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There is no precise definition of ³Collective bargaining´. In fact keeping in view the change in the society with its fast changing social norms the scope and content of collective also varies from country to country. Nevertheless, Collective bargaining has been defined by different experts in different ways. It is treated as a method by which problem of wages and conditions of employment are resolved peacefully and voluntarily between labour and management.4 This chapter deals with the various definitions of collective bargaining which will be helpful in understanding the concept of collective bargaining, its ambit and scope as has been coined by various writers. According to K. Alexander ³Collective bargaining is a process of bargaining between the employers and their workers by which they settle their disputes among themselves relating to employment or non-employment or terms of employment or conditions of labour of the workmen, on the strength of the sanctions available to each side. Occasionally such bargaining results in amicable settlement arrived at voluntarily and peaceful between the parties. But quite often the workers and the employers have to apply sanctions by resorting to the weapons of strikes and lock-outs to pressurize one another which makes both the sides aware of the strength of one another and that finally forces each to arrive at a settlement in the mutual interests. It is thus the strength of the parties which determines the issues rather than the wordy duals which are largely put on for show as any element of strength in one party is by the same token an element of weakness in another´.
Convention 154 of International Labour Organization (ILO) under Article 2 says: For the purpose of this Convention the term collective bargaining extends to all negotiations which take place between an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers' organizations, on the one hand, and one or more workers' organizations, on the other, for ± (a) determining working conditions and terms of employment; and/or (b) regulating relations between employers and workers; and/or (c) regulating relations between employers or their organizations and a workers' organization
ILO has defined collective bargaining as, ³negotiation about working conditions and terms of employment between an employer and a group of employees or one or more employees¶ organizations with a view to reaching an agreement wherein the terms serve as a code of defining the rights and obligations of each party in their employment/industrial relations with one another´.
or a guarantee of no reprisals against the workers if a strike has occurred). procedure whereby an employer or employers agree to discuss the conditions of work by bargaining with representatives of the employees. And a shared jurisdiction with the older class or classes in all other spheres. from the desire to displace or "abolish" the "old ruling class". as such superior to any agreement involving third party intervention in matters which essentially concern employers and workers. (2) a procedure which determines the quantum of compensation which employees should receive and which influences the distribution of economic ills. after its expiry. collective bargaining serves something more. job safety. "Collective bargaining is not just a means of raising wages and improving conditions of employment. (3) a method of settling disputes during the pendency of agreement and of determining. In the words of John T Dunlop. the former maintain that it deprives the worker of . More especially. one or both of whom is a group of persons acting in concert. Collective bargaining as a technique of the rise of a new class is quite different. work hours.This definition however confines the term collective bargaining as a means of improving conditions of employment. The merits of collective bargaining have been argued by both opponents and proponents of the process. or job security) or a consideration of the collective relations between both sides (the right to organize workers. In sum collective bargaining. usually a labor union. collective Bargaining has been defined a process of discussion and negotiations between two parties. ³Collective Bargaining is: (1) a system which establishes. 6 In Encyclopedia of Social Sciences. Its purpose may be either a discussion of the terms and conditions of employment (wages. recognition of a union. whether a dispute should be re-opened or whether a strike or a lock-out should be resorted or not. But in fact. revises and administers many of the rules which govern the worker¶s place of work. The resulting bargain is an understanding as to terms and conditions under which a continuing service is to be performed. is labor relations. Nor is it merely democratic government in industry. are determined. both material and spiritual. collective bargaining is the procedure by which an employer or employers and a group of employees agree upon the conditions of work."5 The best justification for collective bargaining is that it is a system based on bipartite agreements. to acquire an exclusive jurisdiction in that sphere where the most immediate interests. It is above all technique. to gain equal rights as a class. Perlman aptly stated.
