The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 extends to whole of
. It came
into operation on the first day of April, 1947. This Act replaced the Trade
Disputes Act of 1929. The Trade Disputes Act imposed certain restraints on the
right of strike and lockout in Public Utility Services. But no provision was
existing for the settlement of Industrial Disputes, either by reference to a
Board of Conciliation or to a Court of Inquiry. In order to remove this
deficiency, the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 was passed. India
Scope and Objects (Sec. 1) ,
The objects of the industrial relation's legislation in general are to maintain
industrial peace and, to achieve economic justice. . .
The prosperity of any industry very much depends upon its growing production. Production is possible when the industry functions smoothly without any disturbances. This means industrial peace through harmonious relationship between labour and management. Therefore every industrial relations legislatiqn necessarily aims at providing conditions congeniel to the industrial peace.
Economic justice is another objective of industrial legislation. Almost all industrial interuptions in production are due to industrial disputes. Dissatisfaction with the existing economic conditions is the root cause of industrial disputes. The labour demands for fair return is expressed in varied forms; e.g. increase in wages, resistance to decrease in wages and grant of allowance and benefits etc. If a labourer wants to achieve these gains individually, he fails because of his weaker bargaining power against the sound economic footing of the management. Therefore, the economic struggle of labour with capital can be fought collectivity by organised labours. It is with this object to provide economic justice by ensuring fair return to the labour, the State, being the custodian of public interest, intervenes by 'State legislation' Economic justice has also been ensured to the people of
by our Constitution. India
Thus the main object of all labour legislation is to ensure fair wages and to prevent disputes so that the production might not be adversely affected2. The principal objects of Industrial Disputes Act as analyzed and interpreted by the Supreme Court are as follows.3
(1) The promotion of measures for securring and preserving amity and good relations between employers and workmen;
(2) Investigation and settlement of industrial dispute between employers and employers, employers and workmen, or between workmen and workmen with a right of representation by a registered Trade Union or . Federation of Trade Unions or Association of Employers or a Federation of Association of Employers.
(3) The prevention of illegal strikes and lock-outs;
(4) Relief to workmen in the matter of lay-oft, retrenchment and closure of
an undertaking. .
(5) Collective bargaining.
Main Features or Characterstics of the Act::
Some of the important features of the Act may be summearised as below:
1. Any industrial dispute may be referred to an industrial tribinal by mutual
consent of paries to dispute or by the State Government, if it deems expedient to do so.
2. An award shall be binding on both the parties to the dispute for the
operated period, not exceeding one year;
3. Strike and lockouts are prohibited during:
(a) The pendency of conciliation and adjudication proceedings;
(b) the pendency of settlements reached in the course of conciliation
proceedings, and .
(c) the pendency of awards of Industrial Tribunal declared binding by
the appropriate Government.
4. In public interest or emergency, the appropriate Government has power to declare the transport (other than railways), coal, cotton textiles, food stuffs and iron and steel industries to be public utility services for the purpose of the Act, for a maximum period of six months.
5. In case of lay-oft or retrenchment of workmen, the employer is requested to pay compensation to them. This provision stands in the case of transfer or closure of an undertaking.
6. A number of authorities (Works Committees, Conciliation Officers, Board of conciliation, Courts of Inquiry, Labour Courts, Tribunal and National Tribunal) are provided for settlement of Industrial disputes. Although the nature of powers, functions and duties of these authorities differ from each other, everyone plays important role in ensuring industrial peace.
Definitions (Sec.2) :
(a) Appropriate Government: The Central Government as well as the State Government are vested with various powers and duties in relation to matters dealt with in this Act. In relation to some industrial disputes the Central Government and in relation to some others, the State Government concerned are the appropriate Government to deal with such disputes.
Under sub-section [(i) (a)] and [(i)(b)] of the Act, Companies/Corporations/
Trusts/Boards/ Authorities, etc. established under the Act of Parliament; the Central Government is the Appropriate Authority.
In all other cases, the Appropriate Government is the State Government within whose territory the industrial dispute aries Sub-section (ii).
(aa) Arbitrator - Arbitrator includes an umpire.
(aaa) Average Pay - "Average Pay" means the average of the wages payable to a workmen, Average pay in the case of workmen means:
(i) In the Case of monthly paid workman- The average of monthly
wages payable in three complete calendar months.
(ii) In the case of weekly paid workman - the average of the weekly
wages payable in four complete weeks.
(iii) In the case of daily paid workman - the average of the wages for
twelve full working days.
(b) Award - 'Award' means an interim or final determination of any' industrial
dispute or of any question relating thereto. The determination must be
made by any
Industrial Tribunal or National Tribunal.
Enforcement of an award - An award may be enforced in the following ways:
(1) The aggrieved party may apply to Appropriate Government for
prosecuting the defaulting party under Sec. 29 or 31 of this Act.
(2) Where the work man 'isto claim money from the employer, the
workman may move the Appropriate Government for recovery of
the money due to him under the award.
(3) The party in whose favour the award has been granted may file a suit and obtain a decree, which shall be enforced extension under provisions of the Civil Procedure Code.
Where the interim order did not determine any part of the industrial dispute or
any other question relating there to, but only determined whether the Industrial Tribunal has been properly constituted to which the industrial dispute could be referred for adjudication, such order cannot be said to be an award as defined in Sec. 2(b)2
(bb) Banking Company - 'Banking Company' means a banking company
as defined in Sec.5 of the Banking Companies Act, 1949.
(c) Board - 'Board' means a Board of Conciliation constituted under this Act.
(cc) Closure - 'Closure' means the permanent closing down of a place of
employment or part thereof
Penalty for closure (Sec. 25R)
1. Any employer who close down an undertaking without complying with the provisions of the Sub-Sec. (1) of Sec. 25-0 shall be punishable with imprisonment up to 6 months, or with fine up to Rs. 5,000 or with both.
2. Any employer, who contravenes a direction given under Sub-sec. (2) of Sec. 25-0 or Sec. 25-P, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to one year, or with fine up to Rs. 2,000 for every day during which the contravention continues after the conviction.
3. Any employer who contravenes the provisions of Sub Sec. 25-0 shall be punishable with imprisonment up to one month, or with fine up to Rs. 1000 or with both.
(d) Conciliation Officer - 'Conciliation Officer' means a conciliation officer appointed under the Act. .
(e) Conciliation Proceeding - 'Conciliation Proceeding' means any proceeding held by a Conciliation Officer or Board under the Act.
(ee) Controlled Industry - "Controlled Industry" means any industry the control of which, by the
Union has been declared by any Central Act to the
expedient in the public interest. That is, an industry which is controlled by
the Central Government. But it must also be declared by the Central Act to be
controlled by the Union.
(f) Court - "Court" means a Court of Inquiry constituted under this Act. (g) (g) Employer - "Employer" means, in relation to industries carried on by or under the authority of (i) Central Government, (ii) State Government, or (iii) Local Authorities.
(h) Executive - "Executive", in relation to a Trade Union means the body by whatever name called, to which by management of the affairs of the Trade Union is entrusted.
(i) Independent - Means, for the purpose of appointment of a person as Chairman or other member of a Board, Court or Tribunal. In order that a person may be eligible for his appointment to these bodies, he must possess the following qualifications:
(i) . He must be unconnected with industrial dispute in question, or.
(ii) He must be unconnected with any industry directly affected by such dispute.
(j) Industry - Industry means any business, trade, undertaking, manufacture
or any service, employment, handicraft or industrial occupation or
vocation of workmen.
In a Case In Banglore Water.Supply v. A Rajappa 1 a bench of the Supreme Court consisting of seven judges exclusively considered the scope of industry and laid down the following test which has practically reiterated as under:
"Where there is (i) systematic activity, (ii) organised by co-operation between employer and employee, (iii) for the production and/or distribution of goods and services calculated to satisfy human wants and wishes, prima facie, these is an "Industry" in that enterprise." This is known as Triple Test.
The Following points were also emphasised in the said case:
(1) Industry does not include spiritual or religious services or services geared to celestial bliss, e.g. making on a large scale, "parsed" or food.
(2) Absence of profit motive or gainful objective is irrelevant but, be the
venture in the public, joint, private or other sector.
(3) The true focus is functional and the decisive test is the nature of the
activity with special emphasis on the employer-employee relations.
(4) If the organisation is a trade or business, it does not cease to be one because of philanthropy animating the undertaking.Therefore, the consequences of the decision in this case are that professions, clubs, educational institutions, co-operatives research insthtions, charitable projects and other kind of adventures, if they fulfil the triple test stated above cannot be exempted from the scope of industry.'
(k) Industrial Disputes - Industrial Dispute is : (1) a dispute or difference between (a) employers and employers, or (b) employers and workmen,
(c) workmen and workmen; . .
(2) the dispute or difference should be connected with (a) employment or . non-employment, or (b) terms of employment, or (c) conditions of labour
of any person; .
(3) the dispute may be in relation to any workman or workmen or any other
person in whom they are interested as a body.
(ka) Industrial Establishment or Undertaking - It means an establishment or undertaking in which any industry is carried on; provided that, where several activities are carried on in an establishement or undertaking and only one or some of such activities is or are an industry or industries:
(kk) Insurance Company - According to this sub-section, an insurance is one, which company is defined in Sec. 2 of the Insurance Act, 1938, having branches or other establishments in more than one State.
(kka) Khadi - "Khadi" has the meaning assigned to it in clause ( d) of Sec. 2 of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.
(kkb) labour Court.- It means a Labour.Court constituted under Sec. 7 of
the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
(kkk) lay Off - Means putting aside workmen temporarily. The duration of lay off should not be for a period longer than the period of emergency. The employer-employee relationship does not come to an end during the
period of lay-off but is merely suspended during the period of emergency.
