Worker’s Participation in Management

Forms of Worker’s Participation in Management/Mode of Worker’s Participation in Management

Participation of workers in management of industrial enterprise is achieved by the following methods:

  1. Works Committee
  2. Joint Management Council
  3. Joint Councils
  4. Unit Councils
  5. Plant Councils
  6. Shop Councils
  7. Collective Bargaining
  8. Co-partnership
  9. Worker-Director
  10. Suggestion Schemes
  11. Grievance Procedure
  12. Quality Circle
  1. Works Committee

Works Committee consists of equal number of representatives of both employers and workers. It meets frequently for discussion on common problems of the workers and the management. After discussion, joint decisions are taken and such decisions are binding on both the parties.

Works committee deals with matters of day to day functioning at the shop floor level. According to Indian Labour Conference (1959) works committee are concerned with:

i. Conditions of work such as ventilation, lighting, temperature and sanitation including latrines and urinals.

ii. Amenities such as drinking water, canteens, dining rooms, medical and health services.

iii. Safety and accident prevention, occupational diseases and protective equipment.

iv. Adjustment of festivals and national holidays.

v. Administration of welfare and fine funds.

vi. Educational and recreational activities.

vii. Promotion of thrift and savings.

viii. Implementation and review of decisions arrived in the meetings of works committee.

The following items are excluded from the purview of the works committee.

i. Wages and allowances

ii. Profit sharing and bonus

iii. Rationalization and work load

iv. Fixation of standard labour force

v. Programmes of planning and development

vi. Quantum of leave and holidays

vii. Retirement benefits

viii. Victimisation for trade union activities

ix. Retrenchment and layoff

x. Provident fund and gratuity

xi. Housing and transport schemes

xii. Incentive schemes

Works Committee have not proved to be effective in India.

  1. Joint Management Council

Joint consultation involves setting up of joint committees represented by the workers and the management to discuss and give suggestions for improvement with regard to matters of mutual interest. The decisions of such committees are not binding on either party, yet they are implemented as they are arrived at by mutual consultations. While work committees are formed at shop floor level, joint management councils are instituted at Plant level.

A Joint Management Council is expected to perform the following functions:

i. The council is to be consulted by management before introducing changes in the modes of production, production schedule, general administration problems etc.

ii. The council is to receive information, discuss and give suggestions on general economic situations, state of the market, production and marketing programmes, organization and general functioning of the concern, methods of production and work, balance sheet and profit and loss account, long term capital budgeting decisions, plants for expansions, modernization and development etc.

iii. The council is to take up accident prevention, management of canteens, water, meals, safety, issues and revision of work rules, avoidance of waste of time and materials, absenteeism, indiscipline, training etc.  Thus council is entrusted with the responsibility of administering welfare measures, supervision of safety and health schemes, vocational training, apprenticeship schemes, scheduling of working hours, breaks and holidays and reward for suggestions.

Wages, bonus, individual grievances, personal problems of workers and matters of collective bargaining are outside the scope of joint management councils.

  1. Joint Councils

A every division/region/zonal levels or may be considered necessary in particular branch of an organization/service employing 100 or more people, there shall be a joint council.

The main features of joint council are:

i. Each organisation/service shall decide the number of councils to be set up fr different types of services rendered by it in consultation with the recognized unions or workers as the case may be, in the manner best suited to the local conditions.

ii. Only such persons who are actually engaged in the organisation/service shall be members of the joint council. Each organization/service may decide the number of member in the manner suggested in items but the membership should not be unwieldy.

iii. The tenure of the council shall be two years.

iv. The chief executive of the organization/service or of its division/regional/zonal branch as the case may be shall be the chairman of the joint council.

v. The joint council shall appoint one of its members as its Secretory who will prepare the agenda, record the minutes of the meetings and report in the implementation of the decisions arrived at every meeting.

vi. The joint council shall meet whenever necessary but atleast once in a quarter.

vii. Every decision of the joint council shall be on the basis of consensus and not by a process of voting.

viii. The decision shall be binding on both the management and workers and shall be implemented within one month, unless otherwise stated in the decision.

Functions of the Joint Councils

The following shall be the functions of Joint Council

i. The settlement of matters which remain unresolved by unit level councils and arranging joint meetings for resolving inter-council problems.

ii. Review of the working of the unit level council for improvement in the customer service and evolving for the best way of handling of goods traffic, accounts etc.

iii. Unit level matters which have a bearing on other branches or on the enterprise as a whole.

iv. Development of skills of workers and adequate facilities for trading.

v. Improvement in general conditions of work.

vi. Preparation of schedules of working hours and holidays.

vii. Proper recognition and appreciation of useful suggestions received form workers through a system of rewards.

viii. Discussion on any matter having a bearing in the improvement of performance of the organisation/service with a view to ensuring better customer service.

  1. Unit Councils

Encouraged by success of the Joint Councils scheme in manufacturing and mining units, a new scheme of worker’s participation in management in commercial and service organisations in the public sector, having large scale public dealings, was announced on 5th January 1977. The scheme envisaged the setting up of unit councils in units employing at least 100 persons. The organisations includes hotels, restaurants, hospitals, air, sea, railway and road transport services, ports an d docks, rations hops, schools, research institutions, provident fund and pension organisations, municipal and milk distribution services, trust organisations , all financial institutions, banks, insurance companies, The Food Corporation, State Electricity Boards, Central Warehousing Corporations, State Trading Corporations, Mines and Minerals Trading Corporation, irrigation systems, tourists organisations. Establishments of public amusement and training organization of Central and state governments.

The Main features of Scheme are:

  1. A unit level council, consisting of representatives of workers and management of the organization/service, employing 100 or more workers, may be formed in each unit to discuss day to day problems and find solutions but wherever necessary a composite council may be formed to serve more than one unit, or a council may be formed department wise to suit the particular needs of an organization/service.
  2. Every unit council shall consist of an equal number of representatives of the management workers.
  3. The management’s representatives should be nominated by the management and should consists of persons from the unit concerned.
  4. The management in consultation with the recognized union or the registered union or workers as the case may be, determine in the manner best suited to local conditions, the number of councils and the departments to be attached to each council of the organization/service.
  5. All the decisions of a unit council should be on the basis of consensus and not by a process of voting, provided that either party may refer the unsettled matters to the joint council for consideration.
  6. Every decision of a unit council shall be implemented by the parties concerned within a month, unless otherwise stated in the decision itself.

Functions of Unit Council

The main functions of the unit councils are:

i. To create conditions for achieving optimum efficiency , better customer service in areas where there is direct and immediate contact between workers at the operational level and thee consumer, higher productivity and output, including elimination of wastage and idle time, and optimum utilization of manpower by joint involvement in improving the work system.

ii. To identify areas of chronically bad, inadequate or inferior service and to take necessary corrective steps to eliminate the contributing factors and evolve improved methods of operation.

iii. To study absenteeism problem and recommend steps to reduce it.

iv. To eliminate pilferage and all forms of corruption and to institute a system if rewards for this purpose.

v. To suggest improvements in the physical conditions of work, such a slighting, ventilation, dust, noise, cleanliness, internal layout, and the setting up of customers service points.

vi. To ensure a proper flow of two way communication between management and workers particularly about matters relating to the services to be rendered, fixation of targets of output and the progress made in achieving these targets.

vii. To recommend and improve safety, health and welfare measures to ensure efficient running of the unit.

viii. To discuss any other matters which may have a bearing on the improvement of performance in the unit for ensuring better customer service.

Worker’s Participation in Management

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  1. Can you make a list of all the important thinkers in the field of HRM and their contributions?

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