Collective bargaining tends to promote a sense of job security among employees and thereby tends to reduce the cost of labor turnover to management. Collective bargaining opens up the channel of communication between the workers and the management and increases worker participation in decision making. It provides a flexible means for the adjustment of wages and employment conditions to economic and technological changes in the industry. It results in establishment of a harmonious industrial climate which helps the pace of a nation¶s efforts towards economic and social development since the obstacles to such a development can be reduced considerably. The discrimination and exploitation of workers is constantly being checked. There are certain principles which have to be followed by both the management and workers for collective bargaining. . There should be a realization on the part of both unions and managements that for taking wiser an more expedient decisions. Principles of Collective Bargaining As mentioned before that the collective bargaining has succeeded in introducing industrial democracy in industrial and labour managements. Collective bargaining plays a vital role in settling and pr eventing industrial dispute Importance to society Collective bargaining leads to industrial peace in the country. collective bargaining is a proper method. It provides a method or the regulation of the conditions of employment of those who are directly concerned about them. as a result of which the chances for conflicts are reduced.his individual liberty to dispose of his service. the right to speak and act for all workers and to enter into agreements with the employer. It helps in securing a prompt and fair settlement of grievances. These principles are as follows: 1.e. It helps in securing a prompt and fair settlement of grievances. It provides a flexible means for the adjustment of wages and employment conditions to economic and technological changes in the industry. Industrial democracy implies that the majority union should have the right to sole representation i. as a result of which the chances for conflicts are reduced. Importance to employers It becomes easier for the management to resolve issues at the bargaining level rather than taking up complaints of individual workers. while the latter point out that without the union's protection the worker is subject to the dictation of the employer.
Necessary precautions must be taken. Randle: ³The subject matter of collective bargaining had broadened until it has virtually eliminated the field of the management prerogatives. With the growth of trade unions and industrialization the scope of collective bargaining is expanding. Since in the field of bargaining collective action is now common. Competence for bargaining with mutual respect and implementation of the agreement arrive at should be possessed by both the parties. seniority promotions. 7. 5. etc. pension. regulation of forced leave. sickness and maternity benefits. they show how important negotiation has become as an institution. goodwill and bargaining should be there on the part of both the parties. it is desirable that the management should change their policies and should keep in view the dignity of the workers. The area pattern of bargaining has moved from simple style plant bargaining to regionwise and finally to dynamic nature of the scope of collective bargaining. but now within its purview are included the issues like leave with pay. 8. 4. demands. 3. And the future holds promise of an even greater role for collective´. competent and reasonable leaders.2. before the managements and the management should explain to them the circumstances and make efforts to redress the grievances/complaints of the workers. An opportunity should be provided to trade union leaders for putting their complaints. etc. 6. needs. In the words of C. It is equally desirable on the part of the union to raise reasonable demands. The parties to collective bargaining should be honest and the agreement should be conducted by these honest. They should not put up such demands as are beyond the paying capacity of the establishment or may be against the national policies. Keeping in view the changing circumstances. Initially collective bargaining was used for determining hours of work. At the same time. collective bargaining has assumed an institutional form. If there are more than one union the management should enter into negotiation with union having majority representation. wages and terms of employment.W. Scope of Collective Bargaining The growth of collective bargaining is associated with the recognition of trade unionism. The presence of genuine spirit of mutual trust. Appropriate labour policy should be adopted by the management and this policy to be followed by all employees. Advantages and Disadvantages of Collective Bargaining .
to secure a closed shop or to regulate an entire industry by prescribing rules governing competition etc. the United Kingdom and the United States. In Brazil. ³open end´ contracts. But there are other ways also whereby the problem is raised. The position in India is not clear. Germany. The long-term contract has two advantages for management over the short-term one: (1) It imparts stability to labour -management relations. the validity of collective bargaining agreement is also tested in this proceedings. Switzerland. In Denmark. and (2) It helps in planning production and expansion programmes based on fixed labour costs (one of the highest items in the budgets of many industries). In the United Kingdom. a suit may be filed by the labour organization. (b) It is quick and efficient method of settlement of industrial disputes. In the Scandinavian countries. Duration of Collective Bargaining Agreements The durations of collective bargaining agreements vary widely. For example. with a strong trend in favour of longer terms. Where the legality of the agreement is designed to be destroyed.Advantages of Collective Bargaining According to National Commission Report on labour collective bargaining has been preferred over compulsory adjudication system for several reasons: (a) It is a system based on bipartite agreements. in the agreement. an employer or employer¶s association for specific performance or to claim damages or to seek the enforcement of an arbitration clause stipulated in the agreement. In the United States many of the contracts are for a period of one to three or more years. A study of 114 contracts in 1961 by the Employers Federation of India showed that a majority of them were for one to five years. Italy. As for example. Columbia. Contents or Subject Matter of Collective Bargaining Agreements The subjects for collective bargaining are determined by the parties in some countries and by law in others. super ior to any arrangement involving third party intervention in matters which essentially concern employees and workers. Norway. Equador and some other Latin American Countries the law specifies that every contract must include clauses . and (c) It is democratic method of settlement of industrial disputes. If there is an alleged violation of the agreement it is sometimes sought to enjoin a strike or lock-out called for the purpose or sometimes the labour organization is the plaintiff seeking to enjoin a lock-out in breach of the agreement or failure to hire union employees etc. Sweden. one year contracts with renewal clauses are usual. with options to renew. the parties determine their subjects freely (of course within legal limits). which can be negotiated on notice at any time. Unions generally favour shorter contracts. while managements favour longer ones. are the rule. and as such. (This may perhaps be evidence of control by employer or of employer¶s superior bargaining power or both).
