Collective Bargaining In India Introduction - Industrial Relations Management

Collective Bargaining in Indian Context

Collective Bargaining machinery essentially is a reflection of a particular social and political climate. The history of the trade union movement shows that union is affiliated to one or the other political parties. As a result most of the trade unions are controlled by outsiders. Critic says that the presence of outsiders, is one of the important reasons for the failure of collective bargaining in India.

Outsiders in the Process of Collective bargaining:-

The Trade Unions Act, 1926, permits outsiders to be the office bearers of a union to the extent of half the total number of office bearers. So, it permits one to be the leader of the union who does not actually work in the industry. Sometimes a dismissed employee working as a union leader may create difficulties in the relationship between the union and the employer. Nevertheless, experience shows that outsiders who have little knowledge of the background of labour problems, history of labour movement, fundamentals of trade unionism and the technique of the industry and with even little general education assume the charge of labour union and become the self-appointed custodian of the welfare of workers. The employers, therefore, have been reluctant to discuss and negotiate industrial matters with outsiders, who have no personal or direct knowledge of day to day affairs of the industry.

Accordingly employees refuse recognition to the unions which are either controlled by the politicians or affiliated to a particular political party or controlled by a particular individual. Government cannot morally compel employers to accord recognition to unions without driving out the politicians from them. The State must outright ban "outsiders" from the trade union body. Further, provision for political funds by trade unions should be eliminated, since it invariably encourages the politicians to prey upon them. The National Commission on Labour has overlooked this aspect. The Commission does not favor a legal ban on non-employees for holding the union office. It says that without creating conditions for building up the internal leadership, a complete banning of outsiders would only make unions weaker. The Commission hopes that internal leadership would develop through their education and training. Accordingly the Commission suggests proportion of the outsiders and the workers in a union executive. On realizing the problems of outsiders in the Union, the Industrial Relations Bill, 1988 proposes to reduce the number of outsiders to two only.


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