Conciliation in industry


The main objective of a conciliation and arbitration is to reunite the two conflicting groups in industry in order to avoid interruption of production, distrust etc.

Conciliation is a process by which representatives of both workers and employers are brought together before a third party with a view to persuading them arrive at some sort of settlement. Conciliation is an extension of collective bargaining with third party assistance. It is the practice by which the services of a neutral third party are used in a dispute as a means of helping the disputing parties to reduce the extent of their differences and to arrive at an amicable settlement or agreed solution. It is a process of rational and orderly discussions of differences between the parties to a dispute under the guidance of a conciliator.

Conciliation machinery consists of a conciliation officer and board of conciliations. The conciliator induces the parties to a course of action. He plays the roles of an innovator, protector, discussion leader, stimulator, advisor, face saver. He acts as a safety value and a communication link. The task of conciliation is to offer advice and make suggestions to the parties to the dispute on controversial issues.

Qualities of a Conciliator

The essential qualities of a conciliator include:

1. Independence and impartiality are the two attributes which every conciliator should posses. It is essential that he should not only possess these qualities but be also seen to possess them. He must be above suspicion; and both parties must have confidence in his integrity and neutrality. He should be independent enough not to be swayed or influenced by others. He should be able to resist undue pressures or persuasion from powerful employers or unions.

2. A conciliator should never allow conciliation proceedings before him to constitute a mere formality or a step on road to arbitration. He must be able to offer to the party inducements that will persuade them to prefer a settlement with his assistance and to make serious efforts to reach agreements.

3. Since a conciliator has to deal with different persons and has to preside over their joint meetings in conciliation proceedings, he not only needs tact and ability to guide and control their joint discussions, but must also give an impression of expression, responsibility, clear-headedness and mature judgment. He must be to show others that he possesses enough common sense and practical –mindedness.

4. A conciliator should have a friendly personality, a sense of humor, especially for releasing tensions of joint discussions. A special alacrity of mind will enable him to grasp quickly and analyze rapidly the main elements of controversy.

5. A conciliator should be fully familiar with the law and regulations concerning industrial relations and the settlement of industrial disputes. He should be familiar with the industrial relations system, e.g. the development and structure of trade union and employers’ associations; the prevailing methods of collective bargaining; negotiating procedures and practices; the operation of agreed negotiating bodies set up by the parties; the main causes ad patterns of disputes; knowledge of personnel management, functioning of trade union within undertaking, grievance and disciplinary procedures and joint consultancy machinery.