Forms of WPM


The forms of Workers’ participation in management vary from industry to industry and from country to country. The important forms are: Labor-Management Consultation and Co-operation, Joint consultation and Model of Participation (U.K.), Union-Management Co-operation (USA), Codetermination Scheme (West Germany), Joint Management Plan, Joint Decision-Making Model, Workers’ control Model, Self-Management or Auto Management Scheme.

In this article we are deliberating upon the first two forms as they are more commonly practiced.

Forms of Workers’ participation in management are:

1. Works Committee;
2. Joint Management Councils;
3. Joint Councils;
4. Shop Councils;
5. Unit Councils.

Work committees:

These works committees / joint committees are consultative bodies. Their functions include discussion of condition of work like lighting, ventilation, temperature, sanitation etc., and amenities like water supply for drinking purposes, provision of canteens, medical services, safe working conditions, administration of welfare funds, education and recreational activities, and encouragement of thrift and savings. It shall be the duty of the works committee to promote measures for securing and preserving amity and good relation between the employers and workmen and to comment upon matters of their common interest or concern and endeavor to reconcile any material difference of opinion in respect of such matters.

These committees functioned actively in some organizations like Tata Iron and Steel Company, Indian Aluminium Works at Belur, and Hindustan Lever. In all these, the management has evolved joint committees independently of the statutory requirements.

Joint Management Councils (JMCs)

A sub-committee consisting of representatives of employers, workers and government should be set up for considering the details of workers’ participation in management schemes. This committee should select the undertaking where workers’ participation in management schemes would be introduced in the first stage on an experimental basis.

Objectives: The objectives of Joint Management Councils are as follows:

1. to increase the association of employers and employee thereby promoting cordial industrial relations;

2. To improve the operational efficiency of the workers;

3. To provide welfare facilities to them;
4. To educate workers so that they are well equipped to participate in these schemes; and

5. To satisfy the psychological needs of workers.

A tripartite sub-committee was set up as per the recommendation of Indian Labor Conference which laid down certain criteria for selection of enterprises where the JMCs could be introduced. They are:

1. The unit must have 500 or more employees;

2. It should have a fair record of industrial relations;

3. It should have a well organized trade union;

4. The management and the workers should agree to establish JMC

5. Employers (in case of private sector) should be members of the leading employers’ organization; and

6. Trade unions should be affiliated to one of the Central federations,

It was observed by the sub-committee that if the workers and employers mutually agree they can set up JMC even if these conditions are not met.

The sub-committee also made recommendation regarding their composition, procedure for nominating workers’ representatives, the membership of JMC etc. The details of these aspects have to be worked out by the parties themselves. A draft model was drawn up regarding the establishment of JMC. The sub-committee was later reconstituted as the “Committee on Labor-Management Co-operation� to advice on all matters pertaining to the Scheme.