There has been much concern today about decent wages, convenient working hours, conducive working conditions etc. Their term “Quality of work life” has appeared in research journals and the press in USA only in 1970s. There is no generally acceptable definition about this term. However, some attempts were made to describe the term quality of work life (QWL). It refers to the favourableness or unfavourableness of a job environment for people. QWL means different things to different people. J. Richard and J. Loy define QWL as “the degree to which members of a work organization are able to satisfy important personnel needs through their experience in the organization.”
Quality of work life improvements are defined as any activity which takes place at every level of an organization, which seeks greater organizational effectiveness through the enhancement of human dignity and growth … a process through which the stockholders in the organization management, unions and employees — learn how to work together better to determine for themselves what actions, changes and improvements are desirable and workable in order to achieve the twin and simultaneous goals of an improved quality of life at work for all members of the organization and greater effectiveness for both the company and the unions.
Richard E. Walton explains quality of work life in terms of eight broad conditions of employment that constitute desirable quality of work life. He proposed the same criteria for measuring QWL. Those criteria include:
(i) Adequate and Fair Compensation: There are different opinions about adequate compensation. The committee on Fair Wages defined fair wage as” . . . the wage which is above the minimum wage, but below the living wage.”
(ii) Safe and Healthy Working Conditions: Most of the organizations provide safe and healthy working conditions due to humanitarian requirements and/or legal requirements. In fact , these conditions are a matter or enlightened self interest.
(iii) Opportunity to Use and Develop Human Capacities: Contrary to the traditional assumptions, QWL is improved… “to the extent that the worker can exercise more control over his or her work, and the degree to which the job embraces and entire meaningful task” … but not a part of it. Further, QWL provides for opportunities like autonomy in work and participation in planning in order to use human capabilities.
(iv) Opportunity for Career Growth: Opportunities for promotions are limited in case of all categories of employees either due to educational barriers or due to limited openings at the higher level. QWL provides future opportunity for continued growth and security by expanding one’s capabilities, knowledge and qualifications.
(v) Social Integration in the Work Force: Social integration in the work force can be established by creating freedom from prejudice, supporting primary work groups, a sense of community and inter-personnel openness, legalitarianism and upward mobility.
(vi) Constitutionalism in the Work Organization: QWL provides constitutional protection to the employees only to the level of desirability as it hampers workers. It happens because the management’s action is challenged in every action and bureaucratic procedures need to be followed lat that level. Constitutional protection is provided to employees on such matters as privacy, free speech, equity and due process.
(vii) Work and Quality of Life: QWL provides for the balanced relationship among work, non-work and family aspects of life. In other words family life and social life should not be strained by working hours including overtime work, work during inconvenient hours, business travel, transfers, vacations etc.
(viii) Social Relevance of Work: QWL is concerned about the establishment of social relevance to work in a socially beneficial manner. The workers’ self esteem would be high if his work is useful to the society and the vice versa is also true.
Quality Circles: Quality circles which have been popularized by Japanese firms are being used all over the world because of the benefits that accrue to the firm. A quality circle involves participation from a small group of employees doing the same type of work. They meet regularly to identify, analyze and solve the problems that arise during the course of their work and their association with the organization.
The basic objectives of quality circles are to develop and utilize human resources effectively, to develop quality products, improve the quality of work life and sharpen and utilize an individual’s creative abilities. There are different steps involved in the development of quality circles from getting started to problem-solving. Communicating the importance of quality circles to the employees is of prime importance.
The next step is the composition of a quality circle. Then the stage of initial problem solving through which employee suggestions are presented, follows. The suggestions are then evaluated and the best one, chosen by consensus, is implemented. Various techniques like brainstorming sessions, fish bone diagram and sampling and charting methods, are used in quality circles.
Problems arise in the implementation of quality circles because of lack of understanding regarding the concepts, low education levels and training, delays in execution and operational problems. Most of these problems can be resolved through effective training of employees and management support.
Industrial Relations: The concept of industrial relations means the relationship between employees and the management in the day-to-day working of the industry. But the concept has a wide meaning. When taken in the wider sense, industrial relations is a “set of functional interdependence involving historical, economic, social, psychological, demographic, technological, occupational, political and legal variables.” According to Dale Yoder, industrial relations is a “whole field of relationship that exists because of the necessary collaboration of men and women in the employment process of an industry.”
