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  Industrial Relations  


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The ultimate legal remedy for the settlement of an unresolved dispute is its reference to adjudication by the Government. Adjudication involves intervention int the dispute by t third party intervention in the dispute by a third party appointed by the Government for the purpose of deciding the nature of final settlement.

On getting a report for the failure of conciliation, the Government has to decide whether it would be appropriate to refer the dispute to adjudication. The rational behind this is that the developing countries can ill-afford to suffer form loss of production due to long-drawn strikes and lock-outs. Further, the trade union movement is yet not strong and mature enough to adopt and rely on only collective bargaining for protecting the interests of the workers. Therefore, the necessity for intervention by the Government is felt. This is the Government does by making reference of the dispute to the adjudication machinery.

More Notes on  ADJUDICATION 

Conciliation is the most important method for prevention and settlement of industrial disputes through third party intervention. It is an attempt to reconcile the views of disputants to bring them to an agreement. Conciliation is generally understood as the friendly intervention of a neutral person in a dispute to help the parties to settle their differences peacefully.

Conciliation may be described as. “The practice by which the services of a neutral third party are used in dispute as a means of helping the disputing parties to reduce the extent of their differences and to arrive at an amicable settlement or agreed solution. It is process of rational and orderly discussion of differences between the parties to a dispute under the guidances of a conciliator.”

It is a process by which representatives of the workers and the employers are brought together before a third person or a group of persons with a view to persuade them to arrive at an agreement among themselves by mutual discussion between them.

As a process of peace-making in industrial relations, conciliation aims to brig about the speedy settlement of disputes without resort to strikes or lock-outs, and to hasten the termination of works stoppages when these have occurred. Its function is to assist the parties towards a mutually acceptable compromise or solution. For this he relies on reasoning and persuasion.

The conciliator is a neutral party, who without using force, seeks to find some middle course for mutual agreement between the disputants so that the deadlock is brought to an end at the earliest possible moment and normal peace restored. “ He tries to bridge the gulf between the two contending parties and if he does not succeed, he at least tries to to reduce the differences, as far as possible, by tending advice to the parties to bring them close to a settlement. Thus, he is a mere go between-the catalytic agent who creates an opportunity for the parties to meet face to face to resolve there differences amicably. His duty is not to suggest solutions of the dispute but to make suggestions with alternative solutions. He tried to join the parties with a fresh viewpoint and different outlook. He is supposed to act as a catalyst to the process of reaching an agreement. The element of compromise, of give and take,is still present.” he persuades rather than orders or forces the party to accept his viewpoint. He never gives his judgment on the issues. The conciliator substitutes his judgment for that of the parties with regard to the desirable terms of settlement. He may suggest possible lines of solution, or himself propose terms of settlement if such a course is in accordance with national practice but it is of the parties to accept or not to accept his suggestions of proposals; he himself propose terms of settlement if such a course is in accordance with national practice but it is for the parties to accept or not to accept his suggestions or proposals; he cannot impose terms of settlement upon them.

A unique and essential characteristics of the conciliation process is its flexibility, informality and simplicity which sets it apart form other methods of setting industrial disputes. A conciliator generally does not follow the same procedure in every case, he adjusts his approaches, strategy and techniques to the circumstances of each disputes. Probably for this reason it has sometimes been said that, “Conciliation is an art and the conciliator is a solitary artist recognizing, at most, a few guiding starts and depending mainly on his personal power of divination.

More Notes on  CONCILIATION 

Aldrich defines morale “as readiness to co-operate warmly in the tasks and purposes of a given group or organization”. In a similar vein, Viteless describes morale as 'an attitude of satisfaction with desire to continue in, and willingness to strive for, the goals of a particular group or organization. Leighton also defines it in a similar fashion when he states “Morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a purpose”. The essence of all these definitions is that morale is the degree of enthusiasm and willingness with which the individual members of a group set out to perform the allotted tasks. In conditions of high morale, every individual human being works with a will and identifies his objectives with those of he organization. The problem of morale was not as complicated in the industry of medieval age as it is now under the modern factory set up. In the early stages of industrial revolution (say, in the handicraft stage or even in the domestic stage)-the relationship between the employer and workmen was direct and personal; the workmen did not accumulate grievances and did not develop frustrations but could frankly place them before the employer. The employer, too, could evince personal interest in the well-being of the workers and could thus win their loyal co-operation. With the change in the industrial set-up brought about by the Industrial Revolution, the tendency f he firms has been more towards the big size in a big industrial organization, the industrial worker is as if lost in the vast crows of his colleagues. There are numerous levels of management separating him from the employer. Under such circumstances, the management has to be specially careful in finding out the reactions, attitudes and feelings of workmen. Care-lesses in this regard can cost the concern the loss of that valuable secret reserve of tits organization-morale. Research in the field of industrializations had shown that in concerns of a very large size, the incidence of industrial disputes is usually higher than in those of a comparatively smaller size. This further supports the view expressed above that the problem of morale is more ticklish in larger concerns than in smaller ones.


