The Causes of Industrial Disputes Can Be Broadly Classified Into Two Categories


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The causes of industrial disputes can be broadly classified into two categories: economic and non-economic causes. The economic causes will include issues relating to compensation like wages, bonus, allowances, and conditions for work, working hours, leave and holidays without pay, unjust layoffs and retrenchments. The non economic factors will include victimization of workers, ill treatment by staff members, sympathetic strikes, political factors, indiscipline etc.  Wages and allowances:Since
  The causes of industrial disputes can be broadly classified into two categories: economic andnon-economic causes. The economic causes will include issues relating to compensation likewages, bonus, allowances, and conditions for work, working hours, leave and holidays withoutpay, unjust layoffs and retrenchments. The non economic factors will include victimization of workers, ill treatment by staff members, sympathetic strikes, political factors, indiscipline etc.    Wages and allowances: Since the cost of living index is increasing, workers generallybargain for higher wages to meet the rising cost of living index and to increase their standardsof living. In 2002, 21.4% of disputes were caused by demandof higher wages and allowances. This percentage was 20.4% during 2003 and during 2004increased up to 26.2%. In 2005, wages and allowances accounted for 21.8% of disputes.    Personnel and retrenchment: The personnel and retrenchment have also been an importantfactor which accounted for disputes. During the year 2002, disputes caused by personnel were14.1% while those caused by retrenchment and layoffs were 2.2% and 0.4% respectively. In2003, a similar trend could be seen, wherein 11.2% of the disputes were caused by personnel,while 2.4% and 0.6% of disputes were caused by retrenchment and layoffs. In year 2005, only9.6% of the disputes were caused by personnel, and only 0.4% were caused by retrenchment.    Indiscipline and violence: From the given table, it is evident that the number of disputescaused by indiscipline has shown an increasing trend. In 2002, 29.9% of disputes were causedbecause of indiscipline, which rose up to 36.9% in 2003. Similarly in 2004 and 2005, 40.4% and41.6% of disputes were caused due to indiscipline respectively. During the year 2003, indisciplineaccounted for the highest percentage (36.9%) of the total time-loss of all disputes, followed bycause-groups wage and allowance and personnel with 20.4% and11.2% respectively. A similartrend was observed in 2004 where indiscipline accounted for 40.4% of disputes.    Bonus: Bonus has always been an important factor in industrial disputes. 6.7% of the disputeswere because of bonus in 2002 and 2003 as compared to 3.5% and 3.6% in 2004 and 2005respectively.    Leave and working hours: Leaves and working hours have not been so important causes of industrial disputes. During 2002, 0.5% of the disputes were because of leave and hours of workwhile this percentage increased to 1% in 2003. During 2004, only 0.4% of the disputes werebecause of leaves and working hours.    Miscellaneous: The miscellaneous factors include- Inter/Intra Union Rivalry- Charter of Demands- Work Load- Standing orders/rules/service conditions/safety measures- Non-implementation of agreements and awards etc.  _______________________________--  (a)   Wages: The wage-increase was the prime most cause of dispute both after the first andsecond world wars. A large number of strikes were organised during this time because of therise in cost of living. The real wages of the workers declined faster and they were dissatisfiedwith their present wages and struggled for the improvement in wages. By having a cursoryglance on the history of industrial dispute, it becomes clear that cause of most of theindustrial disputes was wages. (b) Dearness Allowance and Bonus: Increase in cost of living was the main cause of thedemand of dearness allowance by the workers to equate their wages with the rise of prices.Bonus also play an important role as a cause of industrial dispute. Both the quantum and themethod of bonus payment has led to a number of disputes. (c) High Industrial Profits: During and after the world wars, prices of the commodities wentup and the industrialists earned a huge profits. In order to get share in the prosperity of theindustry, it naturally led to the resentment on their part. The increased profits also led to thedemands of higher wage and bonus. Now, in the changing world, concept of labour haschanged considerably. They think themselves as a partner of the industry and demand theirshare in the profits.( d) Working Conditions and Working Horus: The working conditions in Indian industriesare not hygienic. There is not ample provision of water, heating, lighting, safety etc. Workinghours are also greater. The demand of palatable working conditions and shorter hours of workled to labour disputes. (e) Modernization and Automation of Plant and Machinery: The attempt atmodernization and introduction of automatic machinery to replace labour has been the majorcause of disputes of India. Workers go on strike, off and on, to resist rationalization. A strikein cotton textile industry in Kanpur in 1955 for 80 days long is an example of such disputes.Workers in life-insurance corporation went on strike recently against introducing computers inthe corporation. (f) Weakness of Trade Unions: Weaknesses of trade unions encourages the employers todeny certain basic needs of the workers such as medical, education and housing facilities etc.This led to resentment on the part of workers who resorted to direct action. 1. Demand for Higher wages - The employees want higher wages. The employer wants more profit by paying lower wages. Thisresults in frustration among employees and they resort to agitation. 2. Non-Implementation of Bonus Schemes - Bonus is a strong incentive for the employees. They want share in the profit in the form of bonus.However, the employers generally show deficit and do not pay bonus to the employees. This results inindustrial dispute. 3. Demand for better working condition - The employees want better working conditions. If their demand is not accepted by the employer theyresort to agitational approach. The result is industrial disputes.  4. Failure to recognise Unions - The employers cannot tolerate trade unions as they feel that these unions are threat to their profit.Therefore, they discourage union movement by the policy of divided and rule. But the workers believein collective bargaining and desire the recognition of unions by the employers. 5. Demand for proper leave Rules - The employers want that leave rules and working hours should as laid down in factory act. No workershould be forced to work more than 48 hours or more in a week. However, generally employers ignorethese rules which results in industrial dispute. 6. Over Time Payment - The employees demand over-time payment as prescribed in the factory act. But the employer eitherdoes not make any payment or makes under-payment. This causes frustration among employees andthey resort to agitations. 7. Political Interference - Most of the trade unions in India are dominated by political parties. Sometimes, political leaders useworkers as tool for their selfish ends. They excite the workers to go on strike or adopt otheragitational approach. 8. Punishment to Workers - Sometimes, the employer adopts dictational policy and victimises the employers by suspending ordismissing them from services. In order to get the victimisation redressed the employees resort toagitational approach. This disturbs the industrial peace. 9. Mass retrenchment & undue promotions :- One major cause of industrial dispute is the mass retrenchment and undue promotions of theemployees. The employees start agitation to show their resentment against the callous attitude of themanagement. 10. Insecurity of Service - In India, the employment opportunities are very tight. The employees want security of service. If theemployer does not meet with their demand they adopt agitational approach. 11. Wrong policy or decision - Sometimes, the policy or decision taken by the management is determental to the interests of employees. This causes frustration among the employees and they went to agitational approach in bidto put pressure on the management to withdraw the wrong decision. 12. Bad Behaviour - The pre-requisite of industrial peace is the cordial relations between the employer and employees. If the behaviour of the management is bad towards the employees, good will disappears and disputearises. 13. Non-redressal of grievances - The employees place their grievances before the management time and again. If their genuinegrievances are not removed or properly attended, it give rise to frustration and ultimately a dispute.
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