According to the international Labour Organisaton (ILO), “Industrial Relations deal with either the relationship between the state and employers’ and workers’ organizations or the relation between the occupational organizations themselves.” The concept of industrial relations has been extended to denote the relations of the joint consultations between employers and people at their organizations. The subject there fore includes individual relations of the joint consultations between employers and people at their work place, collective relations between em0ployers and their organizations and trade unions and the part played by the State in regulating these relations.
Characteristics of Industrial Relations: Characteristics of industrial rations include:
i. Industrial relations are the outcome of employment relationship in an industrial enterprise.
ii. Industrial relations develop the skills and methods of adjusting to and co-operating with each other.
iii. Industrial relations system creates complex rules and regulations to maintain harmonious relations.
iv. The Government involves to shape the industrial relations through laws, rules, agreements, awards etc.
v. The important factors of industrial relations are: employees and their organizations, employer and their associations and the Government.
Factors of Industrial Relations: Industrial relations are influenced by various factors, viz., institutional factors, economic factors and technological factors.
1. Institutional factors: These factors include government policy, labour legislations, voluntary courts, collective agreement, employee courts, employers’ federations, social institutions like community, caste, joint family, creed, system of beliefs, attitudes of works, system of power status etc.
2. Economic factors: These factors include economic organization, like capitalist, communist mixed etc,. The structure of labour force, demand for and supply of labour force etc.
3. Technological factors: These factors include mechanization, automation, rationalization, computation etc.,
4. Social and cultural factors: These factors include population, customs and traditions of people, ethnic groups, cultures of various groups of people etc.
5. Political factors: These factors include political system in the country, political parties and their ideologies, their growth, mode of achievement of their policies, involvement in trade unions etc.
6. Government factors: These factors include governmental policies like industrial policy, economic policy, labour policy, export policy etc.
Objectives of Industrial Relations: The primary objective of industrial relations is to maintain congenial relations between employees and the employer. And the other objectives are:
i. To promote and develop congenial labour management relations;
ii. To enhance the economic status of the worker by improving wages, benefits and by helping the worker in evolving sound budget;
iii. To regulate the production by minimizing industrial conflicts through state control;
iv. To socialize industries by making the government as an employer;
v. To provide and opportunity to the workers to have a say in the management and decision-making;
vi. To improve worker’s strength with a view to solve their problems through mutual negotiations and consultation with the management;
vii. To encourage and develop trade unions in order to improve the workers’ strength;
viii. To avoid industrial conflict and their consequences and
ix. To extend and maintain industrial democracy.
According to the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, Section 2 (k), “Industrial dispute means any dispute of difference between employers and employers, or between employers and workmen or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with the employment or non-employment or terms of employment or non-employment or with the conditions of labour of any person.”
It not easy to identify a single factor as a cause of industrial conflicts as multifarious causes blended together result in industrial disputes. Deep seated and more basic causes of disputes can be identified through in-depth probe, though surface manifestations appear to be responsible for conflicts. The relative importance of these causes, when more than one present, is often very difficult to gauge.
According to Mukherjee, “the development of capitalistic enterprise, which means the control of the tools of production by the small entrepreneur class has brought to the fore the acute problem of friction between management and labour throughout the world.”
Causes of industrial conflicts may be grouped into four categories, viz.:
1) Industrial factors;
2) Management’s attitude towards workers;
3) Government machinery and
4) Other causes.
TYPES OF INDUSTRIAL CONFLICTS: Industrial conflicts are basically two types, viz. Strikes and Lock-outs. Fig.28.1 shows the manifestation of industrial conflicts.
Strikes: Strikes are the result of more fundamental maladjustments, injustices and economic disturbances. According to Peterson, “strike is a temporary cessation of work by a group of employees in order to express grievances or to enforce a demand concerning changes in work conditions.Under Section 2(q) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, strike is “a cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any industry, acting in combination or a concerted refusal under a common understanding, of a number of persons who are or have bee so employed to continue to work or to accept employment.”
However, prohibiting an individual employee, termination of employment of retrenchment, termination of service of more than one person are not lock-outs.