It is of utmost importance that the right type of men should be put on different positions in a concern. This is well expressed by the proverb that 'for round holes there should be round pegs, and for square holes there should be square pegs'. If a job is handled by a person who is so well qualified that he can be put on a better job, he will develop grouse against the management and society in general for bing made to work below his capability. He will also be dissatisfied because his earnings will be must less than what he would be able to get if he were to do the job suited to his capacity and capability. Form the into f view of the employer also, it will not be worthwhile to employ such a worker because he will tend to be inefficient for want of interest. If the job is given to a person who is not properly qualified for it, it may not be done well and again there will be loss for the employer. The employee will also develop a sense of inferiority. In both cases, both the employee and the employer suffer. Ultimately, the worker may find himself an utter 'misfit' and may decide to leave the concern. Or else the concern may have to dismiss him on account of poor workmanship. This will lead to high labour turnover. The quality of work is also likely to be adversely affected in this process.

It is, therefore, necessary that a job should be done by a person who is exactly qualified for it-no more and no less. To ensure the selection of the right type of persons for various jobs the techniques of psychology may be applied in a systematic manner. When workers are selected for vocations or jobs in an industrial concern after a careful weighing of the requirements of job on the one hand and assessment and evaluation of the abilities and aptitudes of men on the other, it is referred to as Scientific Vocational Selection. It will be appreciated that vocational selection requires two things: first, knowledge regarding the qualities or traits which a person should possess in other to do a given job properly, secondly, the measurement of qualities possessed by a candidate for the job. The first task requires the drawing up of a 'job specialization'. A job specification may be defined as a catalog of various qualities which a person doing a job should possess. It is based on an analysis of the character of an industrial operation known as 'Job analysis' or 'occupational analysis.


The Plan stressed that the machinery to settle disputes should be framed in accordance with these principles: (a) legal technicalities and formalities of procedure, should be used to minimum possible extent; (b) each dispute should be finally and directly settled at a level suited to the nature and importance of the case; (c) tribunals and courts should be manned with specially trained expert personnel; (d) appeals under these courts should be reduced; and (e) provision should be made for enforcing prompt compliance with the terms of any award.

For the sake of uniformity, the Plan recommended setting up of “norms' and standards to govern the mutual relations and dealings between the employers and employees and for the settlement of industrial disputes through tripartite bodies, viz., the Indian Labour Conference, the Standing Labour Committee, and the Industrial Committees for particular industries.

In case of some difference, it was pointed out that the Government should take the decision on the advice of export and should make such decisions binding on the Courts or Tribunals. The Plan admitted that the workers had a fundamental right to resort to strike but this was to be discouraged. The plan was emphatic that “a strike or lock-out without due notice during the pendency of any proceedings and in violation of the terms of a settlement, agreement, award or order have of course to be banned and attended by suitable penalties and loss of privileges'.

(i) The need for a systematic “Grievance Procedure' to be helped by having elected shop-stewards was also stressed. (ii) The importance of the Works Committee was also emphasized and these were described as “the they to the system of industrial relations.” (iii) The plan stressed that, “For the success of collective bargaining it is essential that there should be a single bargaining agent over as large an area of industry as possible. Separate unions for industrial establishments in the same industry in a local area are inimical to the growth of a strong and healthy trade union and their existence may be justified only in very exceptional circumstances.” (iv) The Plan also recognized the vital and constructive role of trade unions and recommended. “closer association between trade unions and employers' representatives at the various levels-at the level of the undertaking, at the level of industry and the regional and national level.”


