Conciliation And Mediation
Conciliation, often known as mediation, is one of the most well-known means to
carry out the settlement of conflicts under the Industrial Dispute Act of 1947.
This method of dispute resolution is not exclusive to India; it is employed all
around the world. Conciliation is a technique in which a third party assists the
parties in a disagreement in carrying out their negotiations.
The two types of
machinery that can be utilised to execute conciliation functions are as follows:
- Through conciliation officers at the Department of Labor.
- The Conciliation Board is made up of multiple members, including a
chairman and two to four members who represent the employers and employees,
respectively. The government will nominate these members based on the
The purpose of a conciliation officer, according to Section 4 of the Industrial
Dispute Act of 1947, is to promote a friendly attitude within the industry that
will assist the parties in resolving their differences. This is an
administrative function rather than a judicial one.
A conciliation officer is responsible for holding procedures and conducting
unbiased investigations into the issue in order to assist the parties in
reaching an agreement. They are appointed to oversee the resolution of disputes
in a certain area, either temporarily or permanently. While Section 11 of the
Industrial Dispute Act of 1947 establishes the authority of a conciliation
officer, Sections 12 and 13 deal with the duties of a conciliation officer. the
After the government accepts that the report is flawed, it might refer the case
to the Board of Conciliation or any other adjudicating authority. If this is not
an option, the government will communicate directly with the parties engaged in
the dispute. According to the statistical analysis, the use of conciliation as a
dispute resolution process is really effective.
The parties do not reveal the
entire issue subject while participating in the conciliation process because
they believe that if the proceedings are ineffective in resolving the conflict,
further legal remedies are open to them. When the conciliation officers are
unable to resolve the conflict, the subject is referred to the tribunals. This
is also suggested as a factor for the conciliation's failure.
It is preferable to refer to them separately for a better understanding before
dealing with the concept of voluntary arbitration as a whole. Arbitration is a
method in which a third party, usually a single arbitrator or a panel of
arbitrators, is assigned the task of resolving a disagreement between two
parties. Self-will and consent are symbolised by the word voluntary. As a
result, voluntary arbitration means that the parties to the dispute freely
accept the arbitrators or board of arbitrators' ruling without being forced to
The Industrial Dispute Act of 1947, Section 10A, provides for voluntary
arbitration, which in practise is entirely handled through
adjudication. Arbitration and adjudication have a very thin line of difference
between them. While in the former the judge is decided by the parties involved
in the dispute, whereas in the latter the judge is appointed by the State.
The origins of voluntary arbitration in India can be traced back to the issue of
plague bonus in the Ahmedabad Textile Mills, which was led by Mahatma Gandhi,
the nation's father. The Trade Unions & Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Bill,
1988, was introduced to make voluntary arbitration mandatory, as well as to
limit employee lawful strikes. According to the bill, legal strikes can only be
carried out by the parties after one of them has rejected the offer of
arbitration that was made to them to resolve the dispute. Although the Indian
government has made various efforts, statistics show that voluntary arbitration
remains in the shadows.
In Gujarat Steel Tubes Ltd. v. Gujarat Steel Tubes Mazdoor Sabha, the apex court
stated that judicial statute gave the arbitrator the powers of a labour tribunal
in circumstances of workmen being discharged as a form of punishment. This
granted the arbitrator appellate jurisdiction, allowing him to challenge an
employer's decision involving his employees. The arbitrator was given these
extraordinary powers by the Indian Supreme Court.
It's not that adjudication completely replaces conciliation; rather, if
conciliation fails to resolve a dispute between two parties, adjudication steps
in to do the job that the conciliation mechanism was supposed to finish. It's
simply another legal option that can be used if the need arises. Adjudication is
the final recourse for resolving a labour dispute.
Adjudication, as defined by the Industrial Dispute Act of 1947, is the
obligatory settlement of an industrial dispute by labour courts, industrial
tribunals, and national tribunals. When used in our country, the phrases
adjudication and arbitration have minor distinctions.
