On Saturday, 18 May, 2002 at 6.30
p.m. the Union Silver Jubilee Year function commenced with the release of
colourful gas balloons and the union logo emblem by all the Union Executives
and Chairman and Managing Director, Jamshyd Godrej. In the Pirojshanagar
cultural community hall, founder members of the Union and former Executives
garlanded the photographs of the late Bhagwan Angne (Ex-President), the late
Mahadev Nandgaokar (Ex-Vice President) and the late Ishwar Kadiyal (Jt.
Secretary). The lamp was lit by Chief Guest Ashok Khot, Chief Secretary
(worker/employee) of Maharashtra Government, in the presence of respected
Jamshyd Godrej; Dinesh Parulekar, President of the Union; Nagendra Singh,
General Secretary; Kerse Naoroji, Ex-Vice President (Works); E.J. Kalwachia,
Executive Director; and Advocate Vinod Mirajkar, the Union’s legal adviser.
Artistes from the Shran and Kala Manch presented a cultural programme on the
occasion, which was highly appreciated by all present.
Union committee members, who carried
out their duties successfully, were felicitated with mementos and bouquets.
In addition, about 75 Management authorities who cooperated with the Union
as well as those who contributed to training employees and those dedicated
people who worked for the last 24 years, were also felicitated.
Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman
and Managing Director of Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., Dinesh Parulekar,
President of G&B Shramik Sangh, Z. G. Khan, Vice President of G&B Shramik
Sangh, and others at the celebrations to mark the completion of 24 years of
G&B Shramik Sangh.
Union organiser and Plant Managers
of Plant 9, Plant 7/8 and Plant 14 were jointly honoured with mementos for
the highest rate of participation in the blood donation drive. Ashok Khot,
Dinesh Parulekar and Jamshyd Godrej gave away the mementos.
After the programme, Ashok Khot,
Jamshyd Godrej, Kerse Naoroji, E.J. Kalwachia, Vinod Mirajkar, Ex-Vice
President and founder member Diago Korea and Ex-treasurer Pandurang Satam
were honoured by the Union with silver mementos and bouquets. Guests spoke
on the present industrial scenario and the cooperative attitude of the Union
and conveyed their best wishes for the continuance of this cooperation. The
Union’s General Secretary, Nagendra Singh, gave the history behind the
establishment of the Union. He gave the assurance that the factory at
Vikhroli would not be allowed to shift outside Mumbai. E.J. Kalwachia
expressed his thoughts on the industrial scenario and work/activities of the
Union. Ashok Khot spoke about industries in Maharashtra, expectations of
employers, workers’ attitude and the new labour laws. Kerse Naoroji praised
the way the Union worked and explained the necessity for the Management to
understand the workers’ point of view.
Silver Jubilee Trophy being
presented by Dinesh Parulekar, President of Godrej & Boyce Shramik Sangh, to
Ashok Khot, Chief Secretary (Labour), Government of Maharashtra.
Jamshyd Godrej appreciated the
cooperation given by the Union in productivity, safety and quality, and also
said that he expected the Union to cooperate in future as well.
At the end of the function,
President Dinesh Parulekar expressed his gratitude to all the people who
helped with the Union to reach its Silver Jubilee year. The period from 1986
to 1992 was a golden age of industrial relations. The manner in which the
work ethic and the value system worked successfully among 4,500 workers, was
emphasized by Guru G.N. Sapre. The Union considered it an honour to
felicitate him on this occasion.
The assurance was given that such
was the bond between Management and the Union that it would last for a
This historic event concluded on a
grand note with dinner. The entire programme was well compered by
istinguished guests who
attended the inauguration of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations include(from
Left): Kerse Naoroji, Jamshyd Godrej, K. R. Thanewalla, D. N. Madon, E. J.
Kalwachia and Dinesh Parulekar.
Singh, General Secretary,
Godrej & Boyce Shramik Sangh
If only all Trade Unions were like this one!
Some Basic Facts
Minimum Annual Membership fee from the years 1978 to 1987 was Rs. 6
only. From 1988 to 2001 it was Rs. 12 and from 2002 onwards it is Rs.
24 only. Every year the Union fund is audited and the report
presented at the Annual General Meeting.
