Unit III INDUSTRIAL RELATIONSMEANING The concept of industrial relations means the relationship betweenemployees and management in the day-to-day working of an industry. But theconcept has a wide meaning. When taken in the wider sense, industrial relationsis a “set of functional independence involving historical, economic, social,psychological, demographic, technological, occupational, political and legalvariables.”According to Dale Yoder, Industrial Relations are a “whole field ofrelationship that exists because of the necessary collaboration of men andwomen in the employment process of an industry.”According to the Industrial Labour Organisation (ILO), “IndustrialRelations dealWith either the relationship between the state and employers’ and workers’organizations or the relation between the occupational organizationsthemselves.”The concept of industrial relations has been extended to denote the relations ofthe state with employers, workers, and their organisations. The subject thereforeincludes industrial relations and joint consultations between employers and workpeople at their work place, collective relations between employers and theirorganizations and trade union and part played by the State in regulating theserelations.
FEATURES 1. Industrial relations are mainly the relations between employees and the employer. 2. Industrial relations are the outcome of the practice of human resource management and employment relations. 3. These relations emphasis on accommodating other party’s interest, values and needs. Parties develop skills of adjusting to and cooperating with each other. 4. Industrial relations are governed by the system of rules and regulations concerning work place and working community. 5. The main purpose is to maintain harmonious relations between employees and employer by solving their problems though grievance procedure and collective bargaining. 6. The government and shapes industrial relations though industrial relations policies, rules, agreements, mediation, awards, acts etc. 7. Trade Union is another important institution in the industrial relations. Trade union influence and shape the industrial relations through collective Bargaining. 8. Industrial relations develop the skills and methods of adjusting to and cooperating with each other. 9. The Government-involves to shape the industrial relations through laws, rules, agreements, awards etc. 10.The important factors of industrial relations are: employees and their organizations, employer and their associations and Government.
FACTORS OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS Industrial relations are influenced by various factors, viz., institutionalfactors, economic factors and technological factors. 1. Institutional Factors: These factors include government policy, labour legislations, voluntary courts, collective agreement, employee courts, employers’ federations, social institutions like community, caste, joint family, creed, system of beliefs, attitudes of works, system of power status etc. 2. Economic Factors: These factors include economic organization, like capitalist, communist mixed etc., the structure of labour force, demand for supply of labour force etc. 3. Technological Factors: These factors include mechanization, automation, rationalization, and computerization. 4. Political Factors: These factors include political system in the country, political parties and their ideologies, their growth, mode of achievement of their policies, involvement in trade unions etc. 5. Social and Cultural Factors: These factors include population, religion, customs and tradition of people, race ethnic groups, cultures of various groups of people etc. 6. Governmental Factors: These factors include Governmental policies like industrial policy, economic policy, and labour policy, export policy etc.
THREE ACTORS OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS Three major participants or actors of industrial relations, viz., workersand their organizations, management and government are identified. 1. Workers and their Organisations: The total worker plays an important role in industrial relations. The total worker includes working age, educational background, family background, psychological factors, social background, culture, skills, attitude towards other workers etc. workers’ organizations prominently known as trade unions play their role more prominently in trade unions. The main purpose of trade union is to protect the workers’ economic interest through collective bargaining and by bringing pressure on management through economic and political tactics. Trade union factors include leadership, finances, activities etc. 2. Employers’ and their organization: Employer is a crucial factor in industrial relations. He employees the worker, pays the wages and various allowances, regulates the working relations through various rules, regulations and by enforcing labour laws. He expects the worker to follow the rules, regulations and laws. He further expects them to contribute their resources to the maximum. The difference between the demands of worker and employer results in industrial conflicts. Normally employers have higher bargaining power than workers. But their bargaining power is undermined when compared
that to trade unions. Employers from their organizations to equate (or excel) their bargaining power with that of trade unions. These organisations protect the interest of the employer by pressuring the trade unions and government. 3. Government: Government plays a balancing role as a custodian of the nation. Governments exerts its influence on industrial relations through its labour policy, industrial relations policy, implementing labour laws, the process of conciliation and adjudication by playing the role of both employees’ organisation and employers’ organisation. OBJECTIVES OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONSThe primary objective of industrial relations is to maintain congenial relationsbetween employees and employer. The other objectives are: 1. To promote and develop congenial labour management relations; 2. To enhance the economic status of the worker by improving wages, benefits and by helping in evolving sound budget; 3. To regulate the production by minimizing industrial conflicts through state control; 4. To socialize industries by making the government as an employer;
5. To provide an opportunity to the workers to have a say in the management and decision- making; 6. To improves workers’ strength with a view to solve their problems through mutual negotiations and consultation with the management; 7. To encourage and develop trade unions in order to improve the workers’ strength; 8. To avoid industrial conflict and their consequences; 9. To extend and maintain industrial democracy. FUNCTIONS OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONSFunctions of industrial relations include: 1. Communication is to be established between workers and the management in order to bridge the traditional gulf between the two. 2. To establish a rapport between managers and the managed. 3. To ensure creative contribution of trade unions to avoid industrial conflicts, to safeguard the interest of the workers on the one hand and the management on the other hand, to avoid unhealthy, unethical atmosphere in an industry. 4. To lay down such considerations which may promote understanding, creativity and cooperativeness to raise industrial productivity, to ensure better workers’ participation.
