Dr. C.S.RANGARAJANDr. S. JAISHREE
Industrial Relations is concerned with employment relationships. Its centralcharacteristics or focus is employment in all its aspects: micro, macro, individualand group. It has been defined as ‘the study of people in a situation, organization,or system interacting in the doing of work in relation to some form of contracteither written or unwritten’.Labour and capital are engaged in a situation where production of goods andrendering of services are their prime task. While the entrepreneurs are interested inincreasing more than a fair return on the capital employed, the labour on thecontrary is interested in ‘equal pay for equal work’. The control over the ‘means of production’ lies in the hands of the employer. The ‘struggle to maintain or alter thefrontier of control’ becomes central to the study of industrial relations. The systemof industrial relations operates within the confines of ‘consent, constraint andconflict’. There are rules to which the labour offers its ‘consent’ to obey. Thelabour realises that some of the rules to which it had given ‘consent’, as a matter of fact, ‘constrain’ them beyond the bounds of belief. In such a situation, ‘conflict’ensues which paves the way for ‘consent’ being evolved afresh after a closer look.This fits in with Karl Marx observations that ‘it is conflict through which conflictcould be resolved’. Dunlop, the father of industrial relations, opines that ‘thecentral task of industrial relations is to explain why particular rules are establishedin particular industrial relations system and how and why they change in responseto change affecting the system’.Harmonious industrial relations is a condition precedent for maintaining andincreasing the level of production. The conditions necessary for establishing andmaintaining good industrial relations are:-1. Recognition on the part of the employees and employers that they have on hand acommon objective.
2. When ‘equal pay for equal work’ is insisted upon by the labour, it is incumbent upon
labour to develop an attitude to give their money’s worth of labour in return.3. Employers should take efforts to redress employees’ grievances speedily and fairly.