Prelude - Industrial Relations Management

Industrial relations in India have been shaped largely by principles and policies evolved through tripartite consultative machinery at industry and national levels. The aim of the consultative machinery is to bring the parties together for mutual settlement of differences in a spirit of cooperation an goodwill´Thus these bodies play the role of consultants!!The Planning Commission has summarized the role of tripartite bodies as

Labour policy in India has been evolving in response to the specific needs of the situation in relation to the industry and the working class and has to suit the requirements of planned economy

A body of principles and practices has grown up as a product of joint consultation in which representatives of government, the working class and the employers have been participating at various levels.

The legislative and other measures adopted by government in this field represent the consensus of opinion of the parties vitally concerned and thus acquire the strength and character of a national policy, operating on a voluntary basis.


Tripartite bodies have been set up by the government to provide a forum of discussion and consultation on various labour related issues.

Some of the notable bodies’are-

  • The Indian Labour Conference (ILC)
  • The Standing Labour Committee (SLC)
  • The Committee on Conventions
  • The Industrial committee

Other bodies of tripartite nature which deals in various aspects of labour problems -

  • Steering Committee on Wages
  • Central Implementation and Evaluation Machinery
  • Central Boards of Workers· Education
  • National Productivity Council

Tripartism promotes the idea of partnership between the labor and the management. The two main principles of tripartism are:

  • Management and workers should share a relationship of partnership rather than that of employer and employee. They should work in synergy towards the building up of the national economy.
  • It holds the whole community liable for protecting the interests of workers and ensures that workers are not deprived of their due share in gains of economic development.

As the name suggests, tripartism involves three parties that participate in reaching a consensus or peace pertaining to the matters of industrial dispute. The three participants are the trade union, employer and the government, which conduct meetings to review all aspects of a situation, advice one another and try reaching a consensus.

The government plays the most important part in this process; it initiates in bringing the management and representatives of workers on the same platform. The Annual Labor Conference is the chief instrument for tripartism. It initiated proposals like worker participation in management, worker education and minimum wages legislation.

Some important measures agreed to by the Indian Labour conference in past are:

  1. Setting up of bipartite works committees, joint consultative and production committees.
  2. Adoption by employers and unions of a voluntary code of discipline;
  3. Following proper grievance and disciplinary procedures;
  4. Deciding norms for fixing need based wages;
  5. Rationalizing and revising wage structures of important industries through non statutory wage boards; and
  6. Encouraging voluntary arbitration for the settlement of industrial disputes.

Industrial relations in India have been shaped largely by principles and policies evolved through tripartite consultative machinery at the industry and national levels.

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