- Collective Bargaining
It is an industrial relations process in which employees through their elected leaders participate on equal basis with management in negotiating labour agreements, in administering the agreements and in redressing grievances of the workers.
In India, collective bargaining has not made much headway particularly at industry and national levels, due to the following reasons :
i.Lack of strong and central trade unions and employers organisations who can represent countrywide interests.
ii. Excessive dependence on compulsory adjudication for the settlement of industrial disputes. Thirdly party intervention is easier than self reliance.
iii. Legislation and regulatory bodies like wage boards have reduced the area for collective bargaining.
iv.Multiplicity of unions, inter-union, rivalry, political dominance and poor leadership have resulted in weak trade union movement.
v.The government provides little support to collective bargaining.
vi. Conditions of work and life differ widely in different parts of the country.
In co-partnership workers are allowed to purchase shares of the company and thus become its co-owners. In this way, they can participate in the management of the company through their elected representatives on the Board of Directors. As shareholders, the workers can also attend general meetings of shareholders and exercise their voting rights.
In this method, one or two representatives of workers are nominated or elected on the Board of Directors. This is full fledged and highest form of worker’s participation in management. In India, D.C.M. and a few other companies provide representation o workers on their Board of Directors.
- Suggestion Schemes
Under this system, workers are invited and encouraged to offer suggestions for improving the working of the enterprise. A suggestion box is installed. Any worker can write his suggestions and put it into the box. Periodically all the suggestions are scrutinized by the Suggestions Committee. Good suggestions are accepted for implementation and suitable rewards are given to the concerned workers. Suggestions schemes encourage worker’s interest in the functioning of the enterprise.
- Grievance Procedure
A grievance procedure also provides an opportunity to the workers to participate in decisions on matters affecting their interests. It is established for an early settlement of worker’s grievances. In India Sec. 9-C of the Industrial Disputes Act provides that in every establishment in which 100 or more workers are employed or have been employed on any one day in the preceding twelve months, he employer shall set up a time bound grievance redressal procedure. The model Grievance Procedure evolved by the 15th Indian Indian Labour Conference has a three-tier system for settlement of grievances at the level of :
i. The immediate supervisor
ii. Department head
iii. A bipartite grievance committee representing the management and the union.
If grievance committee is not able to redress the grievance, there is a provision for arbitration or appeal to the chief executive of the organization. These are successive time bound steps, each leading to the next step in case of non-redressal of the grievance to the satisfaction of workers.
- Quality Circle
A quality circle is a unique concept which provides for voluntary participation by the workers in the direction of quality improvement and self-development. Quality circles first originated in Japan during 1962 and then spread to many other countries including India.
The quality circles are autonomous units of about 10 workers, usually lead by a supervisor or a senior worker and organized as work units The workers, who have a shared area of responsibility, meet weekly to discuss, analyse and propose solutions to ongoing problems. Some typical methods in improving production method and quality involve reducing defects, scrap, rework and downtime which are expected to lead to cost reduction as well as increased productivity. In addition quality circles intend to focus attention on the self development of workers and the improvement of working conditions. Through this process, there is improvement of worker’s morale and motivation, stimulation of teamwork, and recognition to their achievements.