Before starting with the adjudication system, the government must decide whether
or not to refer to the party. When the parties are not involved by the
government, the adjudication is referred to as voluntary adjudication. If the
government does not believe it is necessary to involve the parties in the
adjudication process, the process is referred to as compulsory adjudication.
Adjudication of the industrial dispute will take place by a three-tier system
which will be inclusive of the following:
- Labour court:
A labour court is established under Section 7 of the
Industrial Dispute Act of 1947. The establishment of a labour court for
resolving disputes in an industry can be triggered by the appropriate government
through a notification in the official gazette. The labour court is made up of
one person who is either an independent judge or a High Court or District Court
judge. The judge could alternatively be a previous labour court judge with at
least 5 years of experience.
The second schedule of the Industrial Dispute Act,
1947, lists the types of cases that the labour court can hear. The legality of
the order passed by the employer under the orders that are standing orders by
granting of relief that should be available to the workmen in the industry which
has been dismissed from them. Withdrawal of any privilege that a workman is
subjected to all matters other than that coming under the purview of the
- Industrial tribunal:
Section 7A of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947,
provides for the establishment of an industrial tribunal. The government can
establish one or more industrial tribunals as he sees fit, with the courts
having broader jurisdiction than the labour court. It is not to be considered a
permanent body, but rather one that has been put up for the sole purpose of
hearing on an as-needed basis. Because the courts will have a broader
jurisdiction, the questions that will be considered by the courts will be
The following is a general list of the concerns that the industrial
tribunal deals with:
- Wages of the employee which included the mode of payment of wages
- Bonus and provident funds that are provided
- Working hours of the employees
- Leaves that are granted to the employees inclusive of the wages
received and the holidays provided to them
- Rules associated with the maintenance of discipline in the industry
among the employees.
- Any other matter which may be considered to be heard and discussed
- National tribunal:
A national tribunal is established by the Central
Government through an official gazette for the adjudication of national-level
industrial disputes. The government appoints two people to serve as assessors in
the national tribunal, based on their qualifications. When a disagreement
between two industry parties reaches the national tribunal, the labour court and
the industrial tribunal both lose jurisdiction over the case.
Court Of Inquiry
The first law to provide a remedy in the form of a court of inquiry was the
Trade Disputes Act of 1929, which was followed by the Industrial Dispute Act of
1947, which included Section 6. In the country, this way of resolving problems
is no longer in practise. After the Indian government was unable to assess the
benefit of this machinery in cases of industrial disputes, the Trade Unions and
Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 1988, was passed. The machinery was
completely wrecked as a result, and it is no longer in use.
Despite the system's many shortcomings, the participation of the Supreme Court
and the High Courts has been effective in regulating the statute governing
industrial disputes. Settlement of disputes under the 1947 Industrial Dispute
Act is an effective way to get rid of the industry's confusion. As India
develops and new sectors are introduced, it is increasingly important to
guarantee that the industries function correctly in order to promote the
country's economic progress.
The Industries Dispute Act of 1947 plays an
important role in this regard, not only by laying out regulations for regulating
the operation of an industry but also by establishing methods for resolving
conflicts amongst employees.
Some of the ways in which settlement machinery can
function effectively are listed hereunder:
- Officers with past experience in the industry and familiarity with the
issues that impact industrial workers should oversee the conciliation
process. To avoid being misused and damaging the continuing industrial
conflict, this mechanism should be devoid of political and administrative
- To enhance the framework of the existing adjudicatory apparatus,
Industrial Relations Commissions should be established at both the national
and provincial levels, following the guidelines of the National Commission
- The arbitration method, like all other court proceedings, should be just
and fair so that the decision reached as a result of the industrial dispute
can satisfy both parties involved in the dispute.
- Government intervention in any form of labour conflict should be avoided
unless absolutely necessary in order to deal with the situation effectively and
independently without undue influence, as previously stated. Arbitrators are
expected to make independent judgements in order to treat employers and
employees equally and fairly.