BIPARTITE BODIES - Industrial Relations Management

Bipartite and Tripartite Bodies

Bipartism is a system of industrial relations where social and labour issues are discussed between trade unions and management, usually at the enterprise level. The bipartite consultative machinery comprises two important constituents, viz., the works committees and the joint management councils. These are purely consultative and not negotiating bodies. This consultative joint machinery- with equal representation of the employers and the workers has been set up exclusively for dealing with disputes affecting the plant or industry.

Evolution of Such Bodies

The importance of bipartite consultative machinery was first recognized as early as in 1920, when a few joint committees were set up in the presses controlled by the Government of India. They were also introduced in Tata Iron and Steel Company at Jamshedpur. The importance of bipartite consultation was further highlighted by the First-Five-Year Plan which maintained: “There should be the closest collaboration, through the consultative committee at all levels, between employers and employees for the purpose of increasing production, improving quality, reducing cost and eliminating waste,” The second Plan also stressed the need for “joint consultation and progressively associating the workers and technicians, wherever possible, in management.

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