5. Good labour-management relations depend on employer and trade union’s capacity to deal with their mutual problems freely, independently and responsibly. 6. The trade unions and the employers and their organisation should be interested in resolving their problems through collective bargaining and if necessary with the assistance of proper government agency. 7. Workers and employers’ organizations should be desirous of associating with government agencies taking into considerations with general, social, public and economic measures affecting employers and workers relations.CONDITIONS FOR CONGENIAL INDUSTRIAL RELATIONSThe establishment of good industrial relations depends on the constructiveattitude on the part of both the union and the management. The constructiveattitude in its turn depends on all the basic policies and procedures laid down inany organization for the promotion of healthy industrial relations. It depends onthe ability of the employers and trade union to deal with their mutual problemsfreely, independently with responsibility. They should have their faith incollective bargaining rather than in collective action. It is very difficult to promote and to maintain sound industrial relations.Certain conditions should exist for the maintenance of harmonious industrialrelations. They are:
1. Existence of Strong, well-Organised and Democratic Employees’ Unions: Industrial relations will be sound only when the bargaining power of the employees’ unions is equal to that of management. A strong trade union can protect the employees’ interest relating to wages, benefits, job security etc.2. Existence of Sound and Organised Employers’ Unions: These associations are helpful for the promotion and the maintenance of uniform personnel policies among various organizations and to protect the interest of weak employers.3. Spirit of Collective Bargaining and willingness to Resort to Voluntary Organisation: The relationship between employee and the employer will be congenial only when the differences between them are settled through mutual negotiation and consultation rather than through the intervention of the third party. Collective bargaining is a process through which employee issues are settled through mutual discussions and negotiations through give and take approach. If the issues are not settled through collective bargaining they should be referred to voluntary arbitration but not to adjudication in order to maintain congenial relations.4. Maintenance of Industrial peace: Permanent industrial peace in an organization is most essential which can be ensured through the following measures: • Machinery for prevention and settlement of industrial disputes. It included legislative and non-legislative measures. Preventive measures include works committees, standing orders, welfare officers, shop councils, joint councils and joint management
councils. Settlement methods include voluntary arbitration, conciliation and adjudication. • Government should be provided with the authority of settling the industrial disputes when they are settled between the two parties and also by voluntary arbitration. • Provision for the bipartite and tripartite committees in order to evolve personnel policies, code of conduct, code of discipline etc. • Provision for the various committees to implement and evaluate the collective bargaining agreements, court orders and judgements, awards of the voluntary arbitration etc.APPROACHES TO INDUSTRIAL RELATIONSIndustrial relations issues are complex and multifarious. They are the results ofsocial, cultural, economic, political, and governmental factors. An economistinterprets industrial conflict in terms of impersonal market forces, a psychologistinterprets in terms of impersonal market forces, a psychologist interprets in termsof individual goals, and motives etc. similarly, a sociologist interprets from hisown viewpoint. But the study of industrial relations should be from themultidisciplinary approach. 1. Psychological Approach to Industrial Relations: According to psychologists, issues of industrial relations have their origin in the differences in the perceptions of management, unions and rank and file
workers. The perpetual differences arise due to differences in personalities, attitudes, etc. Similarly factors like motivation, leadership, group goals versus individual goals etc., are responsible for industrial conflicts.2. Sociological Approach to Industrial Relations: Industry is a social world in miniature. Organisations are communities of individual and groups with differing personalities, educational and family backgrounds, emotions, sentiments etc. These differences in individuals create problems of conflict and competition among the members of individual society.3. Human Relations Approach to Industrial Relations: Human resources are made up of living beings but not machines. They need freedom of speech, of thought, of expression, of movement and of control over the timings. This approach implies that the relationship between employee and employer as between two human beings. The term human relations include the relationship during the out of employment situations.4. Gandhian Approach to Industrial Relations: Mahatma Gandhi’s views on industrial relations are based on his fundamental principles of truth, non violence and non – possession. Under the principle pf non-violence and truth, Gandhi meant a peaceful co-existence of capital and labour. Trusteeship implies cooperation between capital and labour. Gandhi advocated the following rules to resolve industrial conflicts: • Workers should seek redressal of reasonable demands through collective action. • Trade unions should decide to go on strike talking ballot authority from all workers and remain peaceful and use non- violent methods.
