How to prevention and settlement of industrial disputes?

Most of measures relating to industrial disputes aim at settlement rather than preventing their occurrences. The measures for prevention of disputes can be statutory and non-statutory measures. The statutory measures relate to industrial relationship machinery provided under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. These include conciliation, arbitration and adjudication.

The Non-statutory measures include Code of Discipline, Collective Bargaining and Workers Participation Management (WPM). Conciliation involves settlement of a dispute by involving a third party, with an objective to achieve speedy settlement of disputes, Conciliation can be voluntary, where the state provides conciliation machinery which can be used by the disputing parties when required. In compulsory conciliation, the state creates conciliation machinery and makes it obligatory for the disputing parties to the disputes to conciliation services.

The process of arbitration involves an arbitrator whose decision is binding on the parties involved in the dispute. The arbitrator arrives at a decision on basis of reports submitted by the disputing parties (employees and employers). It is the last resort for resolving an industrial dispute. Under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 has provides three mechanism for adjudication Labor courts, Industrial tribunals and National tribunals.

The Code of Discipline was laid out in 1958, with an aim to maintain harmonious industrial relations and promote industrial peace. It requires industrial workers and employers to settle disputes using existing machinery, avoid lock-outs, strikes and other unfair/disruptive actions. The code also specifies how to deal with disputes and other industrial disputes.

Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation about working conditions and terms of employment between a group of employees and the employers. It aims to avoid confrontation and arrive at a mutual agreement. The Worker’s Participation in Management (WPM) refers to mechanism which allows increased participation of workers in decision making process of an enterprise.

To enable this workers must be treated as partners in business. There are three major schemes of worker participation in India Works Committees, Joint Management Councils (JMC), Shop Councils and Joint Councils.

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