provident fund. (10) Grievance procedure. rest periods. is nevertheless rather narrowly circumstanced by law. retrenchment must be carried out. termination and retirement from service in so far it is not covered by the company¶s standing orders.25 In India the selection of subjects. such as a joint production committee. Usually all contracts in India contain most or all of the following clauses: (1) A preamble stating the positions of the parties. or a discipline. For example. rationalization must be undertaken. and (12) The duration and termination of the contract. (11) No-strike clause. (2) Recognition by the employer of the union as sole bargaining agent and of its right to organize the workers. (8) Medical benefits. length of notice. holidays. In France. and an undertaking that disputes will be settled through mutual consultation. 1936. the duration of the agreement. leave and overtime. the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act. every contract must contain a grievance procedure. holidays. (4) Wages. The signing of the contract makes a great impression on the rank and file of the union. the procedure for its extension. In Canada. 1946. Some contracts are short and deal with a few matters. the negotiators of a contact must always keep in mind the provisions of the Factories Act. every national collective contract must contain provisions on freedom of employees (with particular reference to the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of membership in any particular union). a joint labour relations committee. amenities. pension and gratuity.26 Enforcement of Collective Bargaining Agreements . and organization of apprenticeship and training. Collective Bargaining 46 -47 (9) Joint machinery for the efficient and smooth functioning of the industry. 1948 and the Payment of Wages Act. These deal with many subjects such as safety precautions. safety and welfare committee. the Minimum Wages Act. and it provides basis for a continuing and dignified relationship between the management and the employers´. conditions of employment. (6) Hours of work. job classification and job evaluation. (3) Recognition of the right of management to carry on its normal activities and meet its responsibilities. ³ Its formal language is the mark of its significance and«a guarantee that the management will carry out its pledged word. (7) Dismissal. (5) Grades. while others are elaborate and deal with many. 1948. a job evaluation committee. 25 ILO. hours. It strengthens the position of the union in the eyes of the members. bonus and dearness allowance. and disciplinary proceedings must be handled. discharge. health measures.regulating wages. while it is for the parties to decide.
1923 was the landmark Act. In the United Kingdom. But the Workmen¶s Compensation Act. The employees were not allowed to leave the tea gardens. It is important to take into consideration that the plantation industry of Assam was the first to attract the industrial legislation. Germany. 1947. which was accepted after thirties. There was hardly any deal with the social justice to the working class. . but in some cases individuals may be allowed to start proceedings. The appropriate government may refer the dispute over a breach of contract to a labour court or to an industrial tribunal EVOLUTION OF INDUSTRIAL JURISPRUDENCE IN INDIA The evolution of Industrial Jurisprudence in India can be traced back to the period of post Independence. the effects of the contract are regulated by special legislation.27 In India. that the adequate provisions for the social justice to the workers were inserted. The actions here must usually be brought by the unions. The paramount concern of the Preindependence industrial jurisprudence was the amelioration of the working condition of the workers at the factories. the collective bargaining agreements can be enforced under section 18 of the Industrial Disputes Act. To enforce them in a court of law. the industrial jurisprudence existed in a rudimentary form. plus the law. such contracts are called ³gentlemen¶s agreements´. A number of Acts were passed from 1863 onward. as a settlement arrived at between the workers and the employers. Ireland and some Latin American countries have established special courts to enforce the contracts on the grounds that procedure in ordinary courts is long and costly. Some other Acts were also passed to regulate the condition. through an action for damages for breach of contract. workers must rely on their individual contracts with their employer. that delay may result in a strike and to secure a quick remedy. either by the union or by the individual worker. Before the Independence. The situation there was that the employers exercised hard practices against the employees. Scandinavian countries. They can then be enforced in a court of law. on that.The enforcement of bargaining contracts depends in some countries on the good faith of the parties and in others. The aspect of industrialization in India was based on the program of planning. In a great many countries of Europe. which may in some cases incorporate the larger agreement. but they only protected the interests of the employers. It was only after the commencement of our Constitution. Latin America and Asia.
