Let us discuss the machinery which exists in India for the settlement of industrial disputes. In this connection, we may mention the vital role that the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 (as amended from time to time) plays or maintenance of peace in industrial units.
(1) There is a Working Committee in every industrial unit employing hundred persons or more. The Committee consists of the representatives of both the management and the workers. Its object is to improve the employer labor relation and to secure a settlement of industrial disputes.
(2) In every factory, there are Conciliation Officers appointed by the Government to go through the nature of dispute the arises between the workers and the management and try to resolve the conflict. The Committee submits a report there on to the Government.
(3) Arbitration is an important method of settlement of industrial disputes in India. It may be voluntary or compulsory. Under compulsory arbitration, the parties are bound to refer the disputes to the adjudication board the decision of which is binding upon the parties.
(4) The Government can appoint a Board of Conciliation consisting of four members to investigate any dispute and try to settle it and the board submits a report to the Government about it.
(5) In our economy the State Governments have been empowered to set up the Labor Courts for settlement of disputes arising out of the retrenchment workers. The government may also appoint a Court of Enquiry to find out the causes of labor unrest.
(6) There are many Industrial Tribunals in the Centre the States. Such a tribunal is presided over by a distinguished jurist for the purpose of settlement of disputes relating to wages, bonus etc. There are also Labor Appellate Tribunals to hear appeals from employers and employees and also the decisions of the Labor Courts, and the Board of Conciliation.
(7) The Bonus Act has been passed for the payment of bonus to laborers. There are also Wage Boards in different industrial units for the purpose of fixation of fair wages to the industrial workers.
(8) Both at the Centre and in the States, the Industrial Relations Commissions have been instituted for adjudication of disputes of industrial undertakings. In the several industrial units, workers are allowed to participate in the management for administrating the welfare schemes and fixation of working hours and leave.
(9) In 1965, the Industrial Disputes Act was amended in order to enable a retrenched worker to raise a dispute without the help of the union. Besides, casual laborers get layoff compensation which is half of their monthly wages.
(10) The amendments of 1982 and 1984 of the Industrial Dispute Act, has fixed compensation for retrenchment and has made the serving of a notice of retrenchment, closure to the appropriate Government compulsory and have a1so forbidden any unlawful retrenchment lay off in an industrial establishment employing not less than 100 workers without the prior permission of the appropriate Government.
(11) In some industries there exists a close co-operation between the workers and the management for avoiding the loss of man days, encouraging the growth of workers’ unions and adjudicating disputes through mutual understanding and negotiations.
The machinery existing in India for the settlement of industrial disputes is not always effective in maintaining harmony in our industrial economy. For, the presence of certain deficiencies in the machinery steps should be taken to remove them by the proper authority.