Changing Dimensions of Industrial Relations in India

10/07/2021 1 By indiafreenotes

The world of work is changing. Increasing globalization is constantly reshaping the contours of knowledge-driven economies and also belying the importance of Industrial Relations (IR). The changes have also brought along with it a number of strategic opportunities to improve prospects of both enterprises and employees. However, to seize the opportunities and for a beneficial relationship, organizations require a strategy directed to improving employee relations, seeking changes in attitudes and behaviour in the workplace and addressing the key issues of skills development, compensation and benefits, workplace structures and flexibility, and diverse workforce management.

Conducive industrial relations motivate the workers to give increased output. Problems are solved through mutual discussions, workers’ participation, suggestion schemes, joint meeting, etc. Good industrial relations, increase labour efficiency and productivity.

The labours today are more educated and they are aware of their responsibilities and rights. Management has to deal with them not merely as factors of production, but as individuals having human dignity and self-respect. The objective is to change the traditional views of management and labour towards each other and develop mutual understanding and co-operation and work towards achievement of common goal. Good industrial relations lead to industrial peace and increase in production.

With increased productivity, the management is in a position to offer financial and non-financial incentives to workers.

Business Cycles:

Industrial relations are good when there is boom and prosperity all round. Levels of employment go up, wages rise and workers are more happy in prosperity period. But during recession, there is decline in wages and fall in employment level. Such recessionary conditions mars the good industrial relations. Thus business cycles also influence the existence of healthy industrial relations.

Better Education:

Industrial workers in Indian are generally illiterate. They can be easily misled by the trade union leaders who have their self-interest. Workers must be properly educated to understand the prevailing industrial environment. They must have a problem solving approach and a capability to analyse the things in the right perspective. They must be aware of their responsibility towards the organisation and the community at large.

Public Policy and Legislation:

The regulation of employer-employee relationship by the government is another important factor for the smooth industrial relations. Government intervenes the relationships by enacting and enforcing labour laws. Government intervention checks and balances upon the arbitrary management action.

It also provides a formal measure to the workers and employers to give emotional release to their dissatisfaction. Timely intervention by the government can catch and solve problems before they become amounting serious.

Social Factors:

Social factors such as; Social values, Social groups and social status also influence the industrial relations. The employment relationship is not just an economic contract. It is a joint venture involving a climate of human and social relationships wherein each party (workers and management) fulfills his needs and contributes to the needs of others. The supportive climate is essentially built around social factors. The influence of social factors gets changed with the progress of industrialisation.

Off the Job Conditions:

Living conditions of workers are also important. The industry appoints the ‘whole person’. His personal and home life is inseparable from his work life. His personal optional conditions do affect on his efficiency and productivity. So off-the-job conditions of workers must be taken care of and improved to develop good industrial relations at the work place.

Strong Trade Unions:

Strong and enlightened trade unions help to promote the status of labour without jeopardising the interest of management. Trade unions maintain good relations with management and avoid militancy and strikes situation. Enlightened trade unions induce the workers to produce more and persuade the management to pay more.

They mobilize public opinion on vital labour issues and help the government in enacting progressive labour laws. They develop right kind of leadership, avoid multiplicity of unionism and union rivalry. Hence, a strong, responsible and enlightened trade union promote healthy industrial relations.