Strikes are divided into primary strikes and secondary strikes. Primary strikes are generally against the employer with whom the dispute exist. They take the form of stay away strike, sit-in, sit-down, pen-down, tools-down, or mouth-shut strikes, go slow, work-to-rule, token or protest strike, lightening or wildcat strike, picketing or boycott.
Primary Strikes: Stay away strike: In this strike, workmen stay away from the work place. They organize rallies, demonstrations etc.
Stay-in strike or sit-down shut strike: In this strike, workmen come to the place, they stay at the work place but they don’t work.
Tools-down, pen-down or mouth-shut strike: In this strike, the strikers lay down their tools in case of factory workers, lay down their pens in case of office workers and shut their mouth in case of teachers.
Token or protest strike: It is a very short duration and in the nature of signal for the danger ahead. In this strike, the workers do not work for an hour or a day.
Lightening or wildcat strike: In this strike, the strikers strike the work without any prior notice or with a shortest notice.
Go slow: In this strike, the workers intentionally reduce the speed of work.
Work to rule/work to designation: In this strike, the strikers undertake the work according to rules of job description.
Picketing: It is an act of posting pickets and implies machinery or patrolling of the workmen in front of the premises of the employer.
Boycott: It alms at disrupting the normal functioning of the enterprise.
Gherao: It is a physical blockade of a target either by encirclement, intended to block the regress and ingress for a limited period or up to the period of settlement of disputes.
Hunger strike: This type of strike is resorted to either by the leaders of the union or by some workers all at a time or in small batches for a limited period or up to the period of settlement of disputes.
Secondary strike: Secondary strikes are against a third party. These strikes are sympathetic strikes.
Other strikes: These strikes are in the form of general, political strikes and bandhs.
SETTLEMENT OF CONFLICTS:The methods of the settlement of conflicts generally include those mentioned in the figure below: They are dealt in detail in the following paragraphs:
Investigation: This is conducted by a board or court appointed by the government. It may be voluntary or compulsory. If the investigation is conducted on an application by either or both the parties to the dispute, it is voluntary. If the Government appoints a Court of inquiry to investigate into a dispute without the consent of the parties, it is compulsory. Investigations do not aim at bringing about the settlement of disputes directly, but by analyzing the facts, they aim at bringing about an amicable solution. When the investigation is comp0ulsory, the strikes and lock-outs are required to be stopped and employment. The result of investigation has no serious effect on the disputes because the general public is least bothered t make note of the disputes.
Mediation: another attempt to settle disputes is mediation. In this method, an outsider assists the parties in their negotiations. It takes place with the consent of both the parties. The mediator performs the messenger’s job for both the parties and he neither imposes his will nor his judgement upon them. The main aim of mediation is the settlement of disputes by bringing about a voluntary agreement. There may be three kinds of mediation:
(i) The Eminent Outside;
(ii) Non-Government Board; and
(iii) Semi-Governmental Board.
If mediation is conducted skillfully and sympathetically along proper lines, it can bring about the adjustment of differences tat might otherwise contribute to stoppage of work.
Conciliation: the main objective of a conciliation and arbitration is to reunite and arbitration is to reunite the two conflicting groups in the industry in order to avoid interruption of production, distrust etc.
Conciliation is a process buy which representatives of both workers and employers are brought together before third party with a view to persuading them to arrive at some sort of settlement. It is an extension of collective bargaining with third party assistance. It is the practice by which the services of a neutral third party are used in a dispute as a means of helping the disputing parties to reduce the extent of their differences and to arrive at an amicable settlement or agreed solution. It is a process of rational and orderly discussions of differences between the parties to a dispute under the guidance of a conciliator.
Conciliation machinery consists of a conciliation officer and board of conciliations. The conciliator induces the parties to a course of action. He plays the role of an innovator, protector, discussion leader, stimulator, advisor, face saver. He acts as a safety valve and a communication link.
The task of conciliation is to offer advice and make suggestions to the parties to the dispute on controversial issues.
Voluntary Arbitration: If the two parties to the dispute fail to come to an agreement, either by themselves or with the help of a mediator or conciliator, who agrees to submit the dispute to an impartial authority, whose decision, they are ready to accept. The essential elements in voluntary arbitration are:
• the voluntary submission of dispute to an arbitrator;
• the subsequent attendance of witness and investigations and
• the enforcement of an award may not be necessary.
