MBA management

Nature of Industrial Relations

Industrial relations is always a mixture of cooperation and conflict. However much cooperation may be sought as an organizational objective some conflict will always remain. There are at least three reasons for this
  • 1. Both the groups (labor and management) develop different orientation and perceptions of their interest. They also develop generally negative images about each other.
  • 2. There are no mutually accepted yardsticks or norms to tell to the two groups how far they should go in the pursuit of their objectives in the absence of norms both groups claim complete rationality for their demand.
  • 3. There is no neutral field for the groups to meet on. This means that whenever the two groups meet each other for negotiation they bring with them some carry over from the past besides their inherent distrust and suspicion for each other.

Aspects of Industrial Relations

Industrial relation is concerned with the relationship between management and workers and the role of regulatory mechanism in resolving any industrial dispute. Specifically industrial relation covers the following areas.
  • 1. Collective bargaining.
  • 2. Role of management, unions and government.
  • 3. Trade union and labor legislation.
  • 4. Industrial relations training (employers ‘organization).

Scope of Industrial Relations

Industrial relations between employee and employer in their day to day work. Hence, it is continuous relationship.
  • 1. Development of industrial democracy.
  • 2. Maximizing social welfare.
  • 3. Creating a mutual affection, respect and regard.
  • 4. Making a mutual link between the management and the workers.
  • 5. Stimulating production as well as industrial and economic development.

Meaning and Definition of Trade Unions

Trade unions are a major component of the modern industrial relations system through trade unions occupies a unique position, yet their role is variously interpreted and understood by different groups in the society.

According to webs-a trade union is a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their working lives.

According to Lester- a trade union is an association of employees designed primarily to maintain or improve the condition of employment of its members.

Nature of Trade Unions

According to the trade union act, 1947, a trade union means any combination whether temporary or permanent formed.

  • 1. Primarily for the purpose of regulating the relation between.
    •     a. workmen and employers or
    •     b. between workmen and workmen, or
    •     c. between employers and employers objectives/ goals of trade union
  • 2. Representation-trade unions represent individual workers when they have a problem at work. If an employee feels he is being unfairly treated he can ask the union representative to help sort out the difficulty with the manager or employer. Unions also offer their members legal representation.
  • 3. Negotiation- negotiation is where union representatives discuss with the management issues which affect people working in an organization.
  • 4. Member services—during the last few years, trade unions have increased the range of services they offer their members.
    •     a. Education and training.
    •     b. Legal assistance.
    •     c. Financial discount.
    •     d. welfare benefits.

Types of Trade Unions

  • 1. Reformist unions- Reformist unions aim at preservation of the capitalist economy and the maintenance of competitive production based industrial relations.
  • 2. Business unions- This type of unions is built around congenial employee-employer cooperation business unions primarily protect the workers interest by participating in collective bargaining with the employer.
  • 3. Friendly or uplift unions- These unions aspire to elevate the moral intellectual and social life of workers. These unions concentrate on health education insurance and benefits.
  • 4. Political unions- The unions gain power through political action these unions resort to political action to protect the workers interest.

Meaning and Definition of Grievance

Grievance can be defined as any discontent or dissatisfaction with any aspects of the organization.

According to prof. Jucius- grievance is any discontent or dissatisfaction whether expressed or not whether valid or not arising out of anything connected with the company that an employee thinks believe or even feels is unfair unjust or inequitable.

According to Keith Davis.-grievance is any real or imagined feeling of personal injustice which an employee has concerning his employment relationship.

According to beach- grievance is any dissatisfaction or feeling of injustices in connection with one’s employment situation that is brought to the notice of the management.

According to dale Yoder- grievance is a written complaint field by an employee and claming unfair contract.

Characteristics of Employee Grievances :

  • » a grievance may be written or verbal.
  • » a grievance may be voiced or unvoiced.
  • » a grievance refers to any form of discontent or dissatisfaction with an aspect of the organization.

Causes/sources of Employee Grievance :

1. Grievance resulting from working conditions
    a) Tight production standards.
    b) Poor relationship with the supervisor.
    c) Bad physical conditions of work places.

2. Grievance resulting from management policy
    a) Overtime
    b) Leave
    c) Transfer

3. Grievance resulting from alleged violation of
    a) Past practice
    b) Company rules
    c) Central or state laws.

Meaning and Definition of Industrial Disputes

An industrial dispute refers to any disagreement in industrial relations which may be in the form of a strike and or other form of industrial action between employers and employee.

According to the industrial dispute act, 1947, industrial dispute mean any dispute or difference between employers and employers or between employers or workmen, organization or between workmen and workmen which is connected with the employment or non-employment or with the condition of labor of any person.

Nature and scope of Industrial disputes :

  • 1 Industrial conflict is a human conflict it is just one aspect of the general conflict inherent in the capitalist society based upon the pursuit of self interest in the economic life by every individual and the group to which he belongs.
  • 2. The coming together of workers motivated by their urge of obtaining the highest possible wages and the owners of capital motivated by profit maximization is the basic cause of industrial conflict in the capitalist economic system.
  • 3. Conflict is like the conflict between any buyer and seller. The seller seeks to sell his commodity at the highest possible price that he can extract and the buyer seeks to pay the lowest possible price.

Forms of Industrial disputes :

  • 1. Strikes—strikes are a spontaneous and concerned withdrawal of labor form production temporarily in order to demonstrate mass reaction to injustice.
  • 2. Gherao—gherao is a weapon which was introduced in west Bengal in 1967 during the united front regime. The movement reemerged in 1969 and has now been extended from the industrial area to other fields in India.
  • 3. Lockout—lockout is the counter part of strike. If the weapon available to the employer to close down the factory till the workers agree to resume work on the conditions laid down by the employer.
  • 4. Layoff—a lay-off is a temporary separation of the employee from his or her employer at the instance of the latter without any prejudice to the former.

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Review Questions
  • 1. Explain the meaning and nature of industrial relations.
  • 2. Write notes on the scope and aspects of industrial relations.
  • 3. Write notes on - Need for Trade union, Objectives of a Trade union and functions of Trade union.
  • 4. Explain the concept of workers participation in management. Also discuss the evolution of this concept.
  • 5. Meaning and definition of Grievance.
  • 6. Define the Concept of collective bargaining.
  • 7. Define the 'Industrial Dispute' under the industrial disputes act 1947.
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