Any such refusal or failure to employ a workman may be on account of:
(i) shortage of coal, power or raw materials or
(ii) the accumulation of stock; or
(iii) the breakdown of machinery; or
(iv) natural calamity; or
(v) any other connected reasons.
Prohibition of lay-off (as substituted by Amendment Act; 1984)
According to Sec. 25M of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, no workman whose name is borne on the muster rolls of an industrial establishment shall be laid off by his employer except with the prior permission of the appropriate Government or such authority, as may be specified by that Government.
Recovery of money due from an employer (Sec. 33C)
Where any money is due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or for layoff or retrenchment, the workman himself or any other person authorised by him in writing in this behalf, or in the case of the death of the workman, his assignee or heirs may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, make an application, within one year from the date on which the money became due to the workman, to appropriate Government for the recovery of money due to him, and if the appropriate Government is satisfied that any money is due to him, it shall issue a certificate for that amount to the Collector who shall proceed to recover the same in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.
Penalty for layoff without permission (Sec. 25Q)
Any member who contravenes the provisions of Sec. 25M shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000, or with both.
(I) Lock out - Means the closing of a place of employment, or the
suspension of work, or the refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of persons employed by him.
While strike is a weapon in the hands of the labour to force the management to accept their demands, lockout is a weapon in the hands of the management to coerce the labour to come down in their demand srelating to the conditions of employment.
Lockouts has been described by the Supreme Court as the antithesis of strike.1
Difference between lockout and lay-off:
(1) Lockout is an act on the part of the employer to pressurise the labour; while layoff is for trade reasons, beyond the control of the employer; i.e., it is not intentional act.
(2) Lockout is exercised due to an industrial dispute and continues during the period of dispute; layoff is not necessiorily concerned with dispute with workmen.
Difference between lock-out and retrenchment:
(1) Temporary or permanent: Lockout is temporary measure, while
retrenchment is permanent.
(2) Relationship: In lockout the relationship of employer and employee is
only suspended; it does not come to an end. In retrenchment such a
relationship is severed at the instance of the employer.
(3) Motive: Lockout is with a motive to coerce the workmen; the intention
of retrenchment is to dispense with surplus labour.
(4) Trade dispute: Lockout is due to an industrial dispute, whereas in
case of retrenchment, there is no such dispute
Difference between lock-out and closure
(1) Temporary/Permanent: Lockout is temporary measure, whereas closure is permanent. .
(2) Weapon of coercion: Lockout is a weapon of coercion in the hands of
employer; while closure is generally made for trade reasons.
(3) Trade Dispute: Lockout is declared during an industrial dispute, while
in case of closure, there need not be any dispute.
: Means a port as defined in clause 8
of Sec. 3 of the Indian Port Act. 1903; which reads as follows: Major Port
"Any port which the Central Government may by notification in official Gazette declare or may by any law for the time being in force, have declared to be a major port".
(I b) Mine: Means a mine as defined in clause (j) of sub-section (1) of Sec. 2 of the Mines Act, 1952, Which reads as under:
"Mine means any excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining minerals has been, or is being carried on, and includes, (unless exempted by the Central Government by notification in the official Gazette) any premises or part thereof, on which any process ancillary to the getting, dressing or preparation for sale of mineral or of coke is being carried on :"
(II) National Tribunal: Means a National Tribunal constituted under Sec. 78 of
(III) Office Bearer: In relation to a Trade union, it includes any member of the
executive thereof, but does not include on auditor. (m) Prescribed: Means prescribed by rules made under this act. (n) Public utility services: The following are public utility services as laid down by the Act :
(i) any railway service;
(ii) any transport service for the carriage of passengers or goods by
(iii) any service in or in connection with the working of any major port
(iv) any section of an industrial establishment, on the working of which
the safety of the establishment or the workmen employed therein
(v) any postal, telegraph or telephone service;
(vi) any industry which supplies power, light or water to the public; (vii) any system of public conservancy or sanitation.
(viii) any industry specified in the First Schedule which the appropriate
Government may, if satisfied that public emergency or public interest so requires, by notification in the Official Gazette declare to be a public utility service for the purpose of this Act, for such period as may be specified in the notification.
(0) Railway company - Means a Railway Company as defined in Sec.8 of the Indian Railway Act, 1890. Sec 3(5) of the Indian Railways Act states, "Railway Company" includes any person whether incorporated or not who are owners or lessees of a railway or parties to any agreement for working a railway."Sec. 3(4) of the Indian Railways Act defines the term "Railway" as. "Railway means a railway, or any portion of a railway, for the public carriage of passengers, animals or goods. and includes:
(a) all lines of rails, or branches worked over the purpose of or in connection with a railway.
(b) all stations, Offices, Workhouses, Wherever, workshops, Fixed plant
and machinery and other works constructed in connection with a railway,
(c) all ferries, ships, boats and rafts which are used in inland waters for the
purpose of traffic of railway and belong to or are hired or worked by the authority administering the railways." .
(00) Retrenchment - Means the discharge of surplus labour or staff by the employer
for any reason What-so-ever.'
The term "retrenchment" defines under the section 2(00) may be analysed as:
(1) Retrenchment means the termination by the employer of the services
of a workman.
(2) The termination may be for any reason what so ever.
(3) But the termination should not be as a measure. of punishment by way
of disciplinary action.
Conditions of retrenchment:
According to Sec. 25F of the Act no workman employed in any industry who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer shall be
retrenched by the employer until: .
(a) the workman has been given one month's notice in writing indicating the reasons for retrenchment, or the workman has been paid in lieu of such notice, wages for the period of notice;
(b) the workman has been paid, at the time of retrenchment, compensation which shall be equivalent to 15 days average pay for every completed
year of continuous service or any part thereof, in excess of 6 months, and
(c) notice in the prescribed manner is served on the appropriate Government or such authority as may be specified by the appropriate Government by notification in the Official Gazette.
Re-employment of retrenched workmen
According to Sec. 25H of the Act, where any workmen are retrenched and the employer proposes to employ any persons, be shall, in such manner as may be prescribed, give an opportunity to retrenched workmen who are citizens of India offer themselves for the re-employment, and the retrenched workmen who offer themselves for re-employment, shall have preference over others. But this section cannot be applied retrospectively [Case: R,
Ramdayal v. Labour Appellate Tribunal (Sec. 567) -1964].
The following cases are not retrenchment
(a) Voluntary retirement of a workman, or
(b) retirement of a workman on reaching the age of superannuation if the
contract of employment between the employer and the workman concerned contains a stipulation in that behalf; or
(bb) Termination of the service of a workman as a result of the non-renewal of the cortract of employment between the employer and the workman concerned on its expiry or of such contract being terminated.
Difference between retrenchment and closure
(1) Retrenchment affects only some of the workman, whereas closure
affects all workman.
(2) In retrenchment the trade or business remains uninterrupted as it
continues; while in closure the business itself is discontinued.
(q) Strike - Strike means (1) cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any industry acting in combination, or (2) a concerted refusal of any number of persons who are or have been employed in any industry to continue to work or to accept employment; or (3) to refusal under a common understanding of any number of persons who are or have been employed in industry to continue to work or to accept employment.
Features of strike
(1) It is the stoppage of work by a body of workmen acting in concert with
a view to bring pressure upon the employer to concede to their demands.
(2) The workmen must be employed in any industry.
(3) More cessation of work does not come within the preview of strike,
unless it can be shown that such cessation of work was a concerted action for the enforcement of an industrial demand1.
Kinds of strike
These are three kinds of strikes, namely: (1) General strike, (2) Stay-in-strike,
and (3) Go slow strike.
(1) General strike: A general strike is one, where the workmen join together
for common cause and stay away from work, depriving the employer of
their labour needed to run the factory.
(2) Stay-in-strike : A stay-in-strike is also known as "total-dawn-strike" or
'pen-dawn-strike". It is the form of strike where the workmen report to
their duties, occupy the premises, but do not work. The employer is
thus prevented from employing other labour to carryon his business.
(3) Go-slow strike: In a 'Go Slow' strike, the .workmen do not stay away from work, they do come to their work and work also, but with a slow speed in order to lower down production, and thereby cause loss to the employer.
In addition to these three forms of strike a few more may be cited, although some of them are not strike within the meaning of Sub-Section 2(q). Such forms are:
(i) Sympathetic strike: A sympathetic strike is resorted to in sympathy of other striking workmen. Its aim is to encourage or to extend moral support to or indirectly to aid the striking workmen. The sympathisers resorting to such strike have no demand of grievance of their own.
(ii) Hunger strike: In hunger strike, a group of workmen resort to fasting on or near the place of work or the residence of the employer with a view to coerce the employer to accept their demands.
(iii) Work to rule : The employers in this case of "work to rule" strictly adhere to rules while performing their duties which ordinarily they do not observe. This causes the slowing down the tempo of work. It is not a strike because there is no stoppage of work at all.
(qq) Trade Union: Means a trade union registered under the Trade Union
(r) Tribunal: Tribunal means an Industrial Tribunal constituted under Sec.
7 -A of the Act. It also includes an Industrial Tribunal constituted before
10th March, 1957 under this
(ra) Unfair labour practice: It means any of the practices specified in the
. (rb) Village Industries: It has the meaning assigned to it in clause (h) of
Sec.2 of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.
(rr) Wages: It means all remuneration capable of being expressed in terms of money, which would, if the terms of payment, expressed or implied were fulfilled, be payable to a workman in respect of his employment or of work done in such employment. Wages also includes(i) dearness allowance as the workmen is for the time being entitled to; (ii) the value of any house accommodation, or of the supply of light, water, medical benefits or any concessional, supply of food grains or other articles; (iii) any travelling concession; (iv) any commission payable on sales promotion or business, or both.
