It has been globally accepted in the industrial sphere that it is only through an attitude of mutual trust and respect that harmonious and cordial relations can develop between management and labour. Industrial relation is primarily a matter of attitudes i.e. how does the management feel about the labour and vice-versa, the other important factor being the personnel policy of the undertaking, its value system, strength of labour unions, multiplicity of unions, joint consultation ( voluntary approach) and labour legislations (legislative approach). Above all, the quality of personnel management whose test is “the spirit of the undertaking and ‘morale’ of all concerned with it” plays an important role in ensuring harmonious labour relation.
Frequent strike in the group of mines indicate deteriorated I.R. due to various reasons which need to be identified before designing steps to promote harmonious labour relations. Nevertheless, the steps to promote such relation should include
(1) revival of trust and boosting of morale of labour force
(2) re-viewing and re-casting, if need be, the personnel and industrial policy of the undertaking
(3) enunciating appropriate “value system” and percolation of the same down to the rank and file
(4) reconditioning the perception of the workmen by screening through the value-system- the perception which is perhaps distorted
(5) enthusing the labour force to identify themselves with the goals and objectives of the undertaking
(6) fresh look at the need satisfaction both physical and psychological vis-a-vis job satisfaction
(7) evolving new incentive scheme after revision of wages and other benefits in consultation with trade unions
(8) review of “performance reward” relationship and quality of work life
(9) job enrichment by redesigning the jobs, if necessary to make them more interesting, safe and challenging
(10) encouraging workers participation by involving them in work-level decisions as a means of integration and self control. ( also, by utilizing,
purposefully, all the bipartite and tripartite forums formed in accordance with both “legislative” and “voluntary” approaches, like work committee,
certified standing orders, joint management councils, grievance procedure, joint consultation, voluntary arbitration, collective bargaining etc.). But
it may be noted that over dependence on legislative measures to foster harmonious relations with labour should be discouraged because such measures tend to take away initiatives of both management and labour and fail to forge mutual understanding and respect. Further, it tends to inhibit the growth of “collective bargaining” so necessary for healthy growth of industrial relation. Therefore, “voluntary” participation of workers, as
mentioned above, should be encouraged to create better I.R. keeping in view the following word’s of government of India’s industrial policy
resolution-1956, ” In a socialist democracy, labour is a partner in the common task of development. There should be joint consultation and the
workers and technicians should, where possible, be associated progressively in management. Enterprises in the public sector, have to set an example, in this respect”.
(11) It needs mention that for success of any scheme of worker’s participation, there must be effective two way communication and exchange of information between the management and workmen. It is only then the workers would have a better appreciation of the problems and difficulties of the undertaking and of its overall functioning.
Recent thinking in the field of human relations has established that the worker has potential capacity to learn, contemplate and take greater responsibility for his own behavior. Experiments have shown that worker works not only to earn his bread but also have some social and psychological objectives before him. It is also proved that workers are also intelligent and can contribute substantially to the prosperity of their organization, if provided with proper opportunities. So, workers are assets, not liability and should be developed further by HRD efforts as a good social being with adequate zeal, motivation, skill, initiatives and values to be an effective partner for harmonious I.R. health, safety and welfare of the workers should “invariably” be ensured in Public sector undertakings to promote harmonious labour relation.
For organizational set-up, that of your subsidiary with an additional “monitoring cell” headed by a senior personnel man may be sufficient.