Compulsory Arbitration/Adjudication: Where trade unions are weak, the method of Compulsory Arbitration is used. Compulsory Arbitration is utilized generally when the parties fail to arrive at a settlement through the voluntary methods.
In India, Compulsory Arbitration is enforced because collective bargaining was not used for regulating wages and other conditions of employment.
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE – Meaning/Definitions:
The concept ‘grievance’ has been defined in several ways by different authorities. Some of the definitions are as follows:
Beach defines grievance as “any dissatisfaction for feeling of injustice in connection with one’s employment situation that is brought to the notice of the management”, whereas Flippo indicates the grievance as “a type of discontent which must always be expressed. A grievance is usually more formal in character than a complaint. It can be valid or ridiculous, and must grow out of something connected with company operations or policy. It must involve an interpretation or application of the provisions of the labour contract.” Jucius defines grievance as” …any discontent or dissatisfaction, whether exposed or not, whether valid or not, arising out of anything connected with the company which an employee thinks, believes or even feels to be unfair, unjust or inequitable.
Causes of Grievances: The causes of employee grievances include:                      
• Demands for individual wage adjustments;
• Complaints about the incentive system;
• Complaints about the job classifications;
• Complaints against a particular foreman;
• Complaints concerning disciplinary measures and procedures;
• Objections to the general methods of supervision;
• Loose calculation and interpretation of seniority rules and unsatisfactory interpretation of agreements;
• Promotions;
• Disciplinary discharge or lay-off;
• Transfer for another department or another shift;
• Inadequacy of safety and health services/devices;
• Non-availability of materials in time;
• Violation of contracts relating to collective bargaining;
• Improper job assignment;
• Undesirable or unsatisfactory conditions of work;
• Victimization and
• Fines.
Grievance Procedure: The model Grievance Procedure suggested by the National Commission on Labour has provided for the successive time bound steps each leading to the next in case of lack of satisfaction. At the outset, an aggrieved worker shall approach the foreman, inform his grievance orally and seek the redressal of his grievance. If it is not redressed to his satisfaction, he approaches the supervisor who has to give a decision to the complaint of the worker within 48 hours. If the decision (answer) is not acceptable to the worker or if the superior does not give an answer, the worker can go to the next step. At the third stage, the worker can, either in person or accompanied by his departmental representative, approach the head of the department who has to give an answer before the expiry of three days. If the department head fails to do so or if the decision given by him is not acceptable to the worker, then the worker can resort to the Grievance Committee which comprises of the representatives of employers and employees. This Committee shall communicate its recommendations to the manager within seven days of the grievance reaching it. If there are unanimous decisions, these shall be implemented by the management. In case unanimous decisions have not been arrived at, the views of the members of the Committee shall be recorded and all the relevant records shall be placed before the manager for decision. The manager shall communicate his decision within three days. The worker has got a right to appeal against the manager’s decision. These appeals shall be decided within a week. If the aggrieved desires, he can take along with him a union official for discussion with the authority. In case a decision has not been arrived at, at this stage, the union and management may refer the grievance to voluntary arbitration within a week of receipt of the management’s decision by the worker.
The primary purposes of a grievance procedure are to:
(1) channel conflict into an institutionalized mechanism for peaceful resolution;
(2) facilitate communication between labor and management regarding problems that arise in a collective bargaining relationship;
(3) enable employees to complain with dignity knowing that there is a system of appeals leading to an impartial decision-maker; and
(4) enforce compliance with the terms and conditions negotiated by the parties.
Handling Employee Grievance:
The following checklist is provided as guidance when an employee comes to you with a complaint:
●Make sure that meetings with employees to handle complaints are held in accordance with any contract provisions that regulate the time and/or location for such meetings. Develop good listening and note taking skills.
●Be prepared to spend the time to get the evidence and testimony to support your case and to refute management’s case. Treat all employees fairly and consistently.
●Do not make judgments about the case to the employee or anyone else until you get the facts. Keep good records of all transactions, oral and written, that occur from the time a complaint is brought to you until the case is resolved in the grievance procedure or in arbitration.
