PREVENTION AND SETTLEMENT OF INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES:
Machinery for prevention of disputes in India: The frequency with which the strikes took place and the serious industrial and social dislocation which they cause has underlined the importance of preserving industrial peace. The methods for prevention of industrial disputes include broadly all such measures which directly or indirectly contribute towards improvement of Industrial relations. The prevention methods, therefore cover the entire field of relations between industry and labour which are described below:
(1) Strong Trade Union
(2) Profit Sharing and Co-partnership
(3) Joint Consultation
(4) Industrial Employment Standing Orders
(5) Code of Discipline
(6) Collective Bargaining
(7) Works Committees
(8) Workers Participation in Management
(9) Tripartite Bodies/ Machinery
(10) Labour Welfare Officer
(11 ) Wage Board
1. Strong Trade Union: A strong trade union responsible to the welfare of workers must work to protect and promote the interests of workers and the condition of their employment. It must provide advice and information to management on personnel policies and practices. Unions also impress upon workers the need to exercise restraint in the use of their rights. Unions assist employers in maintaining discipline and in increasing productivity. Unions should act as a link between employers and workers so as to develop mutual understanding and co-operation between the two sides.
2. Profit Sharing and Co-partnership: (a) Profit-Sharing: This method helps for maintenance of good industrial relations. Profit sharing means that the employer gives to the workers a portion of profit of the business, in addition to wages. It is usually based on an agreement between the employer and the workers.
(b) Co-partnership: Co-partnership has come to be applied to schemes which include a system of profit sharing as well as control in the management. It is necessary that in order to acquire control of business, the workers may other acquire share-capital gaining thereby the rights and responsibility of share-holders or may form a co-partnership committee having a voice in internal management of the business. So far as India is concerned, acquiring of share capital or joining in a co-partnership committee by workers seems difficult because of their law earnings and backward in education. Therefore, in the context of Indian conditions, it is proper to lay emphasis on workers participation in management.
(3) Joint consultation: The industrial democracy necessitates joint consultation in industry between employer and workers to eliminate most of the problems faced by them. Joint consultation involves a regular and continuous relationship between workers and management, and therefore, pre-supposes the willing acceptance by management of the participation of workers representatives in discussing Common problems of interest to the enterprise. Thus, there is tremendous scope of reducing industrial tension and improving productivity through joint consultation in industry.
The functions of Joint Consultative Machinery in India have been the prevention of disputes, reduction in mutual differences and friction, and creation of a proper work climate in industry.
4. Industrial Employment Standing Orders: This is another constructive step towards the prevention of industrial disputes which determine the terms and conditions of industrial employment. Every worker should have the knowledge about the terms and conditions in which he has been employed. He is also expected to know the rules of discipline that is supposed to be followed by him. This problem is solved by 'Standing Orders' in which terms and conditions for employers and employees are prescribed.
5. Code of Discipline: The Indian Labour Conference at its 15th Session in 1957 evolved a 'Code of Industrial Discipline'. The Code voluntarily binds the employers and workers to settle all grievances and disputes by mutual negotiations, conciliation and voluntary arbitration.
6. Collective Bargaining: It is a form of joint consultation, and a process in which the representative of the employer and of the employees meets and attempts to negotiate a contract governing the employer-employees union relationship. It involves discussion and negotiation between the two groups as to the terms and conditions of employment. The main object of collective bargaining is to protect the interests of workers through collective action and by preventing unilateral action on the part of the employer. It promotes industrial democracy.
7. Works committees: Works committees are the most suitable agency for prevention of industrial disputes. In most of the countries like India, works committees are required to the established through legislation.
The duties of the Works Committee are to promote measures for securing and preserving amity and good relations between the employer and workmen and to comment upon matters of their interest, and to endeavor to compose any material difference of opinion in respect of such matters.
8. Workers participation in management: These councils aim at enabling the workers to participate in management, help them to understand the problems and difficulties of the industry concerned and bring about better relationship between the management and labour.
9. Tripartite Bodies/Machinery: Several tripartite bodies have been constituted at Central and State levels. The Indian Labour Conference, Standing Labour Committees, Wage Bounds and Industrial Committees operate at the Centre. At the State Level, State Labour Advisory Bounds have been set up. All these bodies play important role in reaching at agreements on various labour matters.