History Of Industrial Relations

 Introduction
 Pre
 Post
Industrial relations is a set of functional
interdependence involving historical,
economical, social, psychological,
psychological, demographic, technological,
occupational, political and legal variables.
But majorly industrial relations revolves
around these three significant factors which
can pose problems to industrial relations viz
trade unions, labor legislations and industrial
 Employer was in commanding position
 Wages were very poor
 Till the end of first world war trade unions
movement had not emerged
 Hardly any laws to protect the rights of
workers except Employers and Workmen
Dispute Act 1860 which was used to settle
wage disputes.
After first world war:
Workers started resorting to violence and
employers resorted to lockouts.
Numerous strikes and disturbances during
1928 and 1929
As a result Government enacted Trade Disputes
Act 1929 to enhance early settlement of
industrial dispute based on BRITISH INDUSTRIAL
But it did not provide for any standing machinery
to settle industrial disputes and also state and
central government made no adequate use of this
1938 – To meet acute industrial unrest prevailing then,
For the first time
was established for settling disputes.
This was replaced by BIR ACT 1946, which was amended in 1948, 1949,
1953 and 1956 and so on. Soon after the second world war, India faced
many problems like rise in cost of living, high population, scarcity of
essential commodities, unemployment and turbulent Industrial relations
After independence significant step was
enactment of
A permanent machinery to settle Industrial
disputes but also to make these awards
binding and legally enforceable.
Besides this
was held in India where an
appeal was made to labor and management
India in form of
to maintain industrial peace and harmony.
Setting up of Indian Labour Conference, a
tripartite body.
Objective:- Co-operation between employers,
trade Unions and Government.
First meeting was held in August 1942.
It met once a year to discuss problems relating to
labour-management relations.
Various points are discussed and were
formulated into legislations.
However since the early 1970 the ILC met only
sporadically depending upon the concerns and
issues of Labour Ministry.
Main characteristic feature of IR during this
period was change in Government’s attitude
towards labor and their problems.
Many labour laws were enacted to protect the
interest of industrial workers during 1947 to
These labour laws cover many issues
concerning labour, such as seniority, wage
rates, paid holidays, disciplinary matters,
social security.
Shift from
 As a result Code of Discipline was introduced
1958. But it turned out to be more of moral
guideline than as a Legal enactment.
 Tried to structure Plant Level IR machinery
in form of : Work Committees, JMC(Joint
Management Councils, Recognition of TU,
Grievance procedure for workers, workers
participation Schemes etc.
EVENTS: Political and National events that
affected the course of Industrial Relations.
1962: Chinese Aggression
1964: Nehru Passing away, Congress structure
started eroding.
1962-1971: Three wars that India fought one
with China and two with Pakistan.
1966: Appointment of National Commission of
Labour (NCL) by government to look into
matters and make recommendations . It
submitted its report in 1969
Significant recommendations of NCL were
processed by ILC and Standing Labour
Committee in 1970 and 1971 and major
policy decisions were taken for
Statutory recognition of representative Union
as sole bargaining agent.
ILC did not meet from 1972to 1976. When
emergency was declared in June 1975, the
NATIONAL APEX BODY was set up in place of
tripartite ILC in consonance with Government
20 point Programme.
The NAB’s and SAB’s were bipartite in
23 members( 12 W, 11 E) –NAB
Met six times during 1976 for reviewing IR
and Govt acted as an Arbitrator.
NAB and SAB’s were abolished
Did not survive for long and was replaced by
ILC and it got revived again in May 1977
There was a period of emergency declared
due to which there was tightening of
discipline in Industry.
And after emergency and change in political
leadership, there followed a period of
reconciliation and trade Union activity.
Many committees were set up eg: Tripartite
committees , worker’s participation and draft
on IR bill to streamline persistent IR
1970’s and 1980’s – IR characterized by
June 29 1981: President of HMS workers
union were beaten and murdered.
July 24 1981: Managing Director of Bombay
Tyres Company was assaulted.
Due to these events they were loosing confidence
and getting impatient due to weaker prevailing
Collective bargaining situations.
 Other reasons:
Govt inability to maintain price levels.
Inability to provide effective settlement machinery.
Plethora of controls on production and its licensing
procedures , high rate of taxation , restriction on
imports that affected the profits
To meet industrial strife on 26th July 1981:
Government issued ordinance to ban strikes.
A new law called ESMA(Essential Services
Maintenance Act) was promulgated.
This law incensed TU and result was BHARAT
BANDH on 19th Jan 1982. Workers in
industrial establishments, banks, life
insurance and general insurance companies
abstained from work on that day.
ESMA act empowers the Government to ban
strikes, lay offs and lock outs in what it is
deemed to be essential services. It empowers
the government to punish any person who
participates or instigates a strike which is
deemed illegal under ESMA.
There was huge production loss due to these
strikes and lockouts in 1980 was 12.53
crores in 1980, 125.63 crores, 108.16 crores
in 1979, 1978 respectively.

similar documents