●Let the employee tell his/her story without interruption. Take notes. Review the employee’s description of the case with him/her to make sure you have all the facts. Make sure you get the answers to the questions who, what, when, where, why and how.
●Ask the employee for the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses. Then ask the employee to tell you what he/she thinks each witness knows about the case. Record this information. Try to clarify any uncertainties about what a witness is supposed to know.
●Ask the employee to give you all of the evidence he/she has concerning the case. Make copies so that no information is lost. Before the employee leaves, check one more time to make sure you have all the facts, names of witnesses and evidence.
●Refer to the grievance procedure in the contract to make sure the issue the employee has raised is defined as a proper subject of a grievance. If you are uncertain, ask for help. If the issue is not a proper subject of a grievance, the best thing to do is to tell the employee and explain how this affects his/her case.
●Check to make sure that the procedural requirements set forth in the grievance procedure have been complied with. If there is more than one witness who knows about a given event, note which ones would be best able to present clear testimony under the pressure of examination and cross-examination at an arbitration hearing.
●Verify name, address, telephone, work shift and location.
After you have thoroughly reviewed all of these matters, you may find that a complaint is not grievable/arbitrable or that the case lacks merit. One way to proceed is to explain your findings to the employee and ask if there is any additional information he/she has that might have a bearing on the case. If not, you should be guided by local or international union policy and perhaps by counsel, in determining how to handle this situation.
Be sure to properly and timely complete the grievance form. This includes such items as: names; dates; signatures; clear and accurate statement of the complaint; contract clauses alleged to have been violated; and remedy requested. This is a checklist, not a magic wand. It highlights key points to consider in handling employee complaints. This task is time consuming and requires the application of a number of skills. There are no real short cuts. If you take them, an employer will usually find them at some stage in the grievance procedure or in arbitration. The result may be very damaging involving not only loss of a case that might have been won, but also expenditures of time, other resources and credibility that a union can ill afford.
Employees face a variety of uncertainties, issues and problems both at the work and the family. In fact, the problems are multi-faceted involving economic, social, physical, psychological and religious considerations. Counseling is one of the efficient interventions to find out work and family related employee problems that affect the work negatively. Counseling is the process of helping other persons to find and act upon a solution to their problems, anxieties, uncertainties and issues, the person conducting counseling is called counselor and the person being counseled is called counselee or client.
Concept of counseling
A counselor is mostly concerned with client rather than the problem. The counselor helps the counselee to identify his/her own problem and develop is/her own solution rather than imposing his/her solution. Counselor helps counselee in reaching a solution. This style involves more listening than talking. Counselor uses questions and exploring techniques and enable the client to find out his/her own problem. The counselor further helps the client to learn the problem solving techniques, processes and methods that helps them to solve their problems on their own in the future. the counselor recognizes the emotions, feelings, psychological issues involved in the process.
Counseling can assist the employee to resolve difficulties in a supportive and professional setting. Whether a crisis or something that has been worrying the employee for sometime, counseling can assist the employee to understand the problem, its impact and to develop strategies to cope with it. As employees from time to time, we can experience difficulties either in our work or personal life. At these times, work performance and productivity can be affected. Counseling can result in quicker and less stressful resolution of the problems with less disruption to the workplace.Counseling is confidential and private. Generally, no information can be released without employee’s written authority.
Counseling is provided for work and personal issues such as: Stress , Change, Conflict, Career planning, Communication, Trauma, Depression, Relationship issues, Family problems, Gambling, Grief and bereavement, Anxiety, Drug and alcohol problem & Work satisfaction
Process of Counselling: Counseling is the process of helping other persons to solve their problems. The person conducting the counseling is known as the counselor and the one being counseled is referred to as the counselee or client.
There are four basic styles of counseling, viz., telling, manipulating, counseling and advising. The counseling process includes various steps viz., identifying the needs for counseling, communicating effectively, managing the counseling interview, controlling emotions, and follow-up.
Identifying the needs for counseling: The manager of the department concerned identifies the counseling needs of the employees. The couselling needs may be obvious, based on permanent lateness, irregular attendance, absenteeism, poor quality of work, breakages at the work etc. In addition, the manager can identify the possible and prospective problems. Counseling needs or employee problems may be classified as personality problems, work and organizational related problems and external problems and external problems. Personality problems are related to the image people have of themselves and others.