• Workers should avoid strikes to the possible extent. • Strikes should be resorted to only as a last report. • Workers should avoid formation of unions in philanthropical organisation. • Workers should take recourse to voluntary arbitration to the possible extent where direct settlement failed.Factors Contributing for Harmonious Industrial Relations 1. There is a full acceptance by management of the collective bargaining process and of unionism as an institution. The company considers a strong union as an asset to the management. 2. The union fully accepts private ownership and operations of the industry; it recognizes that the welfare of its members depends upon the successful operation of the business. 3. The union is strong, responsible and democratic. 4. The company stays out of the internal affairs of the union; it does not seek to alienate the worker’s allegiance to heir union. 5. Mutual trust and confidence exists between the parties. There have been no serious ideological incompatibilities. 6. Neither party to bargaining adopts legalistic approach to the solution of problems of relationship. 7. Negotiations are problem-centered. More time is spent on the day-to-day problems than on defining abstract principles.
8. There are widespread union-management consultations and highly developed information sharing.9. Grievances are settled promptly in the local plant, wherever possible. There is flexibility and informality within the procedure.10.The environmental factors do not by themselves cause peace but they create conditions to develop it. The attitudes and the policies of the parties, the personality of their leaders and their techniques, bring about good relations.
Industrial DisputesINTRODUCTION Modern industrialization has not been an unmixed blessing. It has created ayawning gulf between management and labour because of the absence ofworkers’ ownership of the means of production. Power has been concentrated inthe hands of few entrepreneurs, while a majority has been relegated to theinsignificant position of mere wage earners. The workers have now come torealize that most of their demands can be satisfied if they resort to concerted andcollective action; while the employers are aware of the fact that they can resistthese demands. This denial or refusal to meet their genuine demands has oftenlead to dissatisfaction on the part of the workers, to their distress, and even toviolent activities on their part, which has hindered production and harmed boththe workers and the employers. According to Patterson, “industrial strife constitute militant and organisedprotests against existing industrial conditions. They are symptoms of industrialunrest in the same way that boils are a symptom of a disordered body.” The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, defines an industrial dispute as” anydispute or difference between employers and employees, which is connected withthe employment, or non-employment, or the terms of employment or with theconditions of work of any person.”
FORMS OF DISPUTES Industrial disputes may take the form of strikes, go-slow tactics, tokenstrikes, sympathetic strikes, pen-down strikes, hunger strikes, bandhs,gheraos and lockouts. A strike is a stoppage of work initiated or supported by a trade union, when ato resolve a grievance or constrain him to accept such terms and conditions ofservice as the employees want to enjoy. If, however, an employer closes down his factory or place where his workersare employed, or if he refuses to continue in his employ a person or personsbecause he wants to force them to agree to his terms and conditions of serviceduring the pendency of a dispute, resulting situation is a lockout. Procedures for avoiding strikes, lockouts and other forms of coercive actionin connection with industrial disputes between trade unions and employers aregenerally laid down in the form of a clause or clauses in an agreement betweenthe two. At the same time, it is also laid down that there shall be no stoppage ofwork and no coercive act on the part of either party to a dispute till the procedureoutlined in the agreement have been gone through, and the two parties have beenunable to come to a compromise or reach a settlement.