The Union fund is used for
the welfare of employees and for social causes such as an X-ray
machine, a hospital, community hall, relief for earthquake victims
of Latur, Bhuj, Kargil jawans, and so on.
Office bearers of the Union
work day and night free of charge. For the last two decades the
Union Working Committee has been elected unanimously without holding
any formal elections.
Along with workers’
movements / activities, cooperative activities are also encouraged,
so employees benefit from the Credit and Consumer Societies.
The Union workers’ right is
not only limited to financial growth, but extends also for their
families’ overall development. Not only industrial health, employees
and their families’ physical and mental health, but also social
health is taken care of by this responsible workers’ Union.
The Union was successful in
arriving at an agreement on seven general demands for the years
1978, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 1999 without the financial
loss of a single day. The Union was successful in making provision
for accident leave in the 1982 agreement along with a 10 per cent
increase in the provident fund subscription.
In the 1985 agreement 100
per cent ceiling on Dearness Allowance was withdrawn. The
after-death housing scheme for all Godrej employees was successfully
A worker training scheme was
implemented in 1986. In accordance with the employee’s needs,
short-term courses were started. From 1986 to 1992, 120 worker
training classes were arranged for the overall development of the
employee. Nearly 4,500 employees were trained. For retired
employees, special guidance classes are still being conducted.
From 1990 the Union
participated in the blood donation camp organised by Pragati Kendra.
By the year 2000 the Union achieved its target of collecting 1,001
bottles of blood.
In 1993 the Union donated Rs.
5 lakhs to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (Maharashtra) for the
Latur earthquake victims. The Union also collected Rs. 50 lakhs from
the Godrej family for the rehabilitation of earthquake victims.
representatives were selected to be on the Managing Committee of the
Credit and Consumer Societies. Honest worker representatives were
appointed on its Provident Fund Trust. Benefits for workers’ welfare
were provided through Plant Works Committees and the Central Works
Sweepers and security
employees in the colony who were on contract basis were absorbed in
For two decades the Union
made efforts to have a modern fully adequate hall for cultural
activities of employees near the station in Pirojshanagar. The Union
was successful in making this dream come true in the year 2001. It
donated Rs. 25 lakhs to the Company to make this hall available to
the employees and their families at a concessional rate.
The Union was successful in
shifting the venue of the hospital that was to be constructed by the
Godrej Memorial Trust from Faridabad to Vikhroli. It donated Rs. 25
lakhs to the Godrej Memorial Trust to enable employees to get
hospital benefits at a concessional rate.
To ensure good health for
employees, the Union arrived at a historical agreement in the year
1999. According to this agreement, through the Medicare scheme, the
employee and his three family members are given a medical insurance
policy of Rs. 1,70,000 per year.
In spite of the dreadful
industrial depression, 200 temporary workers were made permanent.
This was done by the Union in 2001-02.
The Union also played an
important role in the Company’s safety policy, environment policy,
ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 programmes.
A Tale of Two Schools
The first is known as a snob school in the heart of
the Fort area. Its status is symbolised by the huge fancy limousines
that drop students every morning and take them home every evening. The
second is a middle class school at Bori Bunder, right next to Capitol
In the first school a multi-millionaire’s son brought
to school a handsome donation from his father. The son was taken to the
front of the class and the teacher called upon the entire class to clap
in appreciation. But one little boy with a fractured finger could not
clap. He showed the teacher his bandaged hand, but still the teacher
reprimanded him in front of the entire class.
In the second school there was a little boy with an
eye defect. Owing to some mistake made by him, the teacher taunted him
by calling him ‘‘Kanya’’. The Principal came to know of this. The next
morning, at the time when the entire school was assembled for prayers,
the Principal reprimanded the teacher for his insensitivity and asked
him to apologise to the little boy.
What do you think was the lesson the snob school
taught to its students? The power of money.
And the middle class school? The gift of compassion.
Small wonder, men of the calibre of Pherozeshah
Mehta, Dinshaw Vatcha, Dadabhai Naoroji, Rustom Masani, Pirojsha Godrej,
and many others matriculated from the second school.
This is a true story. The student in the first school was my grandson
and in the second, my son.