Conditions for congenial industrial relations


The establishment of good industrial relations depends upon on the constructive attitude on the part of both management and the union. The constructive attitude in its turn depends on all the basic policies and procedures laid down in an organization for the promotion of healthy industrial relations. It depends on the ability of the employers and trade union to deal with their mutual problems freely, independently with responsibility. They should have their faith in collective bargaining rather than in collective action.

For better industrial relations it is also necessary that fair labor standards are laid down, there is a feeling of equality with which the management should enter into collective bargaining with the labor and there should be realization on the part of management to promote workers’ welfare. The existence of strong, independent, responsible, democratic trade unions, the promotion of collective bargaining, fair and independent machinery for the peaceful settlement of industrial disputes is a pre requisite.

The existence of good human relations, lack of any kind of discrimination is certainly the essential for healthy industrial relations situations.

It is very difficult to promote and maintain sound industrial relations. Certain conditions should exist for the maintenance of harmonious industrial relations. They are:

Existence of Strong, well organized and Democratic Employees’ Unions:

Industrial relations will be sound only when the bargaining power of the employees’ unions is equal to that of management. A strong trade union can protect the employees’ interest relating to wages, benefits, job security etc.

Existence of Sound and Organized Employers’ Unions:

These associations are helpful for the promotion and maintenance of uniform personnel policies among various organizations and to protect the interest of weak employers. These types of associations are not common for India because there is considerable variance in the policies of managements in organizations.

Spirit of Collective Bargaining and Willingness to Resort to Voluntary Organization:

The relationship between employee and employer will be congenial only when the differences between them are settled through mutual negotiation and consultation rather than through intervention of the third party. Collective bargaining is a process through which employee issues are settled through mutual discussions and negotiations through give and take approach. If the issues are not settled through collective bargaining they should be referred to voluntary arbitration but not to adjudication in order to maintain congenial relations.

Maintenance of Industrial Peace:

Permanent industrial peace in an organization is most essential which can be ensured through the following measures:

1. Machinery for prevention and settlement of industrial disputes. It included legislative and non-legislative measures. Preventive measures include works committees, standing orders, welfare officers, shop councils, joint councils and joint management councils. Settlement methods include voluntary arbitration, conciliation and adjudication.

2. Government should be provided with the authority of settling the industrial disputes when they are settled between the two parties and also by voluntary arbitration.

3. Provision for the bipartite and tripartite committees in order to evolve personnel policies, code of conduct, code of discipline etc.

4. Provision for the various committees to implement and evaluate the collective bargaining agreements, court orders and judgments, awards of the voluntary arbitration. etc.

Factors Contributing for Harmonious Industrial Relations

(a) There is a full acceptance by management of the collective bargaining process and of unionism as an institution. The company considers a strong union as an asset to the management.

(b) The union fully accepts private ownership and operations of the industry; it recognizes that the welfare of its members depends upon the successful operation of the business.

(c) The union is strong, responsible and democratic.

(d) The company stays out of the internal affairs of the union; it does not seek to alienate the worker’s allegiance to their union.

(e) Mutual trust and confidence exists between the parties. There have been no serious ideological incompatibilities.

(f) Neither party to bargaining adopts legalistic approach to the solution of problems of relationship

(g) Negotiations are problem-centered. More time is spent on the day-to-day problems than on defining abstract principles.

(h) There are widespread union-management consultations and highly developed information sharing.
(i) Grievances are settled promptly in the local plant, wherever possible. There is flexibility and informality within the producer.

(j) The environment factors do not by themselves cause peace but they create conditions to develop it. The attitudes and the policies of the parties, the personality of their leaders and their techniques, bring about good relations.

We have highlighted some ideal conditions above but in India the relations sour because of political interference. But this is improving to a large extent and man hours lost due to strikes are getting reduced.

  • bhushan dahanukar

    Very Useful guidelines for HR professioanls.