the Industrial Disputes Act. COLLECTIVE BARGANING IN INDIA Collective Bargaining in India has been the subject-matter of industrial adjudication since long and has been defined by our Law Courts. "Collective bargaining is a technique by which dispute as to conditions of employment is resolved amicably by agreement rather than coercion". Industrial Tribunal 32 the Court observed that. it gives sustenance to the rule of law and meaning and significance to the idea of welfare state´ 29. instead of individual workmen. seeks to achieve social justice on the basis of colIective bargaining.´ . who constituted the bulk of the population. the employers found it necessary and convenient to deal with the representatives of workmen. According to the Court. Justice Gajendragadkar opined that ³the concept of social and economic justice is a living concept of revolutionary import. Before the Independence. The Indian Constitution also enshrines the idea of social justice as one of the objectives of the State.. in a landmark case opined that concept of justice does not emanate from the fanciful notions of any particular adjudication but must be founded on a more solid foundation28. In an earlier judgment in Titagarh Jute Co. "it is well known how before the days of 'collective bargaining'. Sriram Tiwari31 the Calcutta High Court clarified that this policy of the legislature is also implicit in the definition of 'industrial dispute'. Bhagwati J. labour was at a great disadvantage in obtaining reasonable terms for contracts of service from its employer. 1947. Liberty Footwear Company30 the Supreme Court observed that. the paramount concern of the Government was to ameliorate the condition of the factory workers. It was after the commencement of the Constitution that the paramount concern of the Government shifted towards the social justice for the labourers. As trade unions developed in the country and collective bargaining became the rule. In Ram Prasad Viswakarma v. In Kamal Leather Karamchari Sangathan v.Indian Constitution and Social Justice Industrial Jurisprudence was not in a much developed form before the commencement of the Constitution of India. Ltd. not only for the making or modification of contracts but in the matter of taking disciplinary action against one or more workmen and as regards all other disputes. v.
e. being the order of the day in the democratic social welfare State. And if during the process of conciliation. The second type is known as a settlement. Consent Award: Here the negotiation takes place between the parties when the dispute is actually pending before one of the compulsory ad judicatory authorities and the agreement is incorporated to the authorities. i. which must shun all kinds of physical threats. Such activities can flow in healthy channel only on mutual cooperation between the employer and the employees and cannot be considered as irksome by the management in the best interests of its business. he withdraws himself from the scene. Settlements: It is tripartite in nature because usually it is reached by conciliation. civilized confrontation between employers and employees and the whole process is regulated by statutory provisions." These definitions only bring out the basic element in the concept i. But the forms of settlement are more limited in nature than bipartite voluntary agreements.e. Types of Collective Bargaining Agreements in India Collective bargaining as it is practiced in India can be divided into three classes. 2. Usually the agreement reached by the bipartite voluntarily has the same binding force as settlement reached in conciliation proceedings. the conciliation officer feels that there is possibility of reaching a settlement. Bipartite Agreements: These are most important types of collective agreements because they represent a dynamic relationship that is evolving in establishment concerned without any pressure from outside. legitimate trade union activities. because they strictly relate to the i ssues referred to the conciliation officer. 3. while the third type of collective agreement is consent award. the bipartite agreement drawn up in voluntary negotiation between management and union. coercion or violence. First is. Dialogue with representatives of a union help striking a delicate balance in adjustments and settlement of various contentious claims and issues. Then the parties are to finalise the terms of the agreement and should report back to conciliation officer within a specified time. These are discussed below: 1. must march with a spirit of tolerance. award. The implementations of these types of agreements are also not a problem because both the parties feel confident of their ability to reach the agreement.. The bipartite agreements are drawn up in voluntary negotiation between management and union. understanding and grace in dealings on the part of the employer.In Bharat Iron Works v. Bhagubhai Balubbai Patel33 it was held that 'Collective bargaining. Thus though the agreement is reached . it arises out of dispute referred to the appropriate labour department and the conciliation officer plays an important role in bringing about conciliation of the differing view points of the parties.