Communicating effectively: Counselling is mostly done through communication. In other words, communication plays vital role in counselling. Counselor communicates with the counselee by practicing a three step-process, which can be repeated in the counseling interview process. These steps are questioning, listening and responding.
The counselor should use oral, written, verbal and non-verbal communication. The counsellor’s posture and the counsellee’s posture matter much in the counseling process.
Managing the counselling interview: The cousnellor and the counselee should be prepared physically, socially and psychologically before counselling interview. The manager of the employee might have developed good and comfortable relationship with the staff. Therefore, the suggestions of the manager should be considered by the counselor, if the manager is not acting as a counselor. The steps in the interview process include:
1. setting up the interview
2. creating the right interview opportunity
3. starting the interview
4. encouraging the people to talk
5. reaching the core problem
6. discovering when to ask and what to ask
7. exploring the feeling problem
8. develop and provide the solution.
Controlling emotions: counselling mostly involves understanding the feelings of the counselee. The counselor has to gain the confidence and trust of the counselee. Counselling will result in change in the behaviour of the counselee, which causes pain. The counselee can express his feelings freely when the interview environment is free and harmonious. In addition, the counselor should also control his/her emotions and feelings so that the counselee can express his/her feelings and emotions.
Follow-up: The counselor after offering his/her advice provides the methods and step-by-step procedure to the counselee to practise the advice. The counselor has to get feedback from the counselee and ascertain whether the counselee is improving or not. If not, he /she has to modify the advice and follow-up further. Thus, the counselee should ensure the permanent solution to the problem and improvement in the counselee.
The phrase ‘Collective Bargaining’ is coined by Sydney and Beatrice Webb. According to them, collective bargaining is a method by which trade unions protect and improve the conditions of their members’ working lives. According to the Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences, “collective bargaining is a process of discussion and negotiation between two parties, one or both of whom is a group of persons acting in consent. The resulting bargain is an understanding as to the terms and conditions under which a continuing service is to be performed. More specifically, collective bargaining is a procedure by which employers and a group of employees agree upon the conditions of work.”
Functions of Collective Bargaining: Collective bargaining plays an important role in preventing industrial disputes, setting disputes and maintaining industrial peace by performing the following functions:
●Increase the economic strength of employees and management.
●Establish uniform conditions of employment.
●Secure a prompt and fair redressal of grievances.
●Lay down fair rates of wages and other norms of working conditions.
●Achieve an efficient functioning of the organization.
●Promote the stability and prosperity of the company.
●It provides a method of the regulation of the conditions of employment of those who are directly concerned about them.
● It provides a solution to the problem of sickness in the industry and ensures ole- age pension benefits and other fringe benefits.
●It creates new and varied procedures for the solution of the problems as and when they arise-problems which vex industrial relations; and its form can be adjusted to meet new situations. Since basic standards are laid down, the employee is assured that he will be required to work under the stipulated conditions incorporated in the agreement and the employer is protected from unfair competition by those who are engaged in a similar industry.
●It provides a flexible means for the adjustment of wages and employment conditions to economic and technological changes in the industry, as a result of which the changes for conflicts are reduced.
●As a vehicle of industrial peace, collective bargaining is the most important and significant aspect of labour management relations, and extends the democratic principle from the political to the industrial field.
●It builds up a system of industrial jurisprudence by introducing civil rights in the industry. In other words, it ensures that the management is conducted by rules rather than by arbitrary decisions.
Collective Bargaining Process: There are two stages in collective bargaining, viz., (i) the negotiation stage and (ii) the stage of contract
1. negotiation
a) identification of problem: The nature of the problem influences the whole process-whether the problem is very important that is to be discussed immediately or it can be postponed for some other convenient time, whether the problem is problem is minor that it can be solved with the other party’s acceptance on its presentation and does not need to involve the long process of collective bargaining process etc.
b) preparing for negotiations: When it becomes necessary to solve the problem through collective bargaining process, both the parties prepare themselves for negotiations.
c) Negotiations of agreement; Usually, there will be a chief negotiator who is from the management side. He directs and presides over the process. The chief negotiator presents the problem, its intensity and nature and the views of both the parties. When a solution is reached at, it is pt on the paper, taking concerned legislations into consideration. Both the parties concerned, sign the agreement which, in turn, becomes a binding contract for both the parties.
