Code of discipline – Principles, Features and Objectives
In India, the problem of industrial discipline was debated by the Indian Labour Conference held in 1957. The Conference noted the alarming record of breach of discipline by employers and employees. A sub-committee was appointed to draft a model Code of Discipline which would be acceptable to all. A Code of Discipline drafted by the sub-committee was duly ratified by the central organisations of workers and employers at the 16th session of the Indian Labour Conference in March 1958 and it became operative from 1st June, 1958.
Principles of the Code of Discipline
- There should be no strike or lockout without proper notice.
- No unilateral action should be taken in connection with any industrial matter.
- There should be no resource to go slow tactics.
- No deliberate damage should be caused to a plant or property.
- Acts of violence, intimidation, coercion or instigation should not be resorted to.
- The existing machinery for settlement of disputes should be utilized.
- Awards and agreements should be speedily implemented.
- Any action which disturbs cordial industrial relation should be avoided.
Objectives of the Code of Discipline
The Code has been aimed at establishing cordial relations between managements and workers on a voluntary basis to promote harmony and to put an end to industrial unrest. The objectives, as stated in the Code, are:
- To ensure that employers and employees recognize each other’s rights and obligations.
- To promote constructive co-operation between the parties considered at all levels.
- To secure settlement of disputes and grievances by negotiation, conciliation and voluntary arbitration.
- To eliminate all forms of coercion, intimidation and violence in industrial relations.
- To avoid work stoppages.
- To facilitate the free growth of the trade unions
- To maintain discipline in industry.
Features of Code of Discipline
The code of Discipline is applicable to both public and private sector units. The important features of the Code of Discipline are as follows:
- It prohibits strikes and lock-outs without prior notice and also intimidation, victimization and the adoption of ‘go slow’ tactics by workers.
- No one-sided (unilateral) action can be taken by either party in any industrial relation matter.
- All disputes are to be settled through the existing machinery provided for this purpose by the government.
- The employers will not increase work load without prior agreement with the workers.
- A common grievance procedure for the settlement of grievances of the workers after full investigation has been provided for.
- The employers will provide all facilities for the growth of trade unions.
- Prompt action will be taken against those officers whose conduct provokes indiscipline among the workers.
- The workers will not indulge in any trade union activity during the working hours. They will not engage in any demonstration or activity which is not peaceful.
- The workers will implement their part of the awards and settlements promptly and will take action against those office-bearers of the union who have violated the Code.
- The unions will discourage negligence of duty, careless operation, damage to property, insubordination and disturbance in normal productive activities. They will discourage unfair labour practices and will not engage in rowdy demonstrations.