provision for political fund 37 by trade unions should be eliminated. The history of the trade union movement shows that union are affiliated to one or the other political parties. traditions and local factors of a particular region or country. 1926. The employers. Accordingly the Commission suggests proportion of the outsiders and the workers in a union executive. the Industrial Relations Bill. who have no personal or direct knowledge of day to day affairs of the industry. POSITION OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN INDIA Collective Bargaining machinery essentially is a reflection of a particular social and political climate. because it largely depends upon the background. experience shows that outsiders who have little knowledge of the background of labour problems. The Commission does not favour a legal ban on non-employees for holding the union office. Critic says that the presence of outsiders is one of the important reasons for the failure of collective bargaining in India. . permits outsiders to be the office bearers of a union to the extent of half the total number of office bearers.36 Nevertheless. Sometimes a dismissed employee working as a union leader may create difficulties in the relationship between the union and the employer.35 So. It says that without creating conditions for building up the internal leadership. is the absence of a compulsory µrecognition¶ provision in the Act. Another hurdle in the success of collective bargaining in India. The State must outright ban "outsiders" from the trade union body. have been reluctant to discuss and negotiate industrial matters with outsiders.38 On realizing the problems of outsiders in the union. since it invariably encourages the politicians to prey upon them. history of labour movement. 1988 proposes to reduce the number of outsiders to two only. The National Commission on Labour has overlooked this aspect. Further. The Commission hopes that internal leadership would develop through their education and training. it becomes part of the binding award pronounced by an authority constituted for the purpose. fundamentals of trade unionism and the technique of the industry and with even little general education assume the charge of labour union and become the self-appointed custodian of the welfare of workers. The idea of national or industry-wide agreements and that too on a particular pattern may appear to be a more ideal system to active industrial relation through collective bargaining. Accordingly employers refuse recognition to the unions which are either controlled by the politicians or affiliated to a particular political party or controlled by a particular individual.voluntarily between the parties. it permits one to be the leader of the union who does not actually work in the industry. Government cannot morally compel employers to accord recognition to unions without driving out the politicians from them. but the experience of various countries shows that it is not possible to be dogmatic about the ideal type of collective bargaining. a complete banning of outsiders would only make unions weaker. therefore.34 Outsiders in the Process of Collective Bargaining The Trade Unions Act. As a result most of the trade unions are controlled by outsiders.
e.. The Government of India proposed an amendment in the Trade Union Act in 1950 making recognition of a union compulsory. Unfortunately. Multi -Unionism . i. Its voluntary character has however. the right to speak and act for all workers and enter into agreements with the employer. faced serious opposition and remained unimplemented. Bombay Industrial Relations Act 1946 and Madhya Pradesh Industrial Relations Act.tative union by the Registrar of Representative Unions.Impact of Recognition as Bargaining Agent in Collective Bargaining In view of the prevailing multi-trade-unionism in the country. At the present not even public sector undertakings are following the Code of Discipline and are bargaining with more than one union. given statutory recognition to the procedure for determination of bargaining agent. made it ineffective and it has been found difficult to implement it in view of statutory provisions in the Industrial Disputes Act. The Code of Discipline provides for verification of tradeunion membership by Central Industrial Relations Machinery of the Government." The fear of retaliation by unrecognized unions has proved to be the biggest stumbling block in the success of statutory recognition system. The National Commission on Labour attached considerable importance to the matter of recognition of unions and observed as under: "Industrial Democracy implies that the majority union should have the right to sole representation. There is no provision either in the Indian Trade Union Act 1926 or in the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 for the purpose. Special provisions have been made for agreements signed by representative unions. Both. provide for the determination of represent. however. The Standing Labour Committee (l8th Session) and National Commission on Labour favoured a statutory -provision for the purpose but their recommendations have yet to be accepted. Indeed the experience is that wherever there is a union recognition. recognition of a bargaining agent has assumed importance. States like Bombay and Madhya Pradesh have. no attempt has been made at the national level to either lay down a procedure for recognition of a trade-union as bargaining agent or work out a procedure. 1960."39 In the absence of statutory provision. In spite of it. representative of rival unions have come together to force the employer to bargain with them. the matter is regulated by the Code of Discipline which was evolved at Nainital session of Indian Labour Conference in 1952. The measure however. the experience shows that there had been serious opposition to statutory recognition of a union as sole bargaining agent of the workers of the establishment.
