In simple terms, Industrial Relations is the relationship between employers and employees, employers and employers and employees and employees. It is a wide concept covering issues like manpower management, dispute settlements, collective bargaining between the employer and employee, disciplinary procedure, grievance redressal machinery, employment policies & procedures etc. It also encompasses issues like, safeguarding the interest of workmen, harmonious relationship between workmen and management, avoiding industrial conflict or strife and promoting mutual understanding in the establishment, raising productivity etc.
The recent incidents of industrial violence in reputed multinationals around the country, resulting in grizzly stories of bloodshed, lynching, stabbing etc. show that industrial relations in India at present stands on a very delicate pedestal. The surge in industrial violence can be attributed to many reasons; employment of a large number of outsourced workers and their exploitation, inadequate wages (often less than minimum wages), increase in the average workload, loss of jobs in recessionary times etc. A major cause for industrial violence is the growing disparity in wages between various levels of employment and ineffective neutralization of costs through Dearness Allowance. Also, in today’s society, tolerance levels are plummeting fuelling incidents of violence both inside and outside the factory premises.
An elaborate grievance redressal mechanism in keeping with the principles laid down by Indian employment laws, effective man management, along with an iron hand, can control such industrial violence and revive the industrial relations situation in India. Deterrent factors such as immediate action by the management, employee disciplinary action and punishment for man handling will also help. The Government must also act more seriously in cases of violence.
Visit our ‘Important Topics – Industrial Violence & Industrial Relations in India section to read more about Industrial relations in India and industrial violence.