Modern industrialization is not an unmixed blessing. It has tended to create a yawing gulf between management and labour because of absence of workers' ownership over the means of production. The present large scale enterprise results in the concentration of economic power compelling the workers to realize the truth of the often mentioned phrase 'united we stand divided we fall.” it gave an incentive to workers as to realize the significance of freedom of association an collective bargaining to protect their legitimate rights and interests. On the other hand employers suppressed the demands of the workers. This ha sled to labour unrest and friction between the interest of employer and employees. Industrial unrest reflects failure of basic human urges a motivation to secure adequate satisfaction or expression which ultimately burst forth in the form of industrial dispute”. Strikes, lockouts, go-slow factics, increased absenteeism and labour turnover are some of the reflections of labour unrest which require proper diagnosis for creating conditions for industrial peace and prosperity. Industrial unrest is sympathetic of a disease that demands cure and prevention rather than suppression. Better production and distribution is possible only in the atmosphere of peace and industrial discipline to realize the social justice and welfare of masses. If social justice is to be achieved harmonious relationship between management and employees is a must.


The entry of public sector in the economic sphere is post-independence development . Prior to 1947, public sector investment was limited to the railways, posts and telegraphs department, the ordnance factories, and a few State-manged factories like salt manufacturing, etc. the philosophy and programme of public sector undertakings are incorporated int the Industrial Policy Resolutions of 1984 and 1956. The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1984 declared that “a dynamic national policy must be directed to a continuous increase in production by all possible means, side by side with measures to secure its equitable distribution. The problem of State participation in industry and the condition in which private enterprise should be allowed to operate must be judged in this context”. Consequently, expansion in public sector began to be take after this period.


The basic relationship between a company and a labour union consists of many complex variables built on past practice and future needs. It brings together individuals, groups, an institutions with different backgrounds, points of view, interests, and strengths. The balance of power is almost never equal; one party is usually dominant, These relative strengths will vary from time to time and situation to situation. Therefore, it is critically important that management establish, implement, and maintain a rational and objective strategy for dealing with the union; one that considers needs and inierests of the company, union, and employees. Unions can only make demands or try to take control; it is the company that must agree to the demands or allow them to happen. Hence, a need exists for a regular, careful, and critical review of the overall labour relations climate in an organization. Because it has such a significant impact on the business, professional management input is required.

Labour relations decisions should be based on research and planning, just as it done with a new product concept before designing, manufacturing, and marketing it. Labour unions are staffed with members who have a high level of expertise and technical competence Labour unions spend the necessary funds to research today's problems as well as to plan for the future. Management must do the same. These questions should be asked. “are labour relations a mainstream operating activity in your company ? Is the activity properly staffed ? Is it held accountable for significant results ?Does it support the business goals and objectives ?”


In modern times, production is carried on in large factories where thousands of men work together. The personnel management is mainly responsible for the control of human beings through human relations approaches. Men differ in nature and therefore, it is but a natural that labour problems shall also exist in the industrial society. The main problems which are generally faced by the industry are:

1. Absenteeism,
2. Labour turnover,
3. Health,
4. Accidents.


Trade union is a voluntary organisation of workers formed to protect and promote their interests through collective action. These may be formed on plant basis, industry basis, firm basis, regional basis or national basis. Different writers and thinkers have defined the trade union differently. A few definitions are given below:

(i) Trade Union is a “continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their working lines.” 

(ii) “
A labour union or trade union is an organisation of workers to promote, protect and improve, through collective action, the social, economic and political interests of its members.”                                     - Edwin B. Flippo

(iii) Trade Unions are “all organizations of employees including those of salaried and professional workers as well as those of manual wage earners which are known to include among their functions that of negotiating with their employers with the object of regulating conditions of employment.”
                                             -Britich Ministry of Labour

(iv) Any combination........formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the elations between workmen and employees........

From the analysis of the above definitions we may conclude that trade union is a voluntary organisation of workers formed primarily for the purpose of pursuit of the interests of members.

More Notes on  TRADE UNION 
Meaning and definitions of industrial relations
The relationship between the employers and employees and trade unions is called Industrial Relations. Harmonious relationship is necessary for both the employers and employees to safeguard the interests of both the parties of production.  Read Full Article Meaning and definitions of industrial relations
Impact of industrial relations on industrial peace
An economy organised for planned production and distribution, aiming at the realization of social justice and welfare of the masses, can function effectively only in an atmosphere of industrial peace.   Read Full Article Impact of industrial relations on industrial peace
Industrial disputes
The conflicts and disputes between employer and employees on any industrial matter are known as industrial disputes.  Read Full Article Industrial disputes
Causes of industrial disputes
The new industrial set-up has given birth to the capitalistic economy which divided the industrial society into two groups of labour and capitalists.  Read Full Article Causes of industrial disputes
Economic Causes of industrial disputes
Really, the most common causes of industrial disputes are economic causes.   Read Full Article Economic Causes of industrial disputes
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