and C.T. It is because of this that the Indian National Trade Union Congress is considered to be the labour wing of congress (I) whereas H. Each union may present separate charter of demands in a spirit of rivalry. provincial feelings and caste are other major causes for multi-unionism. Where there are too many unions. It is also the case with the . Since the public sector which is really the instrumentality of the State. is considered to be the labour wing of Socialist party.41 Multi-unionism adversely affects collective bargaining process. The centre has shifted towards it leadership whose effectiveness is determined by the extent of political patronage and the consequent capacity to obtain the benefit. it is difficult to think of any effective collective bargaining process in India. It is because of this process that agreements conferring benefits are signed even in those units where financial losses are mounting.I. it may be impossible to accept any of them. Communal sentiments.U has the support of C. there has been no corresponding improvement in production or the productivity and most of the losses are being passed on to the consumers by increasing prices of the products. the collective bargaining -between the union patronized by the party-in-power and the employer has become an important methodology.M. AITUC which had started as a national organization of workers but subsequently came to be controlled by the Communist Party of India and is now it's official labour wing. Our labour legislation also permits multi-unionism.S. Political patronage of tradeunions has given a new direction to the movement whose centre of gravity is no longer the employees or workmen. other union may object to them. This shifting centre of power is the necessary consequence of political parties search for workers votes. Moreover. Most of the trade-union organizations have aligned themselves with a political party with whom they find themselves philosophically close. "Our Industrial Juris prudence" made the following observations: . In this context.I.Political orientation of trade unions is the primary reason for multi-unionism.P. has emerged as the biggest employer in this country. in his. Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh pledges its allegiance to B.40 Presence of too many unions in an industry destroys the bargaining strength of workers.J. When conflicting demands are made. (M). It is also our experience that inspite of wage increase and improved conditions of service. It is in this context that Justice Gupta has. Politicization of Trade-Union Movement in India It is well known that the trade-union movement in India is divided on political lines and exists on patronage of various political parties.P. with whom should management negotiate? Each union may claim recognition. if one union is ready to accept some of the demands. which they seek by conferring benefits on them.
management relation through its lopsided adjudication machinery. regulations. have been constantly increasing. Hitherto the State has been playing a dominant role in controlling and guiding labour. However. It is believed that the institution of collective bargaining is still in its preliminary and organizational stage. It cannot solve the problems of industries. This is the reason why the prices of almost all products of necessity like coal. The role of the industrial adjudicator virtually differs from that of a judge of ordinary civil court. The judge of a civil court has to apply the law to the case before him and decide rights and liabilities according to its established laws. iron and steel.."If our experience is any guide. Clearly. they do not . amicable and voluntary settlement of labour disputes. multiplicity of unions and inter-union rivalry. must play a progressive and positive role in removing the pitfalls which have stood in the way of mutual. 43 State. therefore. it reveals that level of increase in wages etc. 45 It is accepted that the end of judicial proceeding is pain and penalties.44 In deciding industrial disputes the adjudicator is free to apply the principle of equity and good conscience. There are also not many collective bargaining agreements which have tried to link wages with productivity. Statutory provisions for recognising unions as bargaining agents are absent. Whereas industrial adjudicator has to adjust and reconcile the conflicting claims of disputants and evolve "socially desirable" rights and obligations of the disputants."42 Critical Evaluation In Indian labour arena we see. therefore. Accordingly it is said that: "While statutes. rules. The labour' policy must reflect a new approach. A survey of pending and decided industrial disputes of the last 10 years reveals that there was virtually no industrial dispute regarding wage structure or bonus in any industry of some significance. pains and penalties have their place in the ordering of industry. it is said that the impact of the attitude of the judiciary towards workers has not proved conducive to the peaceful industrial relations. cement. (in public sector undertaking ) is now decided by the Bureau of Public Enterprises which takes into consideration only the 'Political impact' and 'Consumer resistance' as two dominant factors. the basic idea of 'sharing the prosperity' which developed because of our commitment to the cause of 'social justice' is no longer current and the expected endproduct of the process of 'social justice" is no longer expected. sugar etc.