However, the following are not wages:- (a) any bonus; (b) any contribution paid or payable by the employer to any pension fund or provident fund., (c) any gratuity payable on the termination of service of workman.
(s) Workman: 'Workman" means any person (including an apprentice) employed in any industry to do any manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be express or implied, .and for the purpose of any proceeding under this Act. .
"Workman" does not include any such person - (i) who is subject to the Air Force Act, 1950, or the Army Act, 1950, or the Navy Act, 1957, or (ii) who is employed in the Police Service or as an officer or other employee of a prison, or (iii) who is employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity, or (iv) who, being employed in a supervisory
capacity, draws wages exceeding Rs. 1600/- per mensem, or exercises functions mainly of management nature.
Difference between workman and independent contractor:
(1) For any person to be a workman, it is necessary that he should be in the employment of an employer. Merely a contract to do some work is not enough to be called as worker.
(2) Relationship of master and servant must be implied in the term of "employed" as a workman. In the absence of such a relationship one cannot be admitted or established as a workman.
Authorities under the ACT
Power and Duties
The adjudication of industrial disputes has been kept out of the jurisdiction of Municipal Courts at the first instance so that effort may be made for settlement of such disputes through some other agencies. The various modes of settlement of industrial disputes provided by the Act. may be classified under three heads: (1) Conciliation (2) Adjudication and (3) Arbitration
Authorities make use of conciliation
The authorities that make use of conciliation on the sole method of settlement of disputes are:
(1) Works Committee
. (2) Conciliation Officer
(3) Board of Conciliation
The adjudicating authorities that decide any dispute under the Act. are:
(1) Court of Inquiry
(3) Industrial Tribunal;
(4) National Tribunal, and
Sec. 10-A of the Act. makes provision for voluntary reference of disputes to arbitration. Apart from the above, provision has also been made for constitution of Court of Inquiry, whose main function is inquire into any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to an industrial dispute
1. Work committee (Sec.3)
The works committee is considered to be powerful social institution only to secure cooperation between workers and employers, but to make the will of the employees effective on the management. According to sec.3 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 194"1, in the case of an industrial establishment in which 100 or more workmen are employed or have been employed oh any day in the preceding 12 months, the appropriate Government may, by general or special order, require the employer to constitute a Works committee consisting of representatives of employers and workmen engaged in the establishment. The number of representatives of workmen on Works Committee shall be not being less than that of the representatives of the employers.
The representatives of the workmen shall be chosen from among the workmen in consultation with their trade union, if any registered under the Indian Trade Union Act.1926. .
The duties of the Works Committee are to promote measures for securing and preserving amity and good relations between the employers and workmen and to comment upon matters of their interest or concern and to endeavour to compose any material difference of opinion in respect of matters of common intents or concern of employers and workmen.
2. Conciliation Officers (Sec.4)
The appropriate Government may by notification in the official gazette, interest appoint conciliation officers for any specified area or for one or more specified industries, either permanently or for a limited period of time. Conciliation officers are charged with the duty of holding conciliatory proceedings for the purpose of bringing about a fair and amicable settlement of any industrial dispute. The jurisdiction, powers and other matters in respect of the Conciliation Officer ~hall be published in the Gazette
Powers of Conciliation Officer: According to Sec.11 of the Act, conciliation officer may, for the purpose of inquiry into any existing or apprehended industrial dispute, after giving reasonable notice, enter the premises occupied by any establishment which the dispute relates. He may call for and inspect any document which he has ground for considering to be relevant to the industrial dispute or be necessary for the purpose of verifying the implementation of any award or carrying out any duty imposed on him under the Act. and for the aforesaid purposes. He will have the same powers as one vested in a
in respect of compelling the production of documents.
Under Sec 11(6), Conciliation Officers are members of Board or Court and the Presiding Officer of Labour Court Tribunal or National Tribunal shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of Sec.21 of IPC.
Duties of Conciliation Officers (sec.12):
For the purpose of bringing about fair and amicable settlement of an industrial dispute, the Conciliation Officer is required to discharge the following duties- .
(1) where any industrial dispute exists or is apprehended, the Conciliation Officer, shall hold conciliation proceedings. He will interview both the workmen concerned with the dispute and endeavour to bring about a settlement.
(2) The conciliation Officer shall, for the purpose of bringing about a settlement of the dispute, investigate the dispute and all matters affecting the merits and the right settlement thereof and may do all such things as he thinks fit for the purpose of inducing the parties to come to a fair
and amicable settlement of the dispute. .
(3) If a settlement of the dispute or of any of the matters in dispute is arrived at in the course of the conciliation proceedings, the Conciliation Officer shall send a report thereof to the settlement singed by the parties
to dispute. .
(4) If no such settlement is arrived at, the Conciliation Officer shall, as soon as practicable after the close of the investigation, send to the appropriate Government a full report setting forth the steps taken by him for ascertaining the facts and circumstances relating to the dispute and for bringing about a settlement thereof, together with a full statement
of such facts and circumstances, and the reasons on account of which, in his opinion, a settlement could not be arrived at.
(5) The report must be submitted within 14 days of the commencement of the conciliation proceedings or within such shorter period as may be fixed by the appropriate Government: provided that, subject to the approval of the Conciliation Officer, the time for the submission of the report may be extended by such period as may be agreed upon in writing by all the parties to the dispute.
(6). If, on a consideration of the report in respect of failure of settlement, the appropriate Government is satisfied that there is a case for reference to Board, Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, it may make such reference. Where the Government does not make such a reference, it shall record and communicate to the parties concerned it's reasons thereof
3 Board of Conciliation (Sec.5)
The appropriate Govt. may as occasion arises by notification in the in the Official Gazette constitute a Board of Conciliation for promoting the settlement of an industrial dispute. A Board shall consist of a Chairman and two or four other members, as the appropriate Government thinks fit. The Chairman shall be an independent person and shall be appointed on the recommendation of the party they represent. The quorum for a meeting is two where the total number is three, and three where the number is five. A Board, having a quorum, may act not withstanding the absence of the chairman or any of its members, or any vacancy in it's number. But; if the Government informs the board that the services of the Chairman or any other member have ceased to be available, the board must not act until a new Chairman or member has been appointed.
Powers of Conciliation Officer
Conciliation Officer has all powers of a
Court when trying a suit in respect Duties of
Conciliation Officer (Sec.13)
Conciliation Officer has to endeavour to bring about a settlement of a dispute referred to him and to do anything to induce the parties to come to a fair and amicable settlement. Where a settlement is reached a similar report and a memorandum of settlement have to be submitted to the appropriate Government. But in case of failure, apart from furnishing all the details as required in the case of a report, by a Conciliation Officer, he is also required to submit his recommendations for tha determination of the dispute. The time limit prescribed for submission of such reports is 2 months of the date on which the dispute was referred to him or within such shorter period as may be fixed by the appropriate Government or all the parties to the dispute may, however, further extend the period by agreement in writing. Where a dispute, in which the Board has failed to bring about a settlement, relates to a public utility service and the Government does not refer it to a
Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, he must
inform the parties concerned the reasons for not doing so.
Courts of Inquiry (Sec.G)
The appropriate Government may, as occasion arises, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute a Court of Inquiry for inquiring into any matter appearing
to be connected with or relevant to an industrial dispute. Such a Court may consist of one or more independent persons, as the Government may appoint. Where it consists of more than one member, one of them shall be appointed as Chairman. The Court having the prescribed quorum may act even if the Chairman or a member is absent; but not if the services of the Chairman have ceased to be available, and on other Chairman has beer' appointed. The Court shall inquire into the matters referred to it and report thereon to the appropriate Government within 6 months from the date of commencement of the inquiry.
Members of Court of Inquiry shall deemed to be public servants within the meaning of Sec. 21 of IPC. The Court of Inquiry, if it so thinks fit, appoint one or more persons having special knowledge of the matter under consideration as assessor or assessors to advise it In the proceeding before it.
On a perusal of the relevant Sections 22, 23 and 33 of the Act. relating to the Court during the pendency of a proceeding before a Court of Inquiry, the following right remain unaffected, such as:
(i) The right of a workman to go on strike
(ii) The right of an employer to lookout his business. and
(iii) The right of the employer to dismiss or otherwise to punish the workman in certain cases under Sec.33
Duties of Courts of Inquiry (Sec. 14)
The Court of Inquiry of shall inquire into the matters referred to it and the
report of Inquiry thereon be presented before the appropriate Government; ordinarily within a period of 6 months from the commencement of inquiry.
The report of the Court of Inquiry shall be in writing and be signed by all the members of the Court, provided that a member may record a minutes of dissent also.
The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute one or more Labour Courts for the adjudication of industrial disputes relating to any of the following matters or for performing such other function as may be assigned to them under the Act. The functions of the
Labour Court as provided in the
. Act. are:
(i) Adjudication of industrial disputes relating to any matter specified in the
(ii) Performing of such other functions as may be assigned to them under this Act. 1 he following matters are specified in the Second Schedule, namely
(i) The propriety or legality of an order passed by an employer under Standing Orders; .
(ii) The application and interpretation of Standing Orders;
(iii) discharge or dismissal of workman including re-instatement of, or grant of relief to; workmen wrongfully dismissed;
(iv) withdrawal of any customary concession or privilege;
(v) illegality or otherwise of a strike or lockout; and
(vi) all matters other then those specified in the Third Schedule.
