Industrial Disputes

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1.0 Introduction2
1.1 What is a dispute?2
1.2 Causes of Industrial Disputes2
2.0 Settlement of Disputes3
2.1 Voluntary Methods4
2.1.1 Collective Bargaining4
2.1.2 Trade union5
2.1.3 Joint Consultations5
2.1.4 Standing Orders6
2.1.5 Grievance Procedure7
2.1.6 Code of Discipline8
2.2 Statutory Measures10
2.2.1 Works Committee10
2.2.2 Conciliation10
2.2.3 Voluntary Arbitration11
2.2.4 Adjudication12

1.0 Introduction

1.1 What is a dispute?

• Academically speaking, industrial dispute refers to any conflict between employees and employers, between employers and employers and between employees and employees.

• But in reality, dispute is understood as the conflict between employees and employers.

• There are three types of Disputes :

• Disciplinary disputes

• Grievance disputes

• Industrial disputes

• According to Industrial Dispute Act, 1947, Industrial dispute means any dispute or difference between employers and employers, or between employers and workmen, or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with the employment or non-employment or terms of employment or with the conditions of labour of any person.

1.2 Causes of Industrial Disputes

Some of the prominent causes of industrial disputes may be listed thus:

Employment: The list here includes disputes over wages, allowances, bonus, benefits, working, condition, unjust dismissals, retrenchment of workers, methods of job evaluation, changes in methods of production, non-implement of awards of tribunals, etc. The National Commission on Labour remarked “though on majority of occasions industrial disputes were based on claims pertaining to the terms and condition of employment, sometimes economic issues of a general character dominated and, on occasion, purely motives”.

Nationalization: Workers protested against the introduction of rationalization, automation, computerization (e.g., Bank unions oppose this move even now) on various occasion, fearing large scale retrenchment.

Administration-related causes: these pertain to ill-treatment, undeserved punishment, verbal abuse, physical assaults, etc.

Recognition: disputes arose when employers failed to recognized a union as a bargaining agent.

Sympathetic strikes: Workers struck work in one plant/industry when the wanted to exhibit their solidarity with striking workers from another plant or industry.

Psychological/social causes: On occasion, family, friends, community, environmental pressures and concerns also instigated the workers to take to the streets.

Institutional causes: Disputes arose on account of institutional factors such as: recognition of unions, membership of unions, scope of collective bargaining, unfair practices.

Political causes: Political leaders have use unions as powerful weapons to build tensions inside a plant/industry with view to satisfy their own private ends on number of occasions, especially in unionised places like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Culcutta, etc.

2.0 Settlement of Disputes

The different Methods for prevention of industrial Disputes are shown in the chart. Usually they are divided in two groups: A. Voluntary MethodsB. Statutory Measures

Each of them is explained in detail.


2.1 Voluntary Methods

2.1.1 Collective Bargaining

Collective Bargaining is process of joint decision making and basically represents a democratic way of life in industry. It is a technique adopted by two parties to reach an understanding acceptable to both through the process of discussion and negotiation.

According to Prof. Paul Samuelson, “Collective Bargaining is the process of negotiation between firm’s and worker’s representatives for the purpose of establishing mutually agreeable conditions of employment”.

ILO has defined Collective Bargaining as, “Negotiation about working...
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