An Industrial Dispute has been raised by a Registered Trade Union operating in our Mines on their 14 point Charter of Demand. Among other points, they have raised demand on some issues which is not connected with their employment. Like:
1. Installation of overhead tank and water filtration system in township.
2. Availability of all required & better quality medicine in Company's Hospital.
3. Improvement of township roads, playgrounds and sanitation system.
It may be mentioned here that we maintain a small township for accomodation of our workers and they avail free treatment in our hospital.
I feel the above issues doesn't falls under the category of Industrial Dispute. Kindly clarify on this.

From India, Calcutta
industrial dispute or demands should be based on (Term & Conditions) of employment but as you mention three points which are not directly related to employment. these are other benefits which is provided by your management.
so these points are not valid as per laws.
Rao Rajbir

From India, Coimbatore
Well, being an employer, if you offering them a township for accommodation, the facilities should be satisfactory and there should be proper maintenance for them.
If you want them to work for you the first important thing for them is to be healthy and fit but if the facilities specially hospital and medicines then it will sure be problem. So better if you discuss their problems and check what can be done.

From India, Lucknow

Demands as put forth are indirectly and implied 'Terms & conditions" of employment. Becoz when you offer employment, you also say that quarter and other facilities will be provided, though these may not be mentioned in their letter of appointment or HR policy. Moreover, I predict that when you provide residential accommodation to the employees, you stop payment of HR allowance rather start deducting employees share towards accommodation provided. With providing medical facilities, employees are stopped payment of medical allowances. You have established a colony just for saving your conveyance allowance for bringing employees from nearby areas. If all things are not true, then I guess something will be saved for the company. If so, then what is the problem in sorting out these problems. Moreover if colony is yours, it becomes your duty to provide proper facilities in colony.Thus it is incumbent upon you to check the grievance of the Union.

In addition to above, I may point out that union follow the principle: "Go for 'gun' licence, we will get for 'pistol'. Union leaders put forth demands more & more and if ultimately 50-70% are accepted, they are happy as their leadership will prevail.

So, you should be ready to conciliate upon the demands and find out which management can accept while minimize extra burden.

This my experience shared with you and members.


V K Gupta

From India, Panipat
Dear Baishaliamit,

The views expressed by Mr. Gupta are quite valid one. I also work in mining sector. The Union Leaders, while submitting their agenda for strike or for agenda meeting/IR Meetings, put forward some of the demands which they themselves know that it won't be met. However, the strategy is to fatten the charter of demands and please/attract more and more members/non-members to join their call for agitation. Besides, there is always some hidden agenda which they don't spell in words but aim to achieve that goal through such demands.

My suggestion is - please concentrate on the demands which you and your organization's Rules & Regulations, Service Rules provide for. Try to get some hint of that hidden agenda by talking to the senior leaders of the Union who has served the notice. I am sure, they will give you some hint or will speak out their intent clearly behind the call. If possible, meet their hidden agenda, everything else will be taken care off by the Union leaders themselves.

This is from my long experience in the industry. Hope this will help you in building better IR with TUs and your personal image.

Best wishes.

AK Jain

HR Personnel


From India, Jabalpur
Dear friend,

I concur with the views expressed by m/s Couvery and Gupta. Do you think Trade Union Leaders do not know what are the demands that would constitute valid industrial disputes? As rightly pointed out by Mr.A.K.Jain it is the time-old practice of trade unions to include even non-issues in the charter of demands for strategic reasons.They know pretty well that if one aims at the star, then only he would be able to reach atleast the grandmother's nose.So don't get perplexed by the number of demands. Try to read in between the lines and cull out the genuine demands that require action.Coming to the demands mentioned, how do you think that they do not partake the characteristics of industrial dispute? Don't you take into a/c the cost of maitenance of the township, salaries of the doctors and para-medical staff employed in the hospital, the cost of free medicines supplied and the maitenance expenses of the hospital and the like while determining labour costs? Since yours is a mining industry, your management might have thought it imperative to have a small township in view of its geographical isolation. Such a move cannot be based on charity. On the other hand, it is a covert attempt to easy mobilisation of required labour force and to facilitate its mobility so as to suit the round- the- clock mining operations and what else? In my considered opinion the above demands are certainly valid industrial disputes and your management is legally bound to consider them.

From India, Salem
Dear Baishaliamit!
While I concurr with Gupta, Jain and Umakanthan gentlemen, I wish to draw your attention to the definition of Industrial Dispute as enshrined in Sec.2(k) of I.D.Act to clear your doubt whether it is an industrial dispute or not.... which will help you understand even technically and that reads thus.....
"(k) "industrial dispute" means any dispute or difference between ................. employers and workmen............., which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or with the conditions of labour, of any person;"
Please critically read it shifting your view point .......for and against.... comprehending the circumstance being conditions of labour and terms of employment..... and then, I am sure, you will agree that it is an 'industrial dispute'... and needs to be resolved amicably.
T.Kishtaiah, Consultant.

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Seniors,
Thanks for response. Thanks specially to Couvery, Arunjain.Ncl & . You have shared your learning from the experience and it is quite beneficial to me. I will surely put up these views to my higher ups and try sort out the issues raised by the Union.

From India, Calcutta
I appreciate these analytical views expressed.
These welfare facilities are either expressed or implied in the working conditions in Mining industries which are situated in remote inaccessible locations.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Any failure by the Employer in non-implementation of welfare measures effecting the employees, though it is not connected with the employment taken over by the Registered Trade Union leads to Industrial Dispute. Therefore, without such things should be discussed across the table and better to clear it instead of leading the matter to a dispute.
From United States, Cupertino

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