Measures to Improve Industrial Relations
The following measures should be taken to achieve good industrial relations:
1. Progressive Management Outlook. There should be progressive outlook of the management of each industrial enterprise. It should be conscious of its obligations and responsibilities to the owners of the business, the employees, the consumers and the nation. The management must recognize the rights of workers to organize unions to protect their economic and social interests.
2. Strong and Stable Union. A strong and stable union in each industrial enterprise is essential for good industrial relations. The employers can easily ignore a weak union on the plea that it hardly represents the workers. The agreement with such a union will hardly be honored by a large section of workforce. Therefore, there must be a strong and stable union in every enterprise to represent the majority of workers and negotiate with the management about the terms and conditions of service. The workers should realize that they have to be united and represent themselves strongly.
3. Atmosphere of Mutual Trust. Both management and labor should help in the development of an atmosphere of mutual cooperation, confidence, and respect. Management should adopt a progressive outlook and should recognize the rights of workers. Similarly, labor unions should persuade their members to work for the common objectives of the organization. Both the management and the unions should have faith in collective bargaining and other peaceful methods of settling disputes.
4. Mutual Accommodation. The employers must recognize the right of collective bargaining of the trade unions. In any organization, there must be a great emphasis on mutual accommodation rather than conflict or uncompromising attitude. One must clearly understand that conflicting attitude does not lead to amicable labor relations; it may foster union militancy as the union reacts by engaging in pressure tactics. The approach must be of mutual “give and take rather than “Take or leave.” The management should be willing to cooperate rather than blackmail the workers.
5. Sincere Implementation of Agreements. The management should sincerely implement the settlements reached with the trade unions. The agreements between the management and the unions should be enforced both in letter and spirit. If the agreements are not implemented then both the union and management stop trusting each other. An environment of uncertainty is created. To avoid this, efforts should be made at both ends to ensure the follow up of the agreements.
6. Workers’ Participation in Management. The participation of workers in the management of the industrial unit should be encouraged by making effective use of works committees, joint consultation and other methods. This will improve communication between managers and workers, increase productivity and lead to greater effectiveness.
7. Sound Personnel Policies. The following points should be noted regarding the personnel policies. The policies should be: (i) Formulated in consultation with the workers and their representatives if they are to be implemented effectively. (ii) Clearly stated so that there is no confusion in the mind of anybody. (iii) Implementation of the policies should be uniform throughout the organization to ensure fair treatment to each worker. (iv) Last but not the least, is the role of the government.
8. Government’s Role. The Government should play an active role for promoting industrial
peace. It should make law for the compulsory recognition of a representative union in each industrial unit. It should intervene to settle disputes if the management and the workers are unable to settle their disputes. This will restore industrial harmony.