Worker’s Participation in Management

  1. Plant Council

The plant council is formed in pursuance of the recommendations of the second meeting of the group on Labour at New Delhi on 23rd September 1985. The scheme is applicable to all Central public sector undertaking, except those which are given specific exemption from the operation of the scheme by the government.

The main features are:

i.There shall be one plant council for the whole unit.

ii. Each plant council should consist of not less than six and not more than eighteen members. One third of the employees representatives should come from the supervisory staff level. If the number of women employees is 15% or more of the total workforce. At least one representative should be a women employee.

iii. Only such persons as are actually engaged in the unit should be members of the plant council.

iv. Its tenure shall be for a period of three years.

v. The chief executive of the unit shall be chairman of the plant council, the vice chairman shall be elected from among the employees.

vi. The council shall meet atleast once in a quarter.

vii. Every decision of the plant council shall be on the basis of consensus and not by voting and shall be binding on both the employees and the employer.

Functions of Plant Council

The plant council shall normally deal with the following matters.

i. Operational Areas

a) Determination of productivity schemes taking into consideration the local conditions.

b) Material supply and preventing its shortfall

c) Housekeeping activities

d) Planning, implementation and attainment and review of monthly targets and schedules.

e)  Quality and technological improvements.

f)  Machine utilization, knowledge and development of new products.

ii. Economic and Financial Areas

a) Profit and loss statements, balance sheet.

b) Review of operating expenses, financial results, and cost of sales.

c)  Enterprise performance in financial terms, labour and managerial cost, and market conditions etc.

iii. Personnel Matters

a) Matters relating to absenteeism.

b) Special problems of women workers.

c) Initiation and administration of worker’s programmes.

d) Family welfare, Health Education

iv. Welfare Areas

a) Implementation of welfare schemes, such as medical benefits, housing and transport facilities, recreation.

b) Safety measures, Safety education

c)  Township administration and cooperative societies.

d) Control of the habits of gambling, drinking and indebtedness among the workers

v. Environmental Areas

a) Environment protection and

b) Extension activities and community development projects.

6. Shop Councils

The main features of the shop council are:

i. There shall be shop council foe each department or shop whether a management council already exists.

ii. Each shop council shall consist of equal number of representatives of employers and workers.

iii. The number of members of each council may be determined by the employer in consultation with the recognized union in the manner best suited to local conditions obtaining in the unit. The total number of members may not exceed 12.

iv. All decisions of a shop council shall be on the basis of consensus and not by a process of voting.

v. Every decision of a shop council shall be implemented by the parties concerned within a period of one month, unless otherwise stated in the decision itself and compliance report shall be submitted to the council.

vi. A shop council once formed shall function for a period of two years.

vii. The council shall meet as frequently as is necessary and at least once in a month.

Functions of Shop Council

Shop councils were to deal with the following matters:

i.Assist management in achieving production targets.

ii.Improved productivity and efficiency including elimination of wastage and optimum utilization of machine capacity and manpower.

iii.Assist in maintaining general discipline in the shop/department.

iv.Identify areas of low productivity and take necessary steps at shop level so as to eliminate the causes of low productivity.

v. Suggest health, safety and welfare measures to be adopted for smooth functioning of the shop or department.

vi.Study absenteeism in the shop/department and recommend steps to reduce them.

vii. Look after physical conditions of working such as lighting, ventilation, noise, dust etc. and reduction of fatigue.

viii. Ensure proper flow of adequate two way communication between the management and the workers particularly on matters relating to production figures schedule and progress in achieving the targets.

  1. 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.

  1. Co-partnership

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.

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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