. According to sec.? (2) a
Court shall consist of one person only who shall
be appointed by the appropriate Government. But no person shall be appointed as
Presiding Officer of a Labour Court, unless (a) he is, or has been a judge of a
High Court; or (b) he has for a period not less then 3 years been a District
Judge; or (c) he has held the office of the Chairman of any other member of any
tribunal, for a period of not less then two years; or (e) he has been the
presiding Officer of a Labour Court constituted under any provincial Act for
not less than five years.
Powers of the
Labour Court (Sec. 11)
Powers of the
Labour Court to give appropriate relief
in case of discharge or
dismissal of workman are as under.
(1) Subject to any rule that may be made in this behalf, the labour Court
may follow such procedure that it may think fit.
(2) The Presiding Officer of the Court may, for the purpose of inquiry into any existing or apprehended dispute, enter into the premises occupied by any establishment to which the dispute relates.
Labour Court shall have all the powers as
are vested to a Civil
(4) If it thinks fit, appoint one or more persons, having special knowledge.
of the matter under consideration, as an assessor to advise it in the
proceedings before it.
Where an industrial dispute has been referred to Labour-Court, for adjudication, it shall hold its adjudication expeditiously and shall, submit its award to the appropriate Government. The award of
Court shall be in writing and be signed by its
Presiding Officer (Sec.16)
Every award of
shall within a period of 30 days from the date of its receipt by the
appropriate Government, be published by if in the official Gazette. The award
published by the. appropriate Government shall be final and binding on the
parties to dispute. Sec.17 -A provides that an award (including arbitration
award) shall become enforceable on the expiry of 30 days from the date of its
publication under Sec. 17. The award shall not become enforceable on the expiry
of 30 days:
. (a) if the appropriate Government is of opinion, in any case where the
award has been given by a Labour Court or Tribunal in relation to an industrial dispute to which it is a party that it will be in expedient to give effect to the whole or any part of the award on public grounds effecting: .
(i) national economy, (ii) social justice. .
(b) if the Central Government, in any case where the award has been given by a National Tribunal, on similar grounds in of the opinion that it would be in expedient to give effect to the whole .or part of the award.
For the purpose of stopping the enforcement of any award, a notification in the Official Gazette is necessary.
Industrial Tribunals (Sec. 7 A)
. Industrial Tribunals were created for it's first time by the Industrial Dispute Act.1947. Commenting upon the starts of these tribunal, the Supreme Court has observed that tribunals under the Act. are invested with many trappings of a Court; but do not have the same status as courts'. The Tribunal is the judicial body or at any rate, a quasi-judicial body2.
The appropriate Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute one or more industrial tribunals for the adjudication of industrial dispute s relating to any matters specified above as in the case of Labour Court, or the following
(1) Wages including the period and mode of payment (2) Compensatory and other allowances;
(3) Hours of work and rest intervals;
(4) Leave with wages and holidays;
(5) Bonus, profit sharing, provident fund and gratuity;
(6) Shift working otherwise than in accordance with standing orders; (7) Classification by grades;
(8) Rules of discipline;
(10) Retrenchment of workmen and closure of establishment; and (11) Any other matter that may be prescribed.
A Tribunal shall consist of one person only to be appointed by the appropriate Government. A person to be appointed as a Presiding Officer of a Tribunal must .be, or must have been, a judge of a high Court; or if he has for a period of not less than three years, be a District Judge or on Additional District-Judge. Only experienced persons of high integrity can be appointed as Providing Officer of the Tribunal. It is provided by Sec.7-A(4) that the Appropriate Government, if thinks fit, may appoint two persons as assessors to advise the Tribunal in the proceedings before it.
Industrial Tribunals shall have the same power vested in a
Civil Court when trying a suit, such as:
(a) enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath, (b)
compelling the production of document and material object, (c) issuing
commissions for the examination of witness and any such matters as may be
National Tribunals (Sec 78) .
The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute one or more National Industrial Tribunals for the adjudication of industrial disputes which, in the opinion of the Central Government involve questions of national importance or are of such a nature that industrial establishments situated in more than one State are likely to be interested in, or affected by, such disputes.
A National Tribunal shall consist of one person only to be appointed by the Central Government. In order to be qualified as a Presiding Officer of a National Tribunal, a person must be or must have been a Judge of a High Court, or must have held the office of the Chairman or any other member of the Labour Appellate Tribunal for at least 2 years. The Central Government may appoint two assessors to advise the National Tribunal, in proceeding before it. .
Disqualifications for Presiding Officiers of Labour Courts, Tribunals And National Tribunals (Sec.7 - C).
No person shall be appointed to, or continue in the office of the Presiding Officer of a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal if (a) he is not an independent person or (b) he has attained the age of sixty five years.
Filling of Vacancies (Sec. 8)
If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Presiding Officer of a Labour
Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, the appropriate Government shall appoint another person in accordance with the provisions of the Act. A vacancy
may arise due to transfer resignation or acquisition of any disqualification as provided in Sec. 7 -C of the Act.
Finality of orders constituting boards (Sec. 9)
The main object of enacting Sec. 9 of the Industrial Disputes Act is to make immune, any order of the appointment made under Sections 5 to 7 of the Act, from being called in question. Therefore, no question can be raised whether an appointment was legally and properly made or not. Sec. 9 (1) of the Act provides that no order of the appropriate Government or of the Central Government appointing any person as the Chairman or any other member of the Board or Court, or as the Presiding officer of a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal shall be called in question in any manner on the ground of merely of the existence of any vacancy in, or defect in the constitution of such Board or Court.
Reference to grievance settlement authorities (Sec. 9-C)
A new Chapter II - B has been instead by Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1982 whereby a new Sec. 9 - C has- been added But this Chapter has not been enforced till now.
According to Sec. 9 - C:
(1) The employer in relation to every industrial establishment in which 50 or more workmen are employed or have been employed on any day in the preceding 12 months shall provide for a grievance settlement authority for settlement of industrial disputes with an individual workman employed in the establishment in accordance with the rules made' in this behalf under the Act.
.(2) Where an individual dispute connected with an individual workman arises in an establishment referred to in sub. sec. (1) a workman or any trade union cf workmen of which such workman is member, may refer in such manner as may be prescribed such dispute to Grievance Settlement Authority provided for, by the employer, for settlement.
(3) The Grievance Settlement Authority shall follow such procedure and complete its proceedings within such period as may be prescribed.
(4) 'No reference shall be made under Chapter III with respect to any dispute referred to in this section unless such dispute has been referred to the Grievance Settlement Authorities concerned and the decision of the Grievance Settlement Authority is not acceptable to any of the parities to the dispute.
Powers of National Tribunals (Sec.11)
1. Subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, National Tribunal shall
follow such procedure as the arbitrator or other authority concerned may think fit.
2. The presiding officer of National Tribunal may for the purpose of inquiry into any existing or apprehended industrial dispute, after giving reasonable notice, enter the premises occupied by any establishment to which the dispute relates.
3. Every national Tribunal shall have the same powers as are vested in only experienced persons of high integrity can be appointed as presiding offer of the TribunaL It is. provided by Sec. 7 - A (4) that the Appropriate Government of it thinks fit may appoint two persons as assessors to advise the Tribunal in the proceedings before It a Civil Court under CPC, 1908 when trying a suit, in respect of the fo!!owing matters, viz.,-(a) enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath; (b) compelling the production of document and material objects; (c) Issued commissions for the examination of witness; (d) in respect of such other matters as may be prescribe: and every by a Board, Court, Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Sec. 193 arid 228 of the Indian Penal Code.
(4) National Tribunal may, if it so thinks fit, appoint one or more persons having special knowledge of the matter under consideration as assessor or assessors to advise it in the proceeding before it.
(5) All the Presiding Officers of a National Tribunal shall be deemed to be public
servants within the meaning of Sec. 21 of the Indian Penal Code.
(6) Subject to any rules made under this Act, the costs of, and incidental to, any proceeding before a National Tribunal shall be in the discretion of that National Tribunal, and shall have full power to determine by and to whom and to what extent and subject to what conditions, of any, such costs are. top be paid, and to give all necessary direction for the purpose aforesaid and such costs may, on application made to the .appropriate Government by the person entitled, be recovered by the Government in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.
(7) Every National Tribunal shall be deemed to be a Court for the purpose of Sec. 480, 482 and 484 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1948.
Note: The procedure and power of different authorities laid down under Sec. 11 of the Act, are equally applicable in the case of Conciliation Officers / Board, Court of Inquiry,
Labour Court, And Tribunals.
Persons on whom settlement and awards are binding (Sec. 18)
For this purpose, settlements are classified into two catagories, namely
(i) Settlement arrived at otherwise than in the course of conciliation
proceedings, i.e. without the aid of statutory agency; and
(ii) settlement arrived at in the course of conciliation proceedings; Le. with
the aid of statutory agency.
In the first case, a settlement under Section 18(1) arrived at by agreement between the employer and workmen otherwise than in the course of conciliation proceedings, shall be binding on the parties to the agreement. But any such settlement; in order to be binding must be signed by the parties there to in the manner prescribed by rule and a copy of it must also be sent the appropriate Government. .
In the second case Sec. 18 (2 and 3) provide that an arbitration award which has become enforceable shall be binding on the parties to the agreement who referred the disJ3ute to the arbitration. This section 18(3) provides that
(i) a settlement arrived at in the course of conciliation proceeding under
(ii) an arbitration award in a case where a notification has been issued
under sub section (3-A) of Sec. 10-A; or
(iii) an award of a
Tribunal or National Tribunal which has become enforceable shall binding on;
(a) all parties to the in industrial dispute.
(b) all other parties summoned to appear in the proceedings as parties to the. dispute,
(c) where a party referred to is an employer, his heirs, successors or assigns in respect of the establishment in which the dispute relates.
