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Strikes Are Not A Usual Right Of The Employees

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  • 1. “STRIKES ARE NOT A USUAL RIGHT OF THE EMPLOYEES” INTRODUCTION : Industrial peace implies the existence of harmonious relation between the management & workers. When the relationship between them are not cordial, industrial atmosphere is not peaceful, such a situation is called industrial unrest. INDUSTRIAL UNREST ORGANISED UNORGANISED When it is unorganised, the moral Of the workers are generaly low & the managements are not sincere in solving the problems of the workers. But when industrial unrest takes an organised form, it gets expression in the form of strikes, demonstrations, picketing & lock-outs. STRIKES: Strike is a very powerful weapon to get its demands accepted by a trade union. According to industrial disputes act ,1947, Strike means , “cessation of work by a group of workers for the purpose of bringing pressures on their employers to accept their demands”. TYPOLOGY OF STRIKES: ECONOMIC STRIKES: The members of trade union stop work to enforce their economic demands, such as increase in wages, bonus & other benefits. SYMPATHETIC STRIKES: The members of union collectively stop work to support their sympathy with the members of other union who are on strike. GENERAL STRIKES: It means a strike by members of all or most of unions in a region or an industry. It may also be an extension of the sympathetic strike to express generalized protest by the workers. SIT-DOWN STRIKES: When workers don’t leave their place, but cease work, they are said to be an sit-down or stay in strike. It is also called tools down or pens down strike. SLOW-DOWN STRIKES: When the employees do not stop their work, but restrict the rate of output in an organized manner. They adopt go slow tactics to put pressure on the employers. 1
  • 2. “STRIKES ARE NOT A USUAL RIGHT OF THE EMPLOYEES” HUNGER STRIKES: It is followed either by leaders or by some workers or by both for a limited period. The purpose is to create sympathy of the employer & to attract the attention of the public. It is non-violent in nature. GHERAO: It is a hindi term which means to surround. It is initiated by a group of workers under which members of management of a firm are prohibited from leaving their workplace by the workers who block their exit through human barricade. Under sec 339 or 340 of IPC, it is an cognitive offence which results in imprisonment or fine up to Rs. 500 or both. further the imprisonment may extend up to 3 years. PICKETING: It means patrolling of workmen in front of the premises of the employer carrying signs, banners, placards for the purpose of preventing others from the entering place. BOYCOTT: When workers decide not to use the company’s products the appealing the public to do so. It is an voluntary withdrawal of co-operation. LIGHTNING/CAT-CALL STRIKE: It is suddenly announced, generally by way of surprise, without notice or at very short notice & thereafter the issues of disputes are discussed. WHEN ARE STRIKES JUSTIFIED All strikes are not justified, and nor all strikers are unjustified. If the strike was held by the workers in support of their reasonable, fair & bonafide demands in peaceful manner, then the strike will be justified. If it was held by using of violence or acts of sabotage or for any ulterior purpose, then the strike will be unjustified. EXAMPLES: JUSTIFIED: UNJUSTIFIED: 1: WHEN EXISTING FACILITIES WITHDRAWN, BENEFITS WITHDRAWN. 1: STRIKES LAUNCHED FOR POLITICAL REASONS. 2: UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICE BY MANAGEMENT. 3: NO RESPONSE FROM MANAGEMENT INSPITE OF REFFERING A DEMAND & ISSUING 2: DEMANDS ARE EXCESSIVE AND UNREASONABLE A REMINDER. 2
