THIS ARTICLE IS WRITTEN BY KRATI GAUTAM A STUDENT OF NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ODISHA.
According to sec 2 of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 Industrial Dispute means any dispute or differences between employers and employers or between employers and workmen or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with the employment. There is a difference between the employer and employee’s representatives; usually trade unions over pay and other working conditions and mostly result in industrial action.
INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES ACT, 1947
Before the year 1947, the provisions of Industrial disputes were incorporated under provisions of Trade Dispute Act, 1929. But the Industrial Disputes Act was formed because Act of 1929 contained some defects which had to be overcome by a new fresh legislation. So, accordingly a committee was made and Industrial Disputes Act was incorporated. The Industrial disputes Act came into existence on April 1947, it was formed to settle industrial disputes and provide safeguard to workers working in different industries.
The Industrial Disputes Act 1947 extends to the whole of India and regulates Indian labour law so far as that concerns trade unions. The Industrial Dispute Act deals with 40 sections divided in 7 chapters. Chapter I contains title, definitions etc. Chapter II contains various authorities under act. Chapter III have main scheme of act. Chapter IV contains procedure power and duties of authorities under this act. Chapter V contains provisions relating to prohibition of strikes and lockout and provisions relating to lay-off and retrenchment of workers. Chapter VI contains penalties under the act. Chapter VII has some miscellaneous provisions.
OBJECTIVE AND APPLICABILITY OF ACT
The objective of the Industrial Disputes Act is to secure modern peace and congruity by giving machinery and methodology to the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes by negotiations. It also lays down provisions relating to payment of compensation to workmen on account of closure and retrenchment and unfair trade practices on part of employer, worker or tarde union.
The Industrial Disputes Act stretches out to whole of India and applies to every industrial establishment carrying on any business, exchange, assembling or distribution of goods and administrations regardless of the number of laborers utilized in that. Every worker employed for hire or reward including contact labor, apprentices and any part time worker for unskilled, clerical, skilled, technical or supervisory work are covered under this Act. Persons in managerial or administrative activity, persons engaged in supervisory capacity drawing 1600 p.m. and persons related to Army Act, Navy and Air force Act or those in capacity of being the police officer or under any duty of employee of prison are not covered under Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
Industrial Dispute Act is important for the smooth and effective functioning of the industrial business which in turns generates the revenue. If any dispute arises in such a transaction, the necessity of a regulatory body or an act becomes important.
TYPES OF INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE
These disputes are likewise called ‘economic disputes’. Such sorts of disputes emerge out of terms and states of livelihood either out of the cases made by the representatives or offers given by the businesses. Such requests or offers are by and large made with a perspective to arrive at an collective agreement.
GRIEVANCES RIGHT DISPUTES
Grievance or right disputes arise out of application or interpretation of existing agreements or contracts between the employees and the management. They relate either to individual worker or a group of workers in the same group.
FORMS OF INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE
Section 2(q) of said Act defines the term strike, it says, “strike” means a cassation of work by a body of persons employed in any industry acting in combination, or a concerted refusal, or a refusal, under a common understanding of any number of persons who are or have been so employed to continue to work or accept employment. There are five types of strikes:
- Economic strike
- Sympathetic strike
- General Strike
- Sit down Strike
- Slowdown strike
Employees have to follow the procedure provided by act before going on strike otherwise the strike will be deemed illegal. There are certain prohibitions on right of strike laid down in the Act in section 22(1). It provides that no person employed in public utility service shall go on strike in breach of contract:
- Without giving to employer notice of strike within six weeks before striking
- Within fourteen days of giving such notice; or
- Before the expiry of the date of strike specified in any such notice as aforesaid; or
- During the pendency of any conciliation proceedings before a conciliation officer and seven days after the conclusion of such proceedings.
Notification to strike inside of six weeks before striking is not essential where there is as of now lockout in presence. In mineral Miner Union versus Kudremukh Iron Ore Co. Ltd., it was held that the procurement of segment 22 are required and the date on which the laborers proposed to go on strike ought to be indicated in the notification. On the off chance that in the interim the date of strike determined in the notification of strike lapses, laborers need to give new notice. It might be noticed that if a lock out is as of now in presence and workers need to turn to strike, it is not important to give notice as is generally required.
The provisions of section 23 are general in nature. It imposes general restrictions on declaring strike in breach of contract in the both public as well as non- public utility services in the following circumstances mainly: –
- During the pendency of conciliation proceedings before a board and till the expiry of 7 days after the conclusion of such proceedings;
- During the pendency and 2 month’s after the conclusion of proceedings before a Labour court, Tribunal or National Tribunal;
- During the pendency and 2 months after the conclusion of arbitrator, when a notification has been issued under sub- section 3 (a) of section 10 A;
- During any period in which a settlement or award is in operation in respect of any of the matter covered by the settlement or award.
According to Industrial Disputes Act 1947,Lockout [Sec. 2(1)]: Lockout means “the temporary closing of a place of employment, or the suspension of work, or the refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of persons employed by him“
The Act treats strikes and lock out on the same premise; it regards one as the partner of the other. The circumstances under which the law has banned strike, it has likewise at the same time banned the lock-out. Hence what holds good bad; lawful-unlawful for strikes, holds the same for the lock-out. Thusly, the procurements of the Act which prohibits the strike likewise prohibit the lock-out.
In the similar circumstances the lockout has been prohibited in the public utility service. Section 22 (2) of the Act provides that no employer carrying on any public utility service shall lock out any of his workmen:
- Without giving them notice of lockout as hereinafter provided, within six weeks before locking out; or
- Within 14 days of giving notice; or
- Before the expiry of the day of lockout specified in any such notice as aforesaid; or
- During the pendency of any conciliation proceedings before a Conciliation Officer and seven days after the conclusion of such proceedings.
Gherao is the action made by workers under which they confine the business to leave the work premises or living arrangement. The individual concerned is secured in a ring made of people i.e. workers. Gheraos are additionally being embraced by instructive and others organizations.
Gheraos have been criticized lawfully and ethically. Legally Gheraos sum to forcing wrongful restraints on the flexibility of a few persons to move. That is the reason; courts have held it as an illegal activity. Gheraos have a tendency to dispense physical duress on the persons influenced. They likewise make lawfulness issue. Ethically, to gherao a man to force him to consent to specific requests is unjustified on the grounds that it adds up to getting assent under duress and pressure.
Pickets are workers who are on strike that stand at the entrance to their workplace. When workers are dissuaded from reporting for work by stationing certain men at the factory gates, such a step is known as picketing. If picketing does not involve any violence it is perfectly legal. It is done to bring into the notice of public that there is dispute between workers and management.
The purpose of picketing is:
- to stop or persuade workers not to go to work
- to tell the public about the strike
- to persuade workers to take their union’s side
Workers prevent their colleagues from entering the place of work and persuade them to join the strike. For this, some of the union workers are posted at the factory gate to persuade others not to enter the premises but to join the strike.
India in present context cannot give unjustified rights to workers to strike and lockout. The existing legislation and Judicial pronouncements lack breadth of vision. Indeed, the statutory definitions of “strike” and “lock-out” have been rendered worse by a system of interpretation. In Industrial Disputes Act, the definition of strike is not qualified by term ‘total’ and ‘partial’ likewise it is done in Industrial Relations bill.