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Labour policy should support industrialization.

Economic Review: How do you foresee the future of Labour-Management Relations in Pakistan?

Farooq Umar: The expansion of education, rise in standard of living and desire towards a more liberal way of life. These tendencies will automatically shift certain issues from the domain of collective bargaining to participation management. The increasing trend towards a market oriented culture is another factor which will have direct impact on the future labour management relations. It will lead to fierce competition for survival, this will need greater experience, skill and ability to respond to changing market requirements necessitating down sizing and restructing of enterprises in some cases.

ER: What are the general problems of the employers and what measures do you suggest for its remedy?

FU: Employers problems are mostly related to existing labour laws: many laws are outdated made during colonial times, there is urgent need to revise these laws in order to increase industrialization, he other major problem the employer faces is the involvement of government in salary and wages, I think government's involvement in wages creates problem for the industry specially the one's which has regular bargaining between workers and management.

In my opinion the effective trade union is mostly the one lead by the workers belonging to the organization, outsiders not belonging to the organization very often fail to understand the real problems and do not think in long terms. Laws should be amended to further encourage the participation of employees in trade unions. Employers should also be given the right to hire and fire from this I mean a unhindered right to replace unwilling workers with willing one's. Unwilling workers are usually in minority but staying in employment in spite of their unwillingness they slowly spoil the willing workers this has become the root cause of low productivity.

ER: Do you think that the Pay structure and fringe benefits in GTR are satisfactory as compared to other organisation of similar nature in Pakistan?

FU: Yes, our Pay structure and fringe benefits are satisfactory and compatible with similar multinational industries. We regularly take part in salary surveys, carried out by renowned consultants to assess our compensation package with other multinationals with the purpose to keep our compensation package compatible with other multinational industry.

ER: Is there any ethnic problem in your organisation? If so, what measures have you taken to solve the problem?

FU: No, we never had any ethnic problems, we have in our workforce workers from different ethnic backgrounds but they all work together in harmony.

ER: There is a resentment among workers against Contract Labour System. What steps do you suggest for its elimination?

FU: Law provides reasonable protection to the rights of the contract labour and if it is followed correctly the resentment among workers against the contract labour can be minimized.

ER: What suggestion do you have for a balanced Labour Policy?

FU: A balanced labour policy should support the massive industrialization and should be equitable for all sectors of the economy. Employers should be given the right to relieve the unwilling workers. Government should set only the minimum standards for wages, workers safety, medical benefits etc. and leave the rest to the employers. To encourage employers to do more incentives should be given.

FAROOQ UMAR, Divisional Manager, Human Resource Development & Strategic Planning of General Tyre and Rubber Company of Pakistan Limited highlights the Labour- Management Relations of the company in an exclusive interview to Economic Review.
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Title Annotation:interview with Farooq Umar of General Tyre and Rubber Company of Pakistan Ltd.
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Interview
Date:May 1, 1993
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