2. contract Administration: Implementation of the contract is as important as making a contract. Management usually distributes the printed contract, its terms and conditions throughout the organization. The union takes steps to see that all the workers understand the contract and implement it. From time-to-time depending on changing circumstances, both the parties can make mutually acceptable amendments.
Causes for the Limited Success of Collective Bargaining in India: Though it is argued that collective bargaining has grown in India due to statutory provisions, voluntary measures, Industrial Truce Resolution of 1962 and the amendments to the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, its success is limited. The causes for its limited success are:
1. Problems with unions: Collective bargaining process mainly depends on the strength of unions. But still there are not many strong unions in India. Unions are marked with multiplicity, inter and intra-union rivalry, weak financial position and non-recognition. Weak trade unions cannot initiate strong arguments during negotiations. There is usually no unanimous decision among workers to be presented at the negotiating table.
2. Problems from Government: The Government has not been making any strong effects for the development of Collective Bargaining. The Government has imposed many restrictions regarding strikes and lock-ours, which is an obstacle for the development of collective bargaining process.
3. Legal Problems: Now adjudication is easily accessible. As such now collective bargaining process is losing its importance.
Maintenance of HR: Organisation provide a variety of fringe benefits. Dale Yoder and Paul D. Standohar classified the fringe benefits under four heads as given hereunder:
For employment security: Benefits under this head include unemployment insurance, technological adjustment pay, leave travel pay, over for maternity, leave for grievances, holidays, cost of living bonus, call-back pay, lay-off pay, retiring rooms, jobs to the sons/daughters of the employees and the like.
For health protection: Benefits under this head include accident insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, hospitalization, life insurance, medical care, sick benefits, sick leave, etc.
For old age and retirement: Benefits under this category include: deferred income plans, pension, gratuity, provident fund, old age assistance, old age counseling, medical benefits for retired employee traveling concession to retired employees, jobs to sons /daughters of the deceased employee and the like.
For personnel identification, participation and stimulation: This category covers the following benefits: anniversary awards, attendance bonus, canteen, co-operative credit societies, educational facilities, beauty parlour services,housing, income tax aid, counseling, quality bonus, recreational programmes, stress counseling, safety measures etc.
Employee Security: Physical and job security to the employee should also be provided with a view to promoting security to the employee and his family members. The benefits of confirmation of the employee on the job create a sense of job security . further, a minimum and continuous wage or salary gives a sense of security to the life. The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, and the Payment of Bouns Act, 1965, provide income security to the employees.
Safety and Health: Employee’s safety and health should be taken care of in order to protect the employee against accidents, unhealthy working conditions and to protect worker’s capacity. In India, the Factories Act, 1948, stipulated certain requirements regarding working conditions with a view to provide a safe working environment. These provisions relate to cleanliness, disposal of waste and effluents, ventilation and temperature, dust and fume, artificial humidification, over-crowding, lighting drinking water, public utility and spittoons. Provisions relating to safety measures include fencing of machinery, work on or near machinery in motion, employment of young persons on dangerous machines, striking gear and devices for cutting off power, self-acting machines, easing of new machinery, probation of employment of women and children near cotton openers, hoists and lifts, lifting machines, chains, ropes and lifting tackles, revolving machinery, pressure plant, floors, excessive weights, protection of eyes, precautions against dangerous fumes, explosive or inflammable dust, gas etc. Precautions in case of fire, power to require specifications of defective parts of test of test of stability, safety of buildings and machinery etc.
Welfare and Recreational Facilities: Welfare and recreational recreation include: (a) Canteens: (b) Consumer societies: (c) Credit societies: (d) Housing; (e) Legal aid: (f) Employee counseling: (g) Welfare organizations; (h) Holiday homes; (i) Educational facilities; (j) Transportation: (k) Miscellaneous.
Old Age and Retirement Benefits: Industrial life generally breaks the family system. The saving capacity of the employee is very low due to lower wages, high living cost and increasing aspirations of the employees and his family members. As such, employers provide some benefits to the employees after retirement and during old age, with a view to create a feeling of security about the old age. These benefits are called old age and retirement benefits, these benefits include: (a) Provident Fund; (b) Pension; (c) Deposit linked insurance; (d) Gratuity and (e) Medical benefit.