The Industrial Disputes Act. Settlement arrived in the course of conciliation proceeding before the authority." 46 Moreover. In the absence of effective collective bargaining the anti ± productivity tendencies are bound to appear. 1947.touch the core of the problems of industrial relations. Under the Act two types of settlement have been recognised: 1. charged with the duty of mediation in promoting the settlement of industrial disputes. 1947 provides for the appointment of Conciliation Officers. while maintaining industrial peace has been recognized as the bed rock of the Industrial Disputes Act. But has there been industrial peace and satisfactory progress since adjudication was adopted after world-war-II? We do agree that industrial peace can be established by the adjudication for the time being. advocates of adjudication contend that as the collective bargaining procedure might end in a strike or lockout. Settlement not arrived in the course of conciliation proceedings but signed independently by the parties to the settlement. collective bargaining is a technique by which disputes of employment are resolved amicably. which implies a great loss to the parties concerned and the country. Section 19 of the Act prescribes the period of operation inter alia of such a settlement and envisage the continuation of the validity of such a settlement unless the same is not replaced by another set of settlement. a Conciliation Board is constituted consisting of representatives of employees and employer with the conciliation . On a reference to the Conciliation Officer. the settlement arrived at by process of collective bargaining with the employer has been given a statutory recognition under Section 18 of the Act. The method of collective bargaining in resolving the Industrial dispute. binds only such members who are signatory or party to the settlement. the adjudication becomes necessary. Such settlements not only bind the member of the signatory union but also non-members as well as all the present and future employees of the management. LAWS RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN INDIA As discussed earlier. peacefully and voluntarily by settlement between labour unions and managements. while Section 29 prescribes the penalty for the breach of such a settlement. But the conflicts are driven deeper and it will retard industrial production. Under the provision of the Act. 2. if for the sake of industrial peace.
The memorandum of settlement duly signed by the conciliation officer is to go from one camp to the other and find out greatest common measure of agreement. it has no sanctions in industrial law and industrial dispute does not end until a settlement is arrived at which has been given a binding effect under the provision of S. and for such period as has been agreed upon. These are listed below: I. Sma ller organisations generally do not prefer this form of handling the issues. there is multiplicity of unions which are weak and unstable. 47 A settlement arrived at by agreement between the employer and the workmen otherwise than in the course of conciliation proceedings shall be binding on the parties to the agreement. Moreover.19 (2) and such settlement can be only arrived at when conciliation proceedings are held under S. A settlement comes into operation on such date as is binding on the parties to the agreement. it would be wrong to infer that a private settlement in respect of an industrial dispute does not end an industrial dispute. Such a private agreement belongs to the realm of contract. which further hinder the process of collective bargaining between the labour and the management. In this respect the following observation of chief Justice Chagala are relevant. several factors are responsible for this state of affairs. and do not represent majority of the employees. it is limited to large plants only. II. the industrial law does not contemplate any interference with the finality of a settlement and it compels the settlement to run on for the period mentioned in the settlement itself and neither party is permitted to challenge that settlement during its duration. there are inter-union rivalries. to investigate the dispute and to do all such things as he thinks fit to arrive at a fair and amicable settlement of the dispute. Due to the dominance of outsiders in trade unionism in the country. ³Industrial Law takes no notice of any private settlement or agreement arrived at between parties in the course of industrial dispute. . it may give rise to contractual rights.officer as the chairman. The major emphasis of both union and employers is to settle the disputes through adjudication rather than sorting out the issues among themselves. the law gives to it a greater sanctity than it gives to an award and therefore . ³But when parties do arrive at a settlement. 1947´. J has observed that. As discussed in the previous chapter.12 of the Industrial Disputes Act.48 From this observation. Whatever bargaining takes place.´ 49 PROBLEMS RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN INDIA The collective bargaining scene in India is not very encouraging. Dealing with the binding nature of settlement Chagla.
