Industrial Relations and Technological Change

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Industrial Relations Concept of Technological Change Rationalization and Automation Implementation and Progress of Rationalization and Automation in India Automation at LIC (1963) Impact of Technological Change Appropriate technology

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Industrial Relations

The relation between an employee and an employer in the course of running of an industry and may project itself to spheres which may transgress to the areas of quality control, marketing, price fixation and disposition of profits among others. Industrial Relations or Labour relations, is an expression used not only for relationships between employers and Trade Unions, but also for those involving Government with the aim of defining policies, facing labour problems.

Concept of Technological Change
 Technology

is an instrument of development.  Affects various aspects of economic and social life.
 Types

of Technological Changesshift in product demand change in machinery Automation

Scientific Change in Management location Or time and of plants Motion studies

Rationalisation & Automation

Rationalisation implies a basic change in the structure and control of industrial activities. Its techniques can be applied to methods, material and men. In Automation, technology itself controls the operations. The machine provides data from its operations and feeds it back to its own controls which governs the production process.

Implementation of Rationalisation and Automation in India
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Influenced by American Model To Increase productive efficiency Vast surplus of Labour after II World War Safeguards by Labour Ministry and Planning Commission-Fixing the work load -Stopping fresh Recruitment -Offering higher wages -Voluntary Retirement -Sharing of gains Second Five year plan- Rationalization was to be attempted only when it did not lead to unemployment.

Progress of Rationalisation and Automation in India

industries- Cotton-textile, Jute and Coal  Cotton-textile- Workers accepted it.
- Introduced in the form of efficiency measures. -Additional strain & Inadequate increase in earnings.

 Jute- International Competition - Progress slow, Dependence on foreign country for Raw Material  Coal- Rationalization in larger mines, old methods in small mines

Automation at LIC (1963)

Central trade union organization opposed it. Loss of employment and addition to cost. Management arguedaccelerated industrialization, increased productivity, raised standard of living.

In order to bring reconciliation- meeting of Standing Labour Committee to consider the impact of automation and remedial measures. There was underutilization of computers because they were introduced without adequate preparation, planning and thought.

 The

question of installation of computers in these established industries were to be governed by two criteria, namely: 1)The effect on employment in relation to the whole economy 2)The effect on employment in the relevant departments of these establishments.

Impact of Technological Change
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Impact on employment Redundancy Occupational Adjustment Allocation of gains Transfer & Retraining Problems Resistance to change- Strikes, Absenteeism, resignations etc. Job Satisfaction Worker & Union Reations Changes in job content thereby creating new jobs to replace old ones Fitting new jobs into the existing incentive scheme

Labour saving Improves level of earnings Higher productivity Reduction in cost and increase in benefits Product standardization

Appropriate Technology: Its relevance to the Indian Context

The kind of technology which would be found appropriate to the conditions found in the country where it was being introduced. Less developed countries do not possess requisite labour skills to replace the machine skills, technical know how and infrastructure. Example- The solar pump developed by a French firm which is being used in Mexico.

 Thus,

one must not only examine very carefully the cost benefit analysis from the economic point of view but also take into account the repercussions on industrial relations.

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