TYPES OF DISPUTES Disputes, according to the code of industrial relations introduced in the UnitedKingdom in 1972, are of two kinds: (a) Disputes of Right, which relate to the application or interpretation of an existing agreement or contract of employment; and (b) Disputes of interest, which relate to claims by employees or proposals by a management about the terms and conditions of employment. According to the industrial disputes act, 1947, and the mainly judicialdecisions which have been handed down by courts and tribunals, industrialdisputes may be raised on any one of the following issues: 1. Fairness of the standing orders; 2. Retrenchment of workers following by the closing down of a factory, lay-offs, discharge or dismissal, reinstatement of dismissed employees, and compensation for them; 3. Benefits of an award denied to a worker; non-payment of personal allowance to seasonal employees; the demand of employees for medical relief for their parents; 4. Wages, fixation wages, and minimum rates, modes of payment, and the right of an employee to choose one of the awards on wages have been given;
5. Lockout and claim for damages by an employer because employee resorted to illegal strike; 6. Payment of hours, gratuity, provident fund, pension and traveling allowance; 7. Disputes between rival unions; and 8. Disputes between employees and employers.CAUSES OF INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES (A) Non-Industrial Factors: Industrial relations may be harmonious or strained and acrimonious. In the latter case, there are many causes which are rooted in historical, political and socio-economic factors, and in the attitudes of workers and their employers. Some of the causes of a dispute may be: 1. An industrial matter relating to employment, work, wages, hour of work, privileges, the rights and obligations of employees and employers; the mode, terms and conditions of employment, including matters pertaining to – (a) Dismissal or non- employment of any person; (b) Registered agreement, settlement or award; and (c) Demarcation of the functions of an employee; 2. An industrial dispute which contains any difference which has been fairly defined and is of real substance; that is a matter in which
both parties are directly and substantially interested; or which s a grievance on the part of the worker which the employer is in a position to redress; or which is such as the parties are capable of settling between themselves or referring it for adjudication;3. Disputes often arise because of: (a) The rapidly increasing population which has no opportunities for gainful employment; there is, therefore, no improvement in the standard of living of employees who put forward demands for higher wages which, if not conceded, often lead to strained industrial relations and strikes; (b) Rising unemployment. There was a backlog of 20 million unemployed at the end of the fourth five-year plan and of 30 million by the end of the fifth five-year plan. Often the unemployment resulted form the implementation of the rationalism schemes and installation of new machines on which fewer persons would be employed.4. The galloping prices of essential commodities, their shortages and or non- avaibility, all these erode the value of money, as a result of which the real wages of the workers go down. They become dissatisfied, and demand higher wages;5. The attitude and temperament of industrial workers have changed because of their education, the growth of public opinion and the legislation enacted for their benefit. They are, therefore, very conscious of their rights, and will not put up with any injustice or wrong done to them;6. Trade unions have often failed to safeguard the interest of the workers.
The reasons for this state of affairs are: (a) Rivalry among, and a multiplicity of, trade unions have destroyed the solidarity of the working class; (b) Non-recognition of some trade unions as bargaining agents of their members; (c) Compulsory adjudication has made trade unions seem redundant, for the wages and the working conditions of industrial employees can now be determined by courts, tribunals and wage boards; (d) Trade unions generally do not bother about any aspect of the lives of industrial labour except their wages; (e) Trade unions leaders who are themselves industrial workers have become an eye-sore; (f) Trade unions generally function on the basis of the caste, language, or communal considerations, which divide rather than unify industrial labour; (g) Trade unions are unstable and ephemeral.(B) Management’s Attitudes to labour: Managements generally are not willingto talk over any dispute with their employees or their representatives or refer it toarbitration even when trade unions want them to do so. A management’s unwillingness to recognize a particular trade union and thedilatory tactics to which it resorts while verifying the representative character ofany trade union have been a very fruitful source of industrial strife.
Even when employers have recognized representative’s trade unions, they donot, in a number of cases, delegate enough authority to their officials tonegotitiate with their workers, even though the representatives of labour arewilling to commit themselves to a particular settlement. Some of the other cases are: 1. The absence of any suitable grievance redressal procedure, as a result of which grievances go on accumulating and create a climate of unrest among workers. 2. When, during negotiations for the settlement of a dispute the representatives of employers unnecessarily and unjustifiably take the side of the management, tensions are created, which often leads to strikes, go-slow tactics or lockouts. 3. The managements’ insistence that they alone are responsible for recruitment, promotion, transfer, merit awards, etc. and that they need not consult their employees in regard to any of these matters, generally annoys the workers, who become the un-co- operative and un helpful, and often resort to go-slow tactics. As a result, tensions build up between the two parties. 4. The services and benefits offered by a management to its employees do promote harmonious employer-employee relations. But a large number of managements have not taken any steps to provide these benefits and services for their workers.
(C) Government Machinery: The machinery provided by the government for the resolution of the industrial conflicts is often very inadequate. For example: 1. The government’s conciliation machinery has settled a very negotiable number of disputes because both employers and employees have very little confidence in it; because both have become litigation-minded; because it is inadequate, for the number of disputes referred to its very large and the personnel dealings with them is hopelessly inadequate, particularly because, in addition to labour disputes, it is called upon to see to it that labour laws are properly implemented. 2. Again, trade unions are generally affiliated to some major political party.ch political party, therefore, somehow “engineers” strikes, gheraos and bandhs to demonstrate its political strength. Invariably, the political party, which is in power, favours that trade union organisation which is affiliated to it. Result: labour conflicts and disputes.