The Industrial Relations (IR) refers to all types of relationships between all the parties concerned with industry, i.e. employees, employer, trade union, management and State Government who regulate these relations. Thus, IR is concerned with the relationship between management and workers and the role of regulatory mechanism in resolving any industrial despite. Parties to IR are workers, employers, unions and government.
Scope of Industrial Relations:
- It deals with collective bargaining of the workers.
- It explains the role of government, unions and management.
- It gives machinery for resolving industrial disputes.
- It helps in handling individual grievances.
- It provides labour legislative policies.
- It assists in industrial relations training.
Approaches to Industrial Relations:
Unitary approach believes in mutual cooperation, teamwork and shared goals. Workplace conflict is a result of poor management. The underlying assumption is that everyone benefits from the promotion of common interest and harmony at work. It considers conflict as unnecessary and destructive. Advocates of this approach oppose the role of union and government and advise direct negotiations between employee and employer.
Pluralistic approach perceives organisations as coalitions of competing interests, where the union has a role to meditate between employee and management. It considers conflict as conducive for innovation and growth. It believes that the employee’s interest is protected by union and state intervention through legislation. It considers conflict as inevitable which can be resolved by collective bargaining and arbitration only.
Marxist approach believes that conflict arises not because of a mental gap between management and workers but because of the division in the society between the owner of resources and those who have only labour to offer. Marxist view as conflict a product of capitalistic society. Thus, industrial conflict is a synonym for class conflict, social and political unrest. For Marxist, all strikes are political. Marxist regard State Legislation and the creation of industrial tribunals as supporting management’s interest rather than balancing employees and capitalists.
Significance of Industrial Relations:
- Voice for grievances of employees which leads to better working conditions.
- Open communication between management and workers facilitates shared decision making.
- Fair wages and social benefits to workers raises the confidence of employees towards the management.
- Industrial pace, cordinal IR brings peace between management and labour unions.
- Facilitates positive change as there is a climate of cooperation and confidence.
Parties of Industrial Relations:
- Workers and their Organisations: They are known as trade unions which are political organisations.
- Employers and their Organisations: When the employer’s demand and very high from their employees then it results in unrest.
- Government: The government exerts influence on industrial relations by regulating bonus, wages and compensation regulations, intervening in working relationship, giving employment.