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Mechanism Of Settlement Of Disputes

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:

  1. Through conciliation officers at the Department of Labor.
  2. 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 parties' recommendations.

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 conciliation officer.

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.

Voluntary Arbitration

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 do so.

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.

Adjudication

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:

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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 numerous.

    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 also
    • Bonus and provident funds that are provided
    • Working hours of the employees
    • Rationalisation
    • 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 necessarily.
       
  3. 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.

Conclusion
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:
  1. 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 influences.
  2. 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 of Labors.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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