The Grey Chronicles


Culture of People

In 2005, when Global Steelworks Infrastructure, Inc. [GSII] became Global Steel Philippines (SPV-AMC), Inc., two declarations were published and posted in various plant areas. One was Culture of People and the other was Culture of Management. Both documents were signed by local and expatriate division and department heads. After four years, it is but proper to analyze if these declarations were religiously adhered to.

The declaration on Culture of People dealt with the employee as asset, competencies, decision empowerment and accountability, mutual trust, performance, work-life balance and teamwork.

We recognize our employees as the most valuable asset.

Why is the compensation structure so lopsided that only expatriates are lucky enough to enjoy the fruits of their labor? There is barely a coverage for medical amenities, except for the legal provisions of the Medicare, which at the present rate is very limiting in terms of choices. Pay heed to production employees’ safety during manufacturing processes by providing each section with first-aid kits during the first year, then forget about replenishment of medical kit supplies for the next three years!
Skillfully declare the sixth day as a No-Scheduled Work [NSW] day to be paid for work rendered on such days with non-cash compensatory leaves, which unfortunately could not be used for the children’s tuition and matriculation, pay the rent or take care of household bills! Expatriates do not have similar problems, only locals do; so why bother?
Limit the instances when local employees could apply for Vacation Leaves and at year’s end forfeit all the unused vacation leave balances, because of the accumulation of compensatory leaves for work rendered on NSW or on holiday overtime! Or declare employees’ accumulated Sick Leave balances for safekeeping months prior to its cash conversion, and when that time is due, claim that the company has to postpone the cash disbursement. . . without saying when. Then, declare an Easy Kaizen for improving the corporate sick leave availment to the barest minimum!

We develop multiple competencies for greater flexibility and stretch.

If multiple competencies is one person taking hold of various jobs simultaneously, like a supervisor handling three or four sections comprising a total of 30 personnel in one shift, then it would truly be a stretch, in patience, hard work and effort.
Furthermore, to develop multiple competencies individually, freeze hiring of new employees, then utilize personnel who formerly worked on that position several years ago to assume it temporarily!
Or hire a new employee or a new graduate, train him for several hours, then immediately deploy him in positions, such as line supervision or systems engineering, requiring appropriate skills, ample training and erudite experience.

We empower employees to make responsible decisions and be accountable for the results.

Empowerment is for the expatriates; Accountability is for local employees. Some expatriates make irresponsible decisions and are not held accountable for disastrous results.
Take for example, the defective catalyst used for gas generators which in an unlikely event could have blown out the equipment because the expatriate manager insisted on operating it even to the point where the temperature exceeded the designed maximum!
The instructions of a system engineer to operate a wrong equipment on a different scenario melted some parts of the facilities; a month later the same engineer received a written commendation for doing a good job rehabilitating the same equipment he previously damaged!
Or a manager ordering raw materials without regard to the respective facilities specifications that the materials waited idly for months before they could be used for production runs?
Or an expatriate manager ordering a substitute substance so toxic that no local employees would touch it, yet when the substance was applied to repair the equipment, it ultimately failed to do what the expatriate claimed it was designed to do!

We value integrity and transparency leading in mutual trust.

The management values mutual trust, or the opposite of that word, when it would not even divulge any information as to the financial health of the company, even if most employees already knew that it was having liquidity problems, or most suppliers share this common knowledge!
Regularly deduct from employees’ salaries their respective withholding taxes, contributions to Pag-ibig, PhilHealth and Social Security System and DO NOT remit them on time to proper government agencies, without the benefit of appropriate explanations for such deliberate delays. Whereby at times, the employee is forced to personally pay—including interests—these government dues just so they can avail of the respective services.
Beware: local motor vehicles are not allowed inside the plant because locals might take home equipment spare parts and supplies! Return all busted bulbs, blown fuses, and even used waste rags and dirty pairs of gloves, for audit purposes to withdraw new ones, which are usually still for purchase requisition. Next, they might require users to return used papers, empty ballpoint pens, snubs of pencils, or used staple wires, and other used office supplies!
Only expatriates were officially allowed to requisition for notebook or laptop computers, multi-colored printer/scanner/copiers or CD ROM disc writers, and they could definitely bring it home with them at the end of their employment contract; locals are happy with their vintage Windows 95 486DX desktop computers.

We inculcate performance culture by providing equitable opportunities and improvement for employees through recognition.

Personal recognition is reserved for expatriates; locals only receive petty cash, a cellphone or deserve a colorful banner or a short memo, for a job well done. The generation of TPM fuguais, one-point lessons, or easy kaizens are equated to some monetary rewards, that when funds for such rewards dried up, so were the momentum for TPM activities. This is not performance inculcation but rather a brand of Pavlov conditioning?
Institute a production volume incentive exclusively for one area, works-in-process lines, and totally deny the same to the finishing lines, the producers of corporate merchandise. Introduce the incentive to the latter after several months of study and revisions; then when the first hurdle of difficulty after weeks of trying is attained, totally shelve the incentive and cancel the actual pay out!

We promote quality of work-life for total human development.

At the start, expatriates questioned the locals promptly going home after the end of respective shifts and asked why are the locals always were hurrying home after work? Some even censured these same employees and told them to render overtime even without pay, just to show their gratitude for having been hired by GSPI for employment.
Offer livelihood training and seminars, more frequent than those that impart technical skills, so that employees might earn some money when the plant is on shutdown!
Delay the disbursement of employee compensation for several days, making the employee’s family members suffer financial distress, the employees worry where to get cash credits and become apprehensive as to the future of the company. Re-schedule employees’ Rest Days, to avoid overtime pay during legal holidays, and disrupt the familiar cycle of shifting schedule, which do not only affect the employee but also his household! Cancel Christmas altogether and declare a plant shutdown for a much-needed longer holiday vacation for all employees.

We value teamwork to achieve desired results.

Question the provisions of the ISO standards on safety, then argue that safety is NOT and NEVER an essential part of ISO 9001:2000 certification. Or state that you are friends with some ISO certifying agents, whom you could request to overlook some of the provisions during the certification audit, thus there would be no need for certain ISO elements. After all was said and done, take personal credit for the successful ISO certification, then happily pose for group picture proving you were part of the team!
Enthusiastically encourage rank-and-file personnel to neatly scatter the mountain of scraps inside the plant to a more horizontal arrangement prior to the TPM audit so that the auditors would not notice it. Teamwork is carefully planning the gemba walk of the TPM auditors so that unsightly areas were definitely avoided, else the company could have been denied of the TPM certification-first category.


Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



  1. Some very interesting points raised here, which has got me thinking!

    Comment by emerald cut diamonds — 2009.July.21 @ 11:22 | Reply

  2. Glad I came back to this site some new very interesting items which I wanted to know more about. Great work on your site.

    Comment by contract law — 2009.July.21 @ 09:47 | Reply

  3. good article

    Comment by slifear — 2009.June.27 @ 04:12 | Reply

  4. Lolz! I love reading your posts! I have to back read several of them as I found your ‘blog’ just last week!

    Funny but true article you got here! That’s I why I left GSPI! I don’t want to be part of the malpractice and be a ‘sucker’.

    Keep on posting…

    Comment by MikeD. — 2009.June.25 @ 20:19 | Reply

  5. I happened to stumble across your site and I like your employee rights and guidelines you have setup

    Comment by Katharine Rummell — 2009.June.25 @ 06:13 | Reply

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