Corporate social responsibility:
Corporate social responsibility is becoming an increasingly important priority for many CEOs across the world, and HR has a vital part to play, writes Robin Kramar
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development is gaining increasing prominence in the global business culture, as many businesses attempt to accommodate the CSR agenda. The concept of corporate sustainable development is still the subject of controversy and therefore the indicators used to measure CSR continue to be the topic of debate. However, no matter what indicators are used, the notion of responsibility includes responsibility for people in the collective sense (such as communities) and also for individuals.
The criteria used to measure workplace practices relate specifically to HR practices. The criteria include: employee involvement; fair and reasonable rewards and conditions; a positive commitment to diversity and work-life balance; industrial relations arrangements based on mutual respect; occupational health and safety arrangements; executive remuneration that is fair and reflect the concerns of internal stakeholders; independently verifiable performance measurement and evaluation systems and training and development policies. These criteria indicate that an organisation that is seen as socially responsible creates a culture that is perceived as open, fair and attractive to potential and existing employees.
Research demonstrates CSR initiatives have a positive impact on employee morale, motivation, commitment, loyalty, training, recruitment and turnover. Benefits in these areas have been found to improve the bottom line of companies. Three surveys across Europe, the USA and a survey involving 25 countries found employees felt greater loyalty, satisfaction and motivation when their companies were socially responsible.
A recent survey of 257 CEOs by Korn/Ferry shows that 65 per cent of CEOs are taking responsibility for managing company reputation. Almost three-quarters of the CEOs regarded recruitment and retention as the main business objective of corporate reputation and almost the same percentage identified the hiring and retaining of key and talented people as one of the three top objectives of corporate and social responsibility initiatives. These HR concerns were regarded as more important than more commercial and business outcomes.
Therefore, corporate initiatives can contribute to the branding of organisations in the labour market. These initiatives can make the organisation attractive to employees with similar values and so assist the organisation to become an employer of choice for these potential employees. And, if it lives out the values and initiatives on a daily basis it will assist the retention of desirable employees.
Global HRM : Global HRM refers to Human Resource Management practices that deal with managing a diversity of workforce from all around the world.
The following challenges are being faced by HR managers in terms of globalization:
- Managing diversity of workforce.
- Managing pressures for more labor rights in third world countries.
- Managing Outsourcing of employees.
- More part-time and temporary work
- Managing productivity and Quality
- Downsizing the workforce
- Coping with flexible working hours
The globalization of Business has had a significant impact on human resource management. Even though there has been large scale regional integrations, such as the European Union, human resource manage across borders is very different and can be quite difficult for a Human Resource Professional un-accustom to cross border management. The purpose of this course is gain insights into employee relations from a cultural and international perspective. One would tend to think that Human Resource management in one country would be much like it is in another country. There are similarities in the human resource function from one country to another however; due to cultural differences the human resource function can also be quite different. We must first define the Field of Human Resource Management. According to Peter Dowling in International Human Resource Management, “Human resource management is those activities undertaken by an organization to utilize its human resources effectively.”
These activities include but are not limited to, human resource planning, staffing, performance management, training and education, compensation and benefits, and labor relations. We must consider what, if any, changes to the above definition occur when a company goes international or global. When the human resource activities are spread across different countries therefore, different types of employees must be considered. Employees from the parent company or Parent Company Nationals (PCNs), this is the expatriate manager or technical professional assigned to a different country. The next type of employee is the Host Country National (HCNs), this is an employee of the company form the country which hosts the subsidiary. The last type of employee is a Third Country National (TCNs), these employees are from a country that is neither the host nor the parent country. This expatriate also may be from another subsidiary owned by the parent company. These multi-country nationals lead to issues generally not associated with Human Resource Management (HRM), such as international taxation, international relocation, administrative services for expatriates, and government relations. For example D.L. Pinney discusses tax reimbursement for expatriates because expatriates are subject to international tax and often have domestic tax liabilities; it is therefore incumbent on a company to provide tax equalization. If there is no tax equalization much of the incentive and motivation for the overseas assignments would be lost.