(d) where a party referred to in clause (a) or (b) is composed of workmen, all persons who were employed in the establishment or part of the establishment, as the case may be, to which the dispute relates on the date of the dispute and all persons who subsequently become employed in that establishment or part there of.
Certain matters to be kept confidential (Sec. 21)
This section of the Act. provides that certain matters are to be kept confidential. Therefore, such things shall not be included in any report or award made under the Act. Any information obtained by a Conciliation Officer, Board, Court, Labour Court, Tribunal, National Tribunal or an Arbitrator in the course of any investigation on inquiry, which relates to a Trade Union on any individual business (whether carried on by a person, firm or company) which is not available otherwise than through the evidence given before any such authority, shall not be included in any report or award; if the parties concerned or in question has made a request in writing to treat such information as confidential.
REFERENCE OF DISPUTES TO BOARDS, COURTS OR TRIBUNALS
Section 10(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act.,1947 provides that where the appropriate Government is of the opinion that any industrial dispute exists or apprehended, it may, at any time:
(a) refer the dispute to a Board of conciliation for promoting a settlement
there of; or
(b) refer any matter appearing to be Connected with or relevant to the dispute to a Court for Inquiry; or
(c) refer the dispute or any matter appearing to be connected with, or relevant to the dispute to a Labour Court for adjudication provided the dispute relates to any matter specified in the Second Schedule; or
(d) refer the dispute or any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to the dispute to a Tribunal for adjudication, where it relates to any matter specified in the Second or Third Schedule., provided that:
(i) where the dispute relates to any matter specified in the Third
Schedule and is not likely to effect more than 100 workmen; the appropriate Government may make the reference to a
(ii) where the dispute in relation to which the Central Government is the appropriate Government, it shall be competent for the Government to refer the dispute to a
Labour Court /
Tribunal constituted by the State Government
(iii) where the dispute relates to a public utility service and a notice of strike or lockout under Sec. 22 has been the appropriate Government shall be competent to refer the dispute to a
Court or any Industrial Tribunal, Constituted by
Under Sec.1 0(1-A), the Central Government may refer any dispute to a National tribunal for adjudication, if it is the opinion that:
(i) any dispute exists or is appended; and
(ii) the dispute involves any question of national importance; or
(iii) the dispute is of such nature that industrial establishment situated in
more than one State are likely to be interested in, or affected by such dispute; and
(iv) the dispute should be adjudicated by National Tribunal (the reference to National Tribunal shall be made by the Central Government only).
Sec.10(3) of the Act. provides that where an industrial dispute has been referred to Board,
Tribunal or National Tribunal, under Sec. 10 of the Act, the appropriate
Government may issue an order prohibiting the continuance of any strike or
lockout in connection with such dispute which may be in existence on the date
Sec.10(6) of the Act. provides that where any reference has been made under sub-section (1-A) to a National Tribunal, then notwithstanding anything contained in this Act., no Labour Court or Tribunal shall have jurisdiction to adjudicate dicta upon any matter which is under adjudication before the National Tribunal.
Sections 10 and 1 O-A are the alternative remedies to settle industrial dispute. Once the parties have chosen the remedy under Sec.1 O-A, the Government cannot refer the same dispute for adjudication under Sec. 10. If any such reference is made, it is invalid.1
Voluntary Reference of Disputes to Arbitration (Sec. 10-A)
This section provides that where any industrial dispute exist or is apprehended, the employer and the workman agree to refer the dispute to arbitration, they may refer the dispute to arbitration: Such referen<?e by agreement may be made at any time before the dispute has been referred under Sec.1 0 a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal. The agreement to make a reference must be in writing.
Sec. 10-A(1-A) provided that where an arbitration agreement provides for reference of the dispute to an even number of, arbitrators the agreement shall provide for appointment of another person as umpire who shail enter upon the reference if the arbitrators are equally divided in their opinion.
Sec. 1 0-A(2) provides that an arbitration agreement referred to in sub-section (1) shall be in such form and shall be signed by the parties there to in such a number as may be prescribed.
Under Sec. 10-A(3) copy of the arbitration agreement shall be forwarded to appropriate Government and the Conciliation Officer, and the appropriate Government shall within one month from the date of receipt of such copy publish. the same in the official Gazette.
Under Sec. 10-A(4) the arbitrator or arbitrators shall investigate the dispute and submit to the appropriate Government the arbitration award signed by the arbitrator or all arbitrators as the case may be.
Under Sec.(4-A): where an industrial dispute has been referred to arbitration and a notification has been issu8d, the appropriate Government may prohibit the continuance of any strike or lockout in connection with such dispute. The appropriate Government shall do so by issuing an order.
Sub-sec.(5) provider that nothing in the Arbitration Act. 1940 shall apply to arbitration under this section.
An arbitrator functioning under Sec.1 O-A of the Act is a statutory Tribunal.
STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS IN INDUSTRIAL UNITS
Strike is collective stoppage of work by workmen undertaken in order to bring pressure upon the employer. It is a spontaneous and concerted withdrawal of workmen from production. A strike in usually organized by common agreement on the part of the workers with a view to obtaining or resisting change to their conditions of work.
Lockout is a weapon in the hands of the employer; which is used to curb the militant spirit of the workers. In Lock-out, an employer shuts down his place of business as a result of reprisal, or 2S an instrument of coercion or as a mode of exerting pressure upon the employees with a view it dictate his own terms to them.
Strikes and lockouts have now become important factors in the employer employee relations.
Prohibition of strikes and lockouts (Sec. 22 and 23)
Sec.22 of the Industrial Disputes Act provides that:
(1) No person employed in a public utility service go on strike in breach of contract:
(a) without giving notice of strike to the employer within six weeks
before striking, or
(b) within 14 days of giving notice, or
(c)before the expiry of the date of strike specified in any such
notice as aforesaid, or
(d) during the pendency of any conciliation proceedings and 7 days
after the conclusion of such proceedings.
(2) No employer on any public utility service shall lockout any of his workmen
(a) without giving them notice of lock-out as herein after provided
within six weeks before locking out; or
(b) within 14 days of giving such notice; or
(c) before the expiry of the date of lockout specified in any such
notice as aforesaid; or
(d) during the pendency of any conciliation proceeding before
Conciliation Officer and seven days after the conclusion of such
However, notice of strike or lockout will not be necessary where there is already in existence a strike or lockout in the public utility service. The employer in such a case must notify to concerned authority as may be appointed by the appropriate Government, of the declaration of a strike or lockout. The notice of strike or lockout shall be given by such number of persons in the prescribed manner [Sec.22(4&5)]
General provisions of strikes and lockouts:
Sec.23 of the Act provides that, "no workmen who is employed in any industrial establishment shall go on strike in breach of contract and on employer of any such workmen shall declare a lockout:
(i) during the pendency of conciliation proceeding before a Board, and 7
days after its conclusion.
(ii) during the pendency of proceeding before
National Tribunal, and 2 months after its conclusion.
(iii) during pendency of arbitration proceedings before an arbitrator and two months after completion of such proceedings, where a notification has been issued under Sub sec.(3-A) of Sec. 10-A; or
(iv) during the period of which a settlement or award is in operation in respect of the matters covered by such settlement or award.
Illegal strikes and Lockouts (Sec. 24)
Sec. 24 of the Act provides that a strike or a lockout shall be illegal if it is: (a) commenced or declared in contravention of Sec. 22 or 23, and
(b) continued in contravention of the prohibitory order made by appropriate Government after the dispute has been referred under Sec. 10(3) or sub-section( 4-A) of Sec.1 ()"A of the Act.
Prohibition of financial aid to illegal strikes and lockouts (Sec. 25)
This section of the Act prohibits financial aid to illegal. strikes and lockouts.
This section has the following ingradients: .
(1) spending or applying money:
(2) money spent or applied in direct furtherance or support of an illegal
Punishments (Sec. 28)
For any violation of provisions of Sec. 25, punishment is imposed by Sec. 28 of the Act. According to the provision, even a person who is not a workmen can be penalized violating the provisions of Sec. 25. The effect of Sections 25 and 28 is the prosecution to support a conviction for breach of Sec.25 must prove that:
. (i) the strike or lock-out in question was illegaL
(ii) the accused had knowledge that
(a) the strike or lockout was iIIegal and
(b) the money spent or applied by him was in direct furtherance or
support of a strike or lockout.
(iii) that the money was actually spent or applied by the accused.
However, assistance to strikers in any other from, for example, supplying
clothes, food, etc. is not prohibited under Sec. 25 of the Act.
LAY-OFF AND RETRENCHMENT: COMPENSATION THERE OF
The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, as originally enacted made no provision for the payment of "Lay-Off" or "Retrenchment" compensation. Therefore, there were no uniform rule that can be said to have observed by the adjudicating bodies in the case of payment of compensation for "lay-off" or "retrenchment". In order to overcome the situation, the President of India promulgated the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Ordinance in Oct., 1953 to the effect from
24th Oct. 1953. The said Ordinance was
repealed and replaced by the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1953 took
effect from 23rd Dee ember 1953. According to
this amendment, Section 25-A to Section 25-J were added by this Amendment Act
According to Sec. 25A (application of Sections 25-C to 25E inclusive) shall
not apply to industrial establishment to which Chapter V-B applies, or :
(a) to industrial establishment in which less than 50 workmen, on an average
per working day have been employed in the preceding calendar month,
(b) to industrial establishment which are of a seasonal character or in which
work is performed only intermittantly.
Thus, where the exemption under Sec 25-A applies, the workmen are not entitled to lay-off compensation and the Tribunal has no right to grant relief on any fanciful notices of Social Justice.
