Meaning:- The term “labour management cooperation” refers to the joint effort of labour and capital to find out solutions and remedies of problems, common to both.
Goals As a mean of increasing productivity. As a mean of promoting industrial democracy. As a mean of avoiding conflict and friction.
Argument for the owners’ absolute right to manage: Risk and control go together provides the most important justification. The maintenance and development of industrial efficiency demands that the manager should be able to take quick decision in the ever changing market condition.
(Cont…..) It is said that management of industrial enterprises today has become a highly skilled and techincal.
Argument against the owners’ absolute right to manage: Workers & unions have argued that the success & failure of a business enterprise is too closely linked with their own fate, to be left under the absolute control of the owners. In the event of its failure, the owner may lose his capital only, which may or may not mean his starvation, but the workers lose their jobs, livelihood, experience & skill.
(Cont…..) The right to manage an industrial enterprise does not imply the right to manage the men also, whose cooperation is essential for the success of an enterprise.
Different Degrees and Forms of Labour Management Cooperation:I. Information sharingII. Problem sharingIII. Joint consultationIV. Workers’ participation in management
Schemes of workers’participation in managementThe main schemes are:-• Works committee (1947).• Joint management councils (1958)• Board level participation (1970)• Shop council and joint council under old 20- point programme (1975)• Unit and joint councils in commercial and service organizations in the public
(Cont…..)Sector (1977).• Joint Councils in government services.• Institution in some enterprises in the private sector.
Works Committees(1947) Section 3 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, states that, a Work Committee is to consists of representatives of the employer & workmen engaged in the establishment, so that the number of workers’ representatives is not less than the number of employer’s representatives.
Composition: The number of workers’ representatives is not less than the number of employer’s representatives.
Functions: The list of items which the Work Committees will normally deal with include:i. Conditions of work such as ventilation, temperature, lighting etc.ii. Amenities such as drinking water, canteens, crèches, medical & health services.iii. Safety & accident prevention, occupational disease & protective equipment.iv. Adjustment of festivals& national
(Cont…..)v. Educational & Recreational activities such as libraries, reading rooms, sports, games, community welfare & celebrations.vi. Administration of welfare & fine funds.vii. Promotion of thrift & savings.viii. Implementation & review of decisions arrived at meetings of work committees.
The list of items which the WorkCommittees will not normally deal withinclude:i. Wages & Allowances.ii. Bonus & profit sharing schemes.iii. Rationalization & matters connected with the fixation of work load.iv. Matters connected with retrenchment & lay- off .v. Matters connected with fixation of standard labour force.vi. Incentive schemes, housing & transport.vii. Provident fund, gratuity schemes & retiral benefits.viii. Victimization of trade union activities.ix. Quantum of leave & national festival holidays.
Working & Assessment: According to the Ministry of Labour, in 1999 the number of Works Committees formed in establishments under the central sphere was 881 of 1287 required to be setup under the act. The number of workers covered was 8.7 lakhs as against 13.5 lakhs required to be covered. Even where setup, they did not come up to the expectations.
Joint Management Council(1958) While efforts were in progress to activise the fading Works Committees, the government started looking for another non-statutory forum where the employers & workers could usefully deliberate on matters of common interest. From the deliberations of the seminars also emerged a draft model agreement relating to the establishment of JOINT MANAGEMENT COUNCILS.
Objectives: Promoting cordial relations between management & workers. Developing understanding & trust between them. Augmenting productivity substantially. Securing better welfare & other facilities for workers. Training them to understand & share responsibilities of management.
Composition: They are to consist of equal number of representatives of management & employees not exceeding 12 in all, but not less than 6 in small undertakings.
Working: The 3rd 5 year plan expected a good deal from these Councils & considered workers’ participation in management essential for “the peaceful evolution of the economic system on a democratic basis.” The plan further hoped that such participation would throw up, in course of time, “management cadres out of the working class itself”, & would help “to promote social mobility which is an important ingredient of a socialist system.”
Broad level Participation(1970) The GOI introduced a scheme of workers’ representatives on the Board of Directors of selected public sector enterprises, & nationalized banks. It was soon realized that participation only at top level was not enough for an effective system of participative management.
Workers Participation under old 20-point programme (1975) GOI framed a scheme of “workers’ participation in industry at shop-floor & plant levels”. It was stated “it is only by providing for such arrangements for workers’ participation particularly at the shop floor & the unit level that the involvement of the workers in the effective functioning of the unit & in improving production & productivity can be ensured.”
The scheme provides for the establishment of shop councils at the shop level & joint councils at the enterprise level. SHOP COUNCILS: The employer of every industrial unit employing 500 or more workmen is required to constitute a shop council for each department, or one shop council for more than one department keeping in view the number of workers employed in different departments or shops. JOINT COUNCILS: It is to operate for the industrial unit as a whole. Its composition, period of operation & decision making process are similar to those applicable to a shop council. The chairman is to be the chief executive of the unit. One member is to be appointed as a secretary. It is to meet at
Unit councils & joint councils incommercial & service organization in public sector(1977) The basic objective of the scheme was to devise “a system whereby mutual trust & confidence are created between the workers & the management which would help promote active involvement of the workers in the work process. The scheme was applied to the lowest units of commercial organizations in the public sector, employing 100 or more persons.
Unit Councils: It was to be setup in each unit of the organization employing 100 or more persons to discuss day to day problems & find solutions.Functions: To create conditions for achieving optimum efficiency, better customer services in areas where there is direct & immediate contact between the workers at operational level’ & output including elimination of wastage & idle time & optimum utilization of manpower by joint involvement in improving work system. To study absenteeism & recommended steps to reduce it. To maintain discipline in the unit. To eliminate pilferage & all forms of corruption & to institute a system of rewards for this purpose.
Joint Councils It was to be formed at every regional zonal level or in a particular branch of an organization if considered necessary.Functions: Settlement of matters which remained unresolved by the unit councils & arranging joint meetings of two or more unit councils, for resolving inter-council problems. Improvement in the general work conditions. Preparation of schedule of working hours & holidays. Development of skills of workmen & adequate facilities of training. Unit level matters which have a bearing on the other branches or on the enterprise as a whole.