Notes On Industrial Relation:

      Industrial relations or employment relation is that aspect of human resource management which deals with the manpower of the establishment both skilled and unskilled workers. The term "Industrial Relations" literally explains relation explains the relationship between employees and management which stem directly or indirectly from employee-employer relationship.

       The following are some precise definitions:

Defined by Prof Dale Yoder:

       Prof Dale Yoder in his book personnel management and industrial relations has defined the term industrial relation as the "relationship between management and employee or among employee and their organisation that grow out of employment."

Defined by Casselman:

       Casselman's labour dictionary has defined the term industrial relation as the "Relation between employer and employee in the industry"

Encyclopedia of Britannica:

       The Encyclopedia of Britannica has given a comprehensive defination of the term industrial relation as the "Relation of all those associated with productive work including industry, agriculture, mining, commerce, finance, transport and other services."

       In the light of the above definitions, industrial relation is sometimes called "Employer Employee Relation" or "Personnel Relation." The term industrial relation also includes relation between employer and trade union and is named as "Labour Relation"

Problems of Industrial Relation:

       The above description of industrial relation brings out some of the important problem in this area:

  1. The problem of resolving conflict between the labour and the management.
  2. The problem of enforcing discipline among the worker.
  3. The problem of dealing with trade union.
  4. The problem of introducing industrial democracy.
Features Of Industrial Relation:

       The Notable features of industrial relation are:

  1. Industrial relation born out of employment relation. Without existence of two party i.e.; labour and management this relationship cannot exist.
  2. Industrial relation are characterised by conflict and co- operation.
  3. Study of industrial relation include environment issues like country's socio- economic and political environment, attitude of trade union, labour policy etc.
  4. Industrial relation also studies the laws, rules and regulations, the agreement, award of court, customs and traditions etc.

       In fact, the concept of industrial relation is very broad. Industrial relation includes all such factors that influence the behavior of people at work. A few such important factors are as follows:

1) Institutions:

       It includes Govt's. Trade unions, employer association govt. bodies, labour court tribunals and all other organisations which have direct or indirect impact on the industrial relation.

2) Characteristics:

       It aims to study the role of workers unions and employers association, industrial relation officer, judges of tribunals, labour court etc.

3) Methods:

       It includes collective bargaining, workers participation in industrial relation scheme, dispute settlement machinery, and organisation of protest through methods like strikes, lock outs etc.

4) Contents:

       It includes matters relating to employment conditions like pay, hours of work, leave with wages, health and safety of workers, disciplinary action, dismissal, retirement etc;

Industrial Relation and Productivity:

       Peter Drucker said that continuous improvement in productivity is the management's most important job. This is true not only for developed country but is equally important for under developed or developing economy. In a developing economy, production cost is the foremost responsibility of the govt. It is because in a developing economy factors like growth rate, national income, unemployment, and inflation standard of living of the people have direct effect on the production.

       Harmonious industrial relation is the key factor for promoting industrial productivity and it is the direct responsibility of the govt. to safeguard the interest of the workers and employers.

       The Industrial Dispute Amendment Act 1997 has taken care of some of the problems that obstruct industrial peace and it is hoped that they would go a long way in enhancing productivity.

       The Govt. is the custodian of law and order. While all just and reasonable demands of the workers should be negotiated. The govt. is expected to extend its protective umbrella to aggrieved parties when one side adopt an unreasonable attitude Although, we have schemes like Employees state Insurance scheme to provide socio economic security, to the workers but some more can be done in this respect schemes like Group Insurance and Industrial Housing should be taken up on large scale. This would relieve the workers from insecurity and help them to devote whole hearted in work In this way, labour productivity can be increased by maintaining good industrial relation.

       According to Prof Elton mayo, the following key elements are necessary to enhance industrial productivity.

  1. To treat people as human being rather than bundle of skills.;
  2. To understand people better and communicate effectively;
  3. Make them feel useful and important in the organisation;
  4. Create a sense of satisfaction among people.

       Industrial relation is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation. Of course, the employer has primary responsibility in keeping congenial climate of human relations.