as the aggressive partner. derives satisfaction merely by countering the extent to which it is able to minimize the additional burdens while meeting the union¶s demands. Under the Industrial Disputes Act. has been used at present only as a one-way exercise in which the union. . trade union movement has leaned towards political orientations rather than collective bargaining. who use the unions and their members to meet their political ends. There are not many examples even now where union as well as the management. labour court or industrial tribunal. collective bargaining which is a two way affair. i. makes the demands. Thus.Since most of the trade unions are having political affiliations. There is a lack of definite procedure to determine which union is to be recognised to serve as a bargaining agent on behalf of the workers IV. as the passive partner. There has been very close association between the trade unions and political parties.. have approached the process of collective bargaining with the objective and spirit that collective bargaining must bring concrete benefit to both the parties.e. the faith in the collective bargaining process is discouraged. as equal partners. But in fact. III. As a result. and the management . In India. CONCLUSION & SUGGESTIONS A lot has been said about the development of collective bargaining in India. The following steps should be taken for the success of collective bargaining. the parties to the dispute may request the Government to refer the matter to adjudication and the Government will constitute the adjudication machinery. V. the law provides an easy access to adjudication. they continue to be dominated by politicians.
The union having more membership should be recognised as the effective bargaining agent. The take or leave philosophy is followed in America where there is contractual labour. 3. The management will not negotiate with such a union. Strong Trade Union: A strong and stable representative trade union is essential for effective collective bargaining. Enactment of Legislation: The State should enact suitable legislation providing for compulsory recognition of trade union by employers. As of now this is not the case in India. amicable and voluntary settlement of labour disputes. Compulsory Recognition of Trade Unions: There must be an acceptable and recognised bargaining agent. State has to play a progressive role in removing the pitfalls which stand in the way of mutual.1. That means that there must be recognised union or unions to negotiate the terms and conditions of the agreement with the management. Recognition of trade union has to be determined through verification of fee membership method. A strong. Moreover. So if the union and the management have to look for a long-term relationship they have to respect each other¶s rights. Mutual Accommodation: There has to be a greater emphasis on mutual accommodation rather than conflict or uncompromising attitude. . it may foster union militancy as the union reacts by engaging in pressure tactics. For having such a trade union. The new labour policy must reflect the new approach and new objectives. The approach must be of mutual give and take rather than take or leave. there is always a danger that non-union members may sabotage it. because mutual agreements are not likely to be honoured by a large section of the labour-force. A weak union not enjoying the support of majority of workers is not likely to be effective. stable and the most representative union should be recognised by the employers for the purpose because any agreement with that union will be acceptable to majority of workers and it will help in establishing sound industrial relations in the organisation. Conflicting attitude does not lead to amicable labour relations. workers should have freedom to unionize so that they can exercise their right of unionization and form a trade union for the purpose of electing their representatives for collective bargaining. 4. 2.
The union must accept the management as the primary planners and controllers of the company¶s operations. There should be mutual trust and confidence. 8. 7. Therefore the emphasis is to look for mutually acceptable solutions rather than creating problems for each other. it is important to have sound . In fact in any relationship trust is the most important factor. The political environment should support collective bargaining. The company management must not feel that the union is seeking to control every facet of the company¶s operations. As for machinery being efficient. Mutual Trust and Confidence: Trade unions and management must accept each other as responsible parties in the collective bargaining process. An agreement is merely a framework for every day working relationships. the main bargain is carried on daily and for this there is a need to have permanent machinery. 6. Political Climate: For effective collective bargaining in a country. the overall political environment should be congenial. Emphasis on Problem-solving Attitude: There should be an emphasis upon problem-solving approach with a de-emphasis upon excessive legalism. Lastly.5. Management must accept the union as the official representative. The union must not feel that management is working and seeking the opportunity to undermine and eliminate the labour organisation. Efficient Bargaining Mechanism: No ad-hoc arrangements are satisfactory for the reason that bargaining is a continuing process. it has three aspects: (a) Availability of full information (b) Selection of proper representatives (c) Recognition of natural temperament of each other. Litigation leads to loss of time and energy and it does not benefit anyone.
Such an approach would help and encourage the development of strong. stable and representative trade unions. The provision for political fund by trade unions has to be done away with-since it unvariably encourages the politicians to prey upon the union. growth of mechanism for the resolution of industrial conflict. etc. Therefore. The Government must be convinced that the method of arriving at the agreements through mutual voluntary negotiations is the best for regulating certain conditions of employment.political climate. positive attitude of the political parties is a must for the promotion of collective bargaining. . recognition of unions.
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