate the same for the same
agreement period. This will enable us to know, to what
extent the demands can be accepted to ensure that the
labour cost can be contained at the same % to revenue as
existing presently.

When a Charter is received, there will be tension all around


and the anxiety will grip PM as to how to deal with this
document.

The Steps in dealing with Charter of demands are as given


below:

1. The very first thing to be done is to prepare a list of


demands.
Write them down numbering the demands and indicating the
present situation and the demand.
2 .Before going into details of demands, it is necessary to
check, whether all statutory measures on Health,, safety,
welfare` as applicable to the organisation are already
complied with.

If any statutory provisions are lacking, and same is included


in the charter of demands, treat that as blessing in disguise.
Make a note of such demands, because, in any case we have
to provide these facilities even when not asked by workers.
We now use this opportunity and agree to such demands, as
this will only ensure compliance with requirements.
3. The demands relating to enhancing organisation’s image
like providing uniform, shoes and rain coats etc, will only
help in building the social image of the organisation. If the
Financial position of the organisation permits such demands
can be accepted. Other wise also we can start accepting a
part of the demand in the current agreement, by postponing
other such demands to a future date depending upon the
future working results of the organisation.

4. Demands for regularization of regularizing the services of


Casual and temporary workmen have to be studied carefully,
before reaching a conclusion. Unless there is an increase in
the business on a permanent basis, the addition of regular
jobs has its own problems. In fact many times employers do
away with this problem by using services of Labour
Contractors. But, only unskilled jobs can be dealt that way.
We need to have regular employees for critical jobs and
skilled jobs. Out sourcing opportunities also may be explored
as an alternative.

4. Demands relating to Remuneration like revision of wages


scales, DA, and introduction of new allowances or enhancing
the amount of
Existing allowance, have to be added together, and the
impact of such demands on the profitability has to be
studied.
Normally such demands, along with demand for regularizing
the services of Casual and temporary workmen have to be
studied carefully, before reaching a conclusion. One way of
handling such demands is to insist on improvement of
productivity, which can reduce the cost of production, there
by making room for accommodation of extra cost to be
incurred, if such requests are agreed.

In fact many organisations bring in the Incentive schemes to


benefit organisation and the workmen, where workers can
earn more with increased production and management will
have the benefit of extra contribution from such production.

5. After the study is complete, we have to start the


negotiation with representative of workmen. There should be
focused meetings and it is better to limit the number of
participants, from both side-workmen and management.
Management side, should consist of ideally, four members
which should include the Personnel, finance and
manufacturing.