Sec 25 B of the Act defines continuous service. Sub-sec.2 defines continuous service for a period of one year or a period of six months Clause (a) of Sub-Section (2) provides that a workman. shall be deemed to have been in continuous service for a year, if
1. he has been in employment for 12 calendar months; and
2. he actually worked for not less than
(a) One hundred and ninety days in the case of a workmen employed below ground in a mine; and
(b) Two hundred and forty days in any other case.
The following conditions must be fulfilled by a workman to entitle him for a
continuous service of six months:
(1) The workman has been in employment for a period of six calendar months;
(2) Such workman has actually worked for not less than:
(a) Ninety five days in the case of his being employed below ground
in mine, and
(b) One-hundred and twenty days in any other case.
Rights of workman laid-Off for compensation (Sec.25-C)
This section of the Act entitles a workman to get compensation from the employer for the period he is laid off. When the employer is unable to provide work to his workmen for reasons beyond his control, he owns duty to pay lay-off compensation to such workmen. For a workman to be eligible to claim lay-off compensation, he must fulfil the following conditions:
(1) his name must be borne on the muster rolls of an industrial establishment and
(2) he must have completed at least one year's continuous service (an
defined in Sec. 25-B)
The above rule is subject to the following limitations:
(1) If a workman is laid off for more than 45 days during any period of 12
months, no compensation shall be payable in respect of any period
of the lay-off after the expiry 45 days, provided these is an agreement between the workman and the employer to this effect.
(2) Where a workman is laid off for a period of 45 days during 12 months. the employer has a right to retrench such workman at any time after the expiry of 45 days of lay-off. When an employer decides to retrench a workman he musf comply with the requirements of Sec.25F of the Act
(as stated below).
Workmen not entitled to Compensation in Certain Cases (Sec. 25-E)
This section of the Act provides that a laid off workman shall not be entitled to
(1) If he refuses to accept alternative employment provided that such alternative employment is offered in the same establishment or in any other establishment belonging to the same employer in the same town or village within a radius of 5 miles from the establishment he belongs.
(2) If he does not present himself for work at the establishment at the
appointed time during normal working hours at least once a day.
(3) If the lay-off is due to strike or slowing down of production on the part of workmen in another part of the same establishment.
Conditions precedent to retrenchment of workmen (Sec. 25 F)
This section lays down the requirements for a valid retrenchment of an
employed who has been in continuous service for not less than one year.
This section prescribes three conditions for a valid retrenchment; namely.
(a) The workman should be given one months notice in writing indicating
the reasons for retrenchment. .
(b) The workman has been paid, at the time of retrenchment, compensation equivalent to 15 days average pay for every completed year of continuous service or any part thereof in excess of 6 months.
(c) Notice in the prescribed manner is served on the appropriate Government or such authority as may be specified by the appropriate Government by notification in the Official Gazette.
Compensation to workmen in case of transfer of undertakings (Sec. 25 FF)
This section provides that in case of transfer of ownership or management of an undertaking from one employer to another, every workman:
(a) shall, before such transfer entitled to notice, and
(b) shall also be entitled to compensation in accordance with provisions of
Sec. 25-F, as if the workman had been retrenched.
In order to entitle a workman compensation under this section, the following
conditions must be simultaneously complied with:
(1)the service of the workman has not been interrupted by the transfer,
(2) terms and conditions of service to the workrnan, after such transfer, are
not in any way less favourable to the workman than those applicable
immediately before the transfer.
Notice to be given of intention to close down any undertaking (Sec. 25FFA)
Any employer who intends to close down an undertaking shall serve, at least 60 days before the date on which the intended closure is to become effective, in a prescribed manner on the appropriate Government, stating therein that noting in this section shall apply to :
(a) an undertaking in which (i) less than 50 workmen are employed, or (ii) less than fifty workman were employed, on an average, per working day in the preceding 12 months;
(b) an undertaking set-up for the construction of building, bridges, roads,
canals. dams or for other construction work or project.
Compensation to workmen in the case of closing down of undertaking (Sec. 25-FFF)
The purpose of this section is to create a sense of security in a workman that if he sticks to his work, he will not be thrown away out of his employment in case of closing down of the undertaking
Procedure for Retrenchment
The well recognised principle of retrenchment in industrial law is 'first come last go' and 'last come first go'. This principle has been incorporated in Sec 25-G of the Act. The protection provided under this section can be claimed by a workman on fulfilment of the following conditions:
(1) The workman must be a workman within the meaning of Sec. 2(8) of the Act. (2) The workman should be an Indian Citizen.
(3) The workman should be employed in an establishment which is an
industry within the meaning of Sec. 2(J) of the Act.
(4) The workman should belong to a particular category of workmen in the
(5) There should be no agreement contrary to the principle of 'first come
last go' between the employer and workman.
Re-employment of retrenched Workman (Sec. 25H)
According to this section, when a workman has been retrenched by employer on the ground of surplus staff. such a workman should first be given an opportunity to join service whenever an occasion to employ another hand arises. In order to claim preference in employment under this section, a workman must satisfy the
(1) He should have been retrenched prior to re-employment.
(2) He should be a citizen of
; and India
(3) He should have been retrenched from the same category of service.
Special provisions relating to lay-off, retrenchment and closure in
By-an amendment made in the year 1978, a new Chapter V-B has been added
to the Industrial Disputes Act (Sec. 25-K) .
The provision of this Chapter shall apply to an industrial establishment, not
being an establishment of a seasonal character
For the purpose of this chapter V-B, Sec. 25-L, defines (a) Industrial
(i) a factory as defined in clause (m) of Sec.2 of the Factories Act. 1948;
(ii) a mine as defined in clause (j) of sub-section (1) of Sec.2 of the Mines
Act, 1952; or
(iii) a plantation as defined in clause (f) of Sec.2 of the Plantations Labour
Prohibition of Lay-Off (Sec. 25-M)
No workman (other than a 'bad Ii' workman or a casual workman) whose name is borne on the muster rolls of an industrial establishment to which this Chapter V-B applies shall be laid off by employer except with the prior permission of the appropriate Government or such authority as may be specified by the Government by notification in official gazette (Sub.Sec.1).
Where the workman of an industrial establishment being a mine, have been laid off under sub-section (1) above, for reasons of fire, flood or excess of inflammable gas or explosion, the employer in relation to such establishment, shall within a period of 30 days from the date of such lay-off apply in the presented manner, to the Appropriate Government or the specified authority (Sub Sec. (3))
Where an application for permission under Sub. See (1) and (3) has been made to appropriate Government after making inquiry as it thinks fit and after being heard to the employer, the workmen concerned and the person interested in such lay off, grant or refuse to grant, permission. A copy of such order shall be communicated to the employer and the workmen.
Conditions precedent to retrenchment of Workmen (Sec. 25-N) :
No workman employed in any industrial establishment, who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer shall be retrenched by the employer, until the workman has been given three months notice in writing indicating the reasons for retrenchment or the workman has been paid wages in lien of notice period, if the period of notice has expired.
Procedure for closing down an undertaking (Sec. 25-0) :
An employer who intends to close down an undertaking of an industrial establishment shall, in the prescribed manner, apply to the appropriate Government for prior permission 90 days before the intended closure is to become effective, stating the reasons for the intended closure. A copy of such application shall also be served on the representative of the workmen in the prescribed manner (Sub Sec. (1 )).
On receipt of application, the appropriate Government, makes inquiry as it thinks fit and after giving reasonable opportunity of being hard to the employer, the workman and the persons interested in such closure may grant or refuse to grant permission, and a copy of such order shall be served to the employer and the workmen.
Special Provisions as to Restarting of closed down undertaking (Before Commencement of the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1976, (Sec. 25-P)
If the appropriate Government is of opinion in respect of any understanding of an industrial establishment which was closed down before the commencement of Amendment Act, 1976
(a) that it was closed down otherwise than on account of unavoidable
circumstance beyond the control of the employers;
(b) that there are possibilities of restarting the undertaking;
(c) that it is necessary for the rehabilitation of the workmen employed before its closure or for the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community to restart the undertaking; or both; and (d) that the restarting of the undertaking will not result in hardship to the employer in relation to the undertaking.
After it may after giving an opportunity to such employer and workmen, the appropriate Government may direct by order published in official Gazette that the undertaking shall be restarted within such time published in the official Gazette, (not being less than one month from the date of order) as may be specified in the order.
Penalty for Lay-Off and Retrenchment with Previous Permission (Sec. 25-Q)
Any employer who contravenes the provision of Sec. 25 M or Sec. 25 N, shall
be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/-, or with both.
Penalty for Closure (Sec. 2 R)
Any employer who closes down an undertaking without complying with the provisions of sub-section (1) of Sec. 25-0 shall be permissible with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, o(with fine which may extend to Rs. 5000/ -, or with both.
Similarly, any employer who contravenes an order refusing to grant permission to close down an undertaking under sub-section (2) of Sec. 25-0 or a direction given under Sec. 25-P, shall be permissible with imprisonment for a term which may extend to Rs. 5000/-, or with both. Where the contravention continuous further, with a further which may extend to Rs. 2000/- for every day during the contravention continues after the conviction.
No employer or workmen or a Trade Union, whether registered under Trade
Any person who commits any unfair labour practice shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/- or with both.
UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICES
No employer or workmen or a Trade Union, whether registered under Trade
Any person who commits any unfair labour practice shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/- or with both.
Unfair labour practices on the Part of Employers and Trade Unions of Employers (as per New Schedule V added with Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1982).
