In my opinion, justice should be impersonal. If a women gets raped, the rapist shall not go unpunished irrespective of whether the victim is an employee or not. To achieve this, the only solution is to strengthen the judiciary.
Introducing unions will not help in any way. Let's analyze what will happen if there were unions. Assume that there are 3 unions in HP. Each union will try to extract as much milage as possible from this issue. They'll compete with one another to come to the limelight. Then comes strikes and lockouts to arm-twist the employer at the negotiating table. Finally the employer yields to the demands and provides the deserving compensation and security and all is well and fine. The employees realize their unlimited power to bring the employer to his knees.
In the meantime, the call centre staff approaches the union to rid the women employees from the night shifts. Again strike/lockout and HP is forced to accept that too, despite the fact that the customers call only during the night. The women employees are kept in the payroll, without any work to do.
Soon, an employee gets fired from HP due to non-performance. He also approaches the unions. Again an amazing opportunity for the unions to extract milege. Again lockouts, negotiations and finally, the employee is taken back.
Then comes an economic downturn and HP wants to cut the work-force by 10%. Again strikes, lockouts and HP is forced to drop that plan.
Eventually HP realizes that it is unprofitable to operate in India and decides to wind up the operations. The unions react by besieging the infrastructure and preventing the management from taking their servers, equipments etc. Finally at their wits end, HP abandons all the equipments and quits.
This serves as a lesson for all the entrepreneurs who want to start their business in India and eventually India becomes an industrial graveyard.
The root cause that we need to realize is that when the unions come into picture to guard the employees rights, there is no mechanism for a balance in power. The unions become omnipotent. The question is "Who will guard the guards". Where as, when we leave it to market forces and judiciary, there's a reasonable balance in power between the employees and the employer.
Let us analyze what happens when we leave it to market forces. Due to the deplorable security mechanisms, people become skeptical about joining HP. Also, the existing efficient employees quit HP to join companies that provide safer work-environment to the employees. Due to the exodus of efficient employees, HP loses several important customers. Eventually HP is forced to review its security arrangements and attract fresh talent. In the meantime, the employees that got assaulted sue HP. HP loses its face internationally and attracts a bad reputation. So in the best interest of the business, HP installs a very safe work-environment.
What do you think will benefit in the long run?