Describe the scheme of workers participation in management.

The Worker’s Participation in Management (WPM) is a mechanism aiming to create a harmonious industrial environment by increased worker participation in the decision-making process of an enterprise. The scope and degree of worker’s participation depends on three constituents of industrial relations system employees employers and Government. Some of the prequisites for successful implantation of WPM scheme are:

  • Strong worker participation via better understanding.
  • Effective management.
  • Lack of promotion, follow-up and amendment measures on part of government.
  • Strong trade union.
  • Lack of Understanding of scheme on part of workers

There are three major schemes of worker participation in India.

Works Committees:

The works committees have equal number of representatives from employer and employee group. However, there are no bindings on the members of the committees. The committee work on matters of common interest between employees and employers. These aim to maintain peaceful and healthy relationships between employees and employers.

Joint Management Councils (JMC):

Joint Management Councils are entrusted with administrative responsibilities and have wider scope than work committee. The primary objective of JMC is to promote healthy relations between management and workers by building trust and understanding between management and workers. These committees have responsibility for safety, vocational training and welfare of workers.

The committee.can be consulted by management on certain specified matters. The council also considers subjects under collective bargaining, such as wages, bonus and allowances have been excluded from the scope of JMC. The management is expected to share information with members of council on certain matter.

Shop Councils:

A shop council is set-up only in enterprises employing 500 or more employees. It has an equal number of employee and employer representatives. Whereas the employer representatives are nominated by management, the worker representatives belong to shop or concerned department. A council formed will function for a period of 2 years, and must meet at least once in a month. The council arrives at a decision by consensus and not by voting.

The decision must be implemented within a month by the concerned parties. The number of shop councils in an enterprise is decided by the employees of the company in consultation with the recognized union, however an enterprise must have at least one (or more) Shop Councils.

Shop Councils aim at improving worker productivity, production and efficiency by analyzing problem of absenteeism from work and recommend measure to reduce the aforesaid problem. The Council looks into Shop discipline and also analyze safety and health aspects of working conditions, and take corrective measures.

Joint Councils:

A Joint Council is set-up for tenure of two years. The Council is chaired by the chief executive and members of the council must meet once in every four months. The Secretary of the Council is responsible for the functions. The decisions of the Council are taken by consensus and implemented in one month duration.

The main functions of Joint Council is to determine productivity norms, settle matters which are unresolved by the Shop Council Body and ensure maximum production using optimal utilization of resources. The Council also works to ensure general health and safety of industry workers.

The WPM has not been successful to large extend in India. Some of the reasons behind this are:

  1. Management lacks faith and commitment in working of these schemes.
  2. Scheme objectives, scope and functions are not clearly stated.
  3. Inter-council and intra-council disputes.
  4. Delayed or non-implementation of the council decisions.
  5. Differences between management and employers over working of the councils.

Management and employees lacked proper understanding the scheme and were rather indifferent towards it.

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