As defined in Schedule V, unfair trade practices are:
1. To interfere with, restrain from, or coerce, workmen in the exercise of their rights to organise from, join or assist a trade union or to engage in concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, that is to say
10. To recruit workmen during a strike which is not an illegal strike.
11. Failure to implement award, settlement or agreement.
12. To indulge in acts of force or violence.
13. To refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with the recognised trade unions.
Unfair labour Practices on the part of Workmen and Trade Unions of Workmen (as per New Schedule V added with Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1982.
They include the following:
1. To advise or actively support or instigate any strike deemed to be illegal
under this Act.
2. To coerce workmen in the exercise of their right to self-organisation or
to join a trade union or restrain from joining any trade union, such as :
(a) for a trade union or its members to picketing in such a manner
that non-striking workmen are physically debarred from entering
the work places;
(b) to indulge in acts of force or violence or to hold out threats of
intimidation in connection with a strike against non-striking
workmen or against managerial staff.
3. For a recognised union to refuse to bargain in good faith ..vith the
4. To indulge in coercive activities against certification of a bargaining
5. To stage demonstrations at the residence of the employers or the
managerial staff members.
6. To incite or indulge in wilful damage to employer's property connected
with the industry, etc.
Victimization means one of two things. One is when the workmen concerned is innocent and yet he is punished because he has in some way displeased the employer. For example, by being an active member of the union of workmen who were acting prejudicially to the interests of the employer1. The second instance is where an employee has committed an offence but is given a punishment quite out of prosportion to the gravity of the offence, simply because he has incurred the displeasure of the employer, or where the punishment is shockingly disproportion to the misconduct.
PENALTIES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
Penalty for illegal strikes and lockouts (Sec. 26)
This section prescribes penalty imposed on any workman who continues or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike which is illegal under this Act. Any workman found guilty of participating in an illegal strike shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with a maximum fine of 50/-, or with both.
.In the case of employer, sub section (2) of Sec. 26 provides that the employer shall be punishable with imprisonment extending to one month or with a maximum fine of Rs. 1000/-, or with both, if:
(1) such employer commences, continues or otherwise; acts in furtherance
of lock-out; and
(2) such lock-out is illegal under the Act.
Penalty for instigation, etc.(Sec. 27):
This section makes the following acts punishable:
(1) Instigation or incitement to others to take part in an illegal strike or
(2) Otherwise acting in furtherance of a strike or lockout which is illegal
under the Act.
Any person, other then employer and workmen, who has no personal interest in a dispute, instigate or inciting of an illegal strike or lockout is more severely punishable under the Act. There must be something tangible in evidence to show that the persons are responsible for instigating or inciting the strike.
Penalty for giving Financial Aid to illegal strike and lockout (Sec. 28)
Any person who knowingly extends or applies any money in direct furtherance or support of any illegal strike shall be punishable under this section. Punishment may extend to six months imprisonment, or Rs. 1000/- as fine, or with both.
Penalty for breach of settlement of award (Sec. 29)
In order to be penalised a person under this section, the following facts must be proved:
(1) An award or settlement was in operation at the time of breach;
(2) Such award or settlement must be valid,
(3)The award or settlement must be binding on the accused,
(4)The accused must be responsible for committing breach of such award or settlement.
(5) The appropriate Government must have made complaint regarding the
If these requirements are cumulatively fulfilled the accused shall be punishable with imprisonment extending to 6 months or with fine or with both. If the breach is continuing a further fine which may extend to two hundred rupees for every day during which the breach continues after the conviction for the first breach.
Penalty for disclosing confidential Information (Sec. 30)
Any person who discloses any information in contravention of Sec. 21
(confidential matters) shall be penalised under Sec. 30 of the Act. Punishment provided is imprisonment extending to 6 months or fine upto Rs. 1000/-, or with both. For valid exercise of power under this section, the following conditions must be satisfied:
(1) A complaint must have been made by or on behalf of (a) the Trade
Penalty for closure without notice (Sec.3D-A)
Any employer who closes down any undertaking without complying with provisions of Sec. 25 FFA shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine, which may extend to Rs. 5000/-, or with both.
Penalty for other offences (Sec. 31)
This section provides that at any employer who contravene the provisions of Sec. 33 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/-, or with both (sub. Sec.1)
A Criminal Court has jurisdiction to try any employer for violation of Sec. 33 these two sections 31 and 33 are intended to protect the right of workmen pending industrial dispute and for that purpose the employer is prohibited from doing anything to the prejudice of workmen without express permission or approval of the authorities before whom a reference is pending. .
(Sec.33 ensures against victimization of workmen by the employer).
Offence by companies etc. (sec.32).
This section provides that where a person committing an offence under this Act. is a company, or other body corporate or an association of persons (whether incorporated or not) every director manager, secretary, agent or other officer or person concerned with management thereof shall, that the offence was committed without his knowledge or consent, be deemed to be guilty of such offence.
Conditions of service, etc. to remain unchanged (Sec. 33)
The purpose of this section is to maintain status quo during the pending of certain proceeding under this Act. This section applies during the pendency of the following proceedings:
(a) conciliation proceedings before a Conciliation Officer or Board.
(b) any proceeding before an Arbitrator; and
(c) any proceeding before
Tribunal or National Tribunal.
Sec. 33(3)'of the Act deals with the right of protected workman. The employer shall not take the following action against a "protected workman" in regard to any matter connected with the pending dispute:
Special provision for adjudication as to whether conditions of service etc. changed during the pendency of proceedings (Sec.33-A).
Where an employer contravenes the provisions of Sec. 33 du ring the pendency of proceedings before a Conciliation Officer, Board, an Arbitrator, a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, an employee aggrieved by such contravention may make compliant in writing, in the prescribed manner, to such authority before it the matter is pending,
The object of Sec. 33 and 33-A is to protect workmen against victimization by the employer.
Recovery of money due from an employer (Sec. 33-C)
This section deals with the proceeding for recovery of money due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of
or VB Chapter VA
The application for recovery of money due may be made to the appropriate Government. If the Government is satisfied that the claim in genuine it shall issue a certificate for that amount to the District Collector, who shall recover the amount, as shown in the recovery certificate as an of land revenue.
Every application for recovery shall be made within one year from the date on which the money becomes due to the workman from the employer. However, the appropriate Government may consider the application which was presented even after one year if it is satisfied that the applicant had sufficient reason for not making the application within the period of one year.
Cognizance of offences (Sec. 34).
This section provides that a Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act or of the abatement of any such offence, if a compliant to that effect is made either:
(i) by the appropriate Government, or
(ii) under the authority of the appropriate Government. [sub sec. (1)] Sub section (2), provides that any Court inferior to the Court of Metropolitan
Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of tha first class shall not try any offence punishable under this Act.
Protection of persons (Sec. 35).
No person refusing to take part or to continue to take part in any strike or
lockout which is illegal under the Act shall, by reason of such refusal or by reason of any action taken by him under this section, be subject to expulsion from any trade or society, or to any fine or penalty, or to deprivation of any right or benefit to which he or his legal representatives would otherwise be entitled, either directly or indirectly,
. under any disability or at any disadvantage as compared with other members of the Union or Society, anything to the contrary in the rules of a trade union or society notwithstanding.
This section further provides that nothing ill the rules of a Trade Union or
Society requiring the settlement of disputes shall apply to any proceeding for enforcing any right or exemption secured by this section and in any such proceeding, the Civil Court may, in lieu ordering a person who has been expelled from membership of a Trade Union or Society to be restored to membership, order that he be paid out of the Trade Union funds such sum by way of compensation or damages as that Court thinks fit.
Representation of parties (Sec. 36)
According to sub section (1), a workman who is a party to a dispute shall be
entitled to be represented in any proceeding under this Act by:
(a) any member of the executive or other office bearer of a registered Trade
(b) any member of the executive or officer bearer of a Federation of Trade
Union to which the Trade Union is affiliated;
(c) where the workman is not a member of any Trade Union, by any member
of executive or other office bearer of any Trade Union connected with it
or by any workman employed in, or the industry in which the worker is employed and authorized in such manner as may be prescribed.
In the opinion of the appropriate Government, any difficulty or doubt arises as to interpretation of any provision of the award, or settlement, it may refer the matter to such Labour Court / Tribunal/National Tribunal; as it may think fit (Sec 36-A).
The decision of the
ITribunal1 National Tribunal shall be final and binding on all the
Power to exempt from the provisions of the Act (Sec 36-B) Para Where the appropriate Government is satisfied in relation to any industrial establishment or undertaking carried on by a department of the Government that adequate provisions exist for the investigations and settlement of industrial disputes; such class of establishments or undertaking, it may, by notification in the official Gazette, exempt, conditionally or unconditionally such establishments, or undertakings from all or any of the provisions of this Act.
Protection of action taken under the Act (Sec. 37)
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall exist against any person for anything done in good faith or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act, or any rule made there under.
Power to make rules (Sec. 38)
The appropriate Government may make rules for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act. Such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters; namely
(a) the powers and procedure of Conciliation Officers, Boards, Court, Labour Courts, Tribunals or National Tribunal, including rules as to the summoning
of witness, the production of document concerned.
(aa) the form of arbitration agreement.
(aaa) the appointment of assessors in proceeding under this Act,
(ab) the constitution of Grievance Settlement Authorities.
(b) the constitution and functions of, and the filling of vacancies in Works
Committees, and the procedure to be followed by it.
(c) the allowances admissible to members of Courts and Boards and
Presiding Officers of labour Courts, Tribunals and National Tribunal.
(d) the ministerial establishment which may be allotted to a Court, Board,
Tribunal or National Tribunal.
(e) the manner in which and the persons by and to whom notice of strike or lockout may be given and mode of communication.
(f) the conditions subject to which parties may be represented by legal
practitioners in proceeding under this Act before a Court,
Tribunal or National Tribunal
(g) any other matter which is to be or may be prescribed.
