ii. The Board of Conciliation
In case the Conciliation Officer fails to resolve the differences between the parties, the government has the discretion to appoint a Board of Conciliation. The board of Conciliation is tripartite and adhoc body. It consists of an independent Chairman and two or four member representing the parties in equal number. The Chairman shall be an independent person (i.e unconnected with the dispute or with any industry directly affected by such dispute). While the former is charged with the duty of mediating in and promoting the settlement of Industrial disputes, the later is required to promote the settlement of industrial disputes.
The duties of Board of Conciliation Officer are :
a. Where a dispute has been referred it shall endeavor to bring about a settlement of the same. It shall without delay investigate the dispute and all matters affecting the merits and the right settlement thereof.
b. If the settlement of the dispute is arrived at in the course of conciliation proceedings the Board shall send a report thereof to the appropriate Government together with a memorandum of the settlement signed by the parties to the dispute.
c. If no settlement is arrived at the Board shall as soon as practicable after the close of the investigations, send a report to the appropriate Government stating the facts and circumstances, the steps taken, the reasons why no settlement was arrived at, and its recommendation of the dispute.
The board must submit its report within 2 months of the date on which the dispute was referred to or within such shorter period as may be fixed by the appropriate government. A Board of conciliation can only try to bring about a settlement and has no power to impose a settlement on the parties to the dispute.
- Court of Enquiry
In case of the failure of the conciliation proceedings to settle a dispute, the government can appoint a Court of Inquiry to enquire into any matter connected with or relevant to industrial dispute. The court is expected to submit its report within six months from the commencement of enquiry. A court of Inquiry may consist of one independent person or of such number of independent persons as the appropriate Government may think fit. In case of Board of conciliation, the object is to promote settlement of an industrial dispute. But, in the case of a court of enquiry, the object is to enquire into and reveal the causes of an industrial dispute.
- Voluntary Arbitration
Voluntary arbitration refers to getting the disputes settled through an independent person chosen by the parties involved mutually and voluntarily. Voluntary arbitration became popular as a method of settling differences between workers and management with the advocacy of Mahatma Gandhi, who has applied it very successfully in the Textile Industry of Ahmedabad. However voluntary arbitration was lent legal identity only in 1956 when Industrial Disputes Act 1947 was amended to include a provision relating to it. Voluntary arbitration is one of the democratic ways for setting industrial disputes. It is the best method for resolving industrial conflicts and is a close supplement to collective bargaining. It not only provides a voluntary method of settling industrial disputes, but is also a quicker way of settling them.