  • 3. “STRIKES ARE NOT A USUAL RIGHT OF THE EMPLOYEES” RIGHT TO STRIKE: FOR LONG STRIKE HAS BEEN RECOGNISED AS A LEGITIMATE WEAPON FOR WORKMEN SEEKING ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS. BUT IT IS NOT A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT, BECAUSE THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION DOES N’T CONSIDER THE RIGHT TO STRIKE AS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT, AS IT CAN NOT BE CONTROLLED BY THE INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES ACT , IF DECLARED SO. THE RIGHT TO STRIKE HOWEVER IS NOT UNQUALIFIED. IT IS A RELATIVE RIGHT WHICH CAN BE EXCERCISED WITH DUE REGARD TO THE RIGHT OF OTHERS. A STRIKE THEREFORE SHOULD USED AS A WEAPON ONLY AS A LAST STEP, WHEN ALL OTHER POLICIES HAVE PROVED FUTILE & IT SHOULD BE PERFORMED IN A PEACEFUL MANNER FOR GOOD & JUSTIFIABLE REASONS. M.K GANDHI RECOGNISED THE WORKERS RIGHT TO STRIKE, BUT HE WARNED THAT, SUCH A STRIKE SHOULD BE CONDUCTED, WHEN ALL OTHER METHODS HAVE FAILED. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON LABOUR, THE RIGHT TO STRIKE WITH REASONABLE RESTRAINT HAVE BEEN RECOGNISED IN ALL DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES. HOWEVER SUPREME COURT OF INDIA IN ITS JUDGEMENT ON T.K RANGARAJAN VRS. GOVT. OF TAMILNADU & OTHERS (2003)6 SCC 581, HELD THAT GOVT. EMPLOYEES HAVE NO STATUTORY/ EQUITTABLE/MORAL TO RESORT TO STRIKE & THAT THEY CANN’T TAKE THE SOCIETY AT RANSOM BY GOING ON STRIKE, EVEN IF THERE IS INJUSTICE IN SOME EXTENT. FURTHER THE COURT OBSERVED THAT, STRIKE AS A WEAPON IS MOSTLY USED, WHICH RESULTS IN CHAOS AND TOTAL MAL-ADMINISTRATION. NEGATIVE IMPACT OF STRIKES: THE CONSEQUENCE OF INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES ARE FAR REACHING, AS THEY DISTURB THE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL & POLITICAL LIFE OF A COUNTRY. IN THEIR IMPORTANCE THEY ARE , THEY ARE NO LESS THAN A WAR. AS IN MODERN WARS , THE CAUSALTIES & SUFFERINGS ARE NOT CONFINED TO SOLDIERS ONLY, SO IN THE CASE OF STRIKES, THE ADVERSE EFFECTS ARE NOT CONFINED TO EMPLOYEES. AS A WAR STARTS LOCALLY BUT HAS THE POSSIBILITY OF AFFECTING THE ENTIRE HUMANITY, SO INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES MAY AFFECT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY. AN INDUSTRIAL UNREST IS JUST LIKE A BIG STONE THROWN IN TO A POND, CAUSING A WIDE SPREADING WAVES TILL THE ENTIRE POND IS AFFECTED. NATURALLY THE WORKERS, EMPLOYERS, THE CONSUMERS, THE COMMUNITY & THE NATION SUFFER IN MORE THAN ONE WAY. 3
  • 4. “STRIKES ARE NOT A USUAL RIGHT OF THE EMPLOYEES” AN INDUSTRIAL UNREST RESULTS IN : I. HUGE WASTAGE OF MAN-DAYS. II. DISLOCATION IN THE PRODUCTION WORK. III. A STRIKE IN THE PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICES LIKE WATER SUPPLY, POWER, GAS SUPPLY, POSTS, TELEGRAPH, TELEPHONE, RAILWAYS/ROADWAYS, HOSPITALS & DISPENSARIES ETC. DIS-ORGANISES PUBLIC LIFE & THROW THE ECONOMY OUT OF GEAR. IV. STOPPAGES OF WORKPLACE RESULTS IN SHORT SUPPLY OF CONSUMER GOODS, WHICH CAUSES SKY RIDING PRICES & LEAD TO NON-AVAILABILITY OF PRODUCTS IN THE OPEN MARKET. V. THE WORKER LOSSES WAGES, WHICH RESULTS IN FAMILY DISTURBANCES, MENTAL AGONIES, TENSIONS ETC. IF A STRIKE BECOMES UNSUCCESSFUL, THEN IT IS A BURDEN OF FINANCIAL LOSS ON WORKERS, WHICH DEMORALISES THEM, DISSAPPOINTED THEM SEVERELY. VI. AGAIN THE EMPLOYERS SUFFER A HEAVY LOSS, NOT ONLY THROUGH STOPPAGE OF PRODUCTION, REDUCTION IN SALES & LOSS OF MARKET, BUT ALSO IN THE HUGE EXPENDITURE INCURRED IN CRUSHING STRIKES. VII. INDUSTRIAL DISHARMONIES LIKE STRIKES AFFECTS NATIONAL ECONOMY. PROF. PIGOU POINTED OUT THAT, WHEN LABOUR & EQUIPMENT ARE RENDERED IDLE BY A STRIKE OR LOCK-OUT, NATIONAL DIVIDEND SUFFERS, BY LESSENING THE OUTPUT, WHICH ULTIMATELY REDUCES NATIONAL INCOME. CONCLUSION: HENCE KEEPING ALL THESE ABOVE MENTIONED DISADVANTAGES, IT IS JUSTIFIED TO SAY THAT, “STRIKES ARE NOT A USUAL RIGHT OF THE EMPLOYEES”. PRESENTED BY: SRIBATSA PATTANAYAK , ABA, BALASORE REFFERENCE:: PMIR,B.P SINGH,T.N CHHABRA & P.L TANEJA, CHAPTER: ”INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES IN INDIA”, PAGE:385-386. 4
  • 5. “STRIKES ARE NOT A USUAL RIGHT OF THE EMPLOYEES” HRMIR,THE INSTITUTE OF COMPANY SECRETARIES OF INDIA,CHAPTER:”ANATOMY OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS” STUDY IX, PAGE:307-320. 5