Delegation of powers (Sec. 39)
The appropriate Government may by notification in the official Gazette, direct that any power exercisable by it under the Act or rules made there under, shall be exercisable by:
(a) by such officer or authority subordinate to the Central Government,
(where the appropriate Government is the Central Government) or by the State Government or by such officer or authority subordinate to the state Government as may be specified in the notification; and
(b) where the appropriate Government is a State Government, by such officer or authority subordinate to the state Government, as may be specified in the notification.
Power to amend schedules (Sec. 40)
If the appropriate Government or the Central Government feels it necessary in the public interest, can amend the schedule by notification issued in the official Gazette. The first; second or third schedule can be amended.
CAUSES CONSEQUENCES AND SETTLEMENT OF
Industrial Disputes Act provides for a machinery for just and equitable settlement of Industrial disputes by adjudication, negotiation and conciliation. It promotes measures for securing and preserving amity and good relations between employer and workmen. It helps prevention of illegal strikes and lockouts, and provides provision
for relief to workmen in the case of layoff and retrenchment. It promotes a base or collective bargaining also.
Causes of Industrial Disputes
The problem of industrial unrest is inherent in the industrial system. The main features of industrial work anywhere are that (a) it involves division of labour; (b) it is a group activity; (c) it is carried under control. Broadly speaking, the causes of industrial disputes can be classified as:
1 . Economic causes
2. Management causes, and
3. Political causes
A brief description of each, is given below:
1. Economic causes
Economic causes include questions pertaining to wages, bonus and allowances, retrenchment of workmen by the employer retionalisation and automation, faulty retrenchment system, leave and so on. Low wages, irrespective of rising prices, demand for a rise in D.A., intolerable working and living conditions, issues pertaining to hours of work, etc. are some other economic causes that provoked a number of strikes in
The worker factors responsible for industrial unrest have been: (1) Inter union rivalries, (2) Economic and political environment that exercise adverse effects on workers attitudes, and (3) Indiscipline amongst workers.
2. Managerial causes
Some of the causes of discontent are inherent in the industrial system, itself
(1) Workers do not get any opportunity for self-expression; or
(2) Their social needs are not fulfilled; that is. the position of workers within in informal qroups formed in jndustrial undertakings and problems of conflict within the groups may not be taken into account.
(3)Lack of communication on one hand, between the workers and management may turn petty quarrels into industrial unrest and on the other, the problem of discipline in industrial units may assume serious dimensions.
The other managerial factors responsible for industrial unrest have been as
1. Mental inertia on the part of management and labour.
2. Management's general attitude of hatred towards their workers,
3..Lack of competence on the supervisor and other managers in human relations.
4..Management's desire to pay comparatively lesser amount of bonus or dearness allowance against the desire of workmen.
5. .Efforts to introduce modernisation without prior or appropriate environment.
6. Excessive work load and inadequate welfare facilities.
7. Defective policy of lay-off.
8. Denial of the workers right to recognize union.
9. Unfair practices like victimization or termination of services without assigning any reasons.
10.Lack of definite wage policy and stabilization of prices.
12. Lack of a proper policy of union recognition.
13.Denial of worker's right to organise, etc.
Industrial disputes are pertly political also. Some important political strikes I organized by industrial workers in
. Prior to independence, as
early , there was a mass strike in Mumbai against the sentence of imprisonment strikes
occurred on account of actions taken against, for participating in demonstrations,
trial of political leaders, etc. After the independence also, some stirkes have occurred owing to agitation's of
political parties on questions like re-organisation ation of States, National
Language, etc. Percentage distribution of industrial disputes by causes as published by the Ministry of
Impact/Effect/Consequences of Industrial Disputes
The consequences of Industrial disputes are many. A brief description is given
(1) Disturb the economic, social and political life of a country: When labour and equipment in the whole or any part of an industry are rendered idle by strike or lockout, national dividend suffers in a way that injures economic welfare.
Loss of Output:
(2)Loss of Output : Loss of output in an industry which is directly affected by a dispute, but other industries are also affected adversely, as stoppage of work in one industry checks activity in other industries too.
(3) Decline in the demand for goods and services: Strikes reduces the demand for the goods that other industries make, if the industry in which stoppage has occured is one that furnishes raw materials semi-finished goods or service largely used in the products of other industries.
(4) Lasting loss to the workers: There is a lasting injury to the workers in the form of work being interrupted due to the strikes which involves a loss of time which cannot be replaced. The wages are lost and the workers can least afford to lose them specially when the average earning of a worker is not very high.
(5) Increase in indebtedness : This increases the indebtedness among the workers and not only the old debts become heavier but fresh debts may also be incurred.
(6) Loss of health of family members : The workers and their family members also suffer from loss of health due to mental warrious resulting from loss of wages.
(7) Problem to consumers : Strikes and lockouts create problem to consumers also. Articles of their requirements are not available in time, and the prices of such articles reach high due to black marketing activities. ..
(8) Loss to the management/employer : When workers stop working, the plant and machinery remain idle. The fixed express are to borne by the employer even when the production stops. This way the employer suffers from great loss.
(9) Bad effect on labour relations: Strikes and lockouts bring bad effects on industrial relations. With the result the workmen and the employer always be in mental tension.
(10) Obstruction to economic growth: Strikes creates many kinds of
violence which obstruct the growth of economy.
PREVENTION AND SETTLEMENT OF INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES:
Machinery for prevention of disputes in
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
(1) Strong Trade Union
(2) Profit Sharing and Co-partnership
(3) Joint Consultation
(4) Inrlustrial Employment Standing Orders
(5) Code of Discipline
(6) Collective Bargaining
(7) Works Committees
(8) Workers Participation in Management
(9) Tripartite Bodies/ Machinery
(10) LabourWelfare 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 orporation between the two sides. As a matter of fact a trade union is the most switable and most effective agency to conduct bargaining strong.
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.
Importance of profit sharing:
(1) The award to labour of a share of profits would create psychological
conditions favourable to the restoration of industrial peace.
(2) Profit sharing is likely to strongthen the common interest of labour and
capital and thereby increase the productive efficiency of the workers.
(3) Profit sharing e"nhances social justice so far as labour, a primary factor
of production, that produces profits, is allowed to share in them.
(4) Protit sharing makes the worker responsible, creates a feeling of identity
with business and settles all disputes peacefully.
Limitations of profit sharing:
(1) Although the purpose of profit sharing is to lay foundation for harmonious industrial relations, they often fail to gain the confidence of the worker since the amount of profits accruing to the workers has not been very
large. The workers suspect honesty and good faith on the part of the employer in distribution of profits.
(2) There is possibility of conflicts since the employees contend that the
increased profits are due to their efforts.
(3) The workers often fear that employers may use the profit-sharing scheme to weaken the trade unions and to make the workers dependent upon them.
(4) Profit sharing may make the workers sluggish and therefore, production instead of being augmented, may actually diminish.
Broadly speaking; until a climate of mutual trust and confidence is created between the two sides, the success of profit sharing schemes in industry so far as industrial peace is concerned, seems doubtful.
Co-partnership has come to be a 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
is concerned, acquiring of share capital or joining in a co-partnership
committee by workers seems difficult because of their law earnings and backward
Therefore, in the context
of Indian conditions, it is proper to lay emphasis on workers participation in
(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. While full joint consultation can be expected only after the establishment of a collective bargaining relationship, mutual consultation at the plant level often helps to bring the parties together and to train them in the discussion of common problems. Thus, there is tremendous scope of reducing industrial tension and improving productivity through joint consultation in industry.
The system of joint consultation in
could not develop adequently before independence mainly because of the
illiteracy, migratory character and lack of proper organisation of workers.
After 1947, with the
initiation of Five Year Plans greater emphasis was laid on more production and
workers interests began to attract greater attention. The Industrial Disputes
Act, 1947 provided for establishment of 'works committees' at the plant level.
Now the consultative machinery in this country exists almost at every levels i.e.
undertaking, industry, State and National levels. At the undertaking level,
there are Joint Committees or Joint Councils. At the industry level, there are
Wage Boards and Industrial Committees to deal with specific problems of workers
that arose from time to time in particular industries. At the State Level, the
Labour Advisory Board functions, and at the national level there are Indian
Labour Committee, etc. India
The functions of Joint Consultative Machinery in
have been the prevention of
disputes, reduction in mutual differences and friction, and creation of a
proper work climate in industry. India
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. The provision for 'Standing orders was for the first time, made in the Bombay Industrial Disputes Act, 1938. Thereafter, in order to define the condition of employment and to make them known to the workmen, the Government enacted the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. This Act applies to every industrial establishment wherein 100 or more workers are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.
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. The main features of this Code include the following.
(1) Both, employers and employees should recognise the rights and
responsibilities of each other.
(2) Neither party will have recourse to coercion, intimidation, litigation and
victimisation, but will settle all disputes through the existing machinery
for the settlement of industrial disputes.
(3) A mutually agreed procedure will be set up and both the parties will
abide by it without taking arbitrary action.
6. Collective Bargaining: It is a form of joint consultation, and a process in which the representative of the employer and of the employees meet and attempt 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
works committees are required to the established through legislation. India
According to Sec. 3 of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, in the case of an industrial establishment in which 100 or more workmen are employed or have been
employed on any day in the preceding 12 months, the appropriate Government may, by general or special order require the employer to constitute a Works Committee consisting of representatives of employers and worker engaged in the establishment, the number of representatives of workmen not being less than that of the employers representatives, to be chosen in consultation with their trade union, if any.
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. The recommendations of these bodies are advisory in nature but carry a great weight on employers, trade unions and the Government. All these bodies constitute the consultative machinery for the private sector.