Dear Seniors,
I request you to give the guidence about charter of demands given by our union.
Kindly tell me what the union bearers can do if management is not at all accepting for their very much needed demands.
And also guide me what further steps we need to take for their actions to face the same as management/HR
Srinivas Babu

From India, Bangalore
Industrial relations is a key aspect of human resource functioning and Collective bargaining is part of the IR process.Submission of charter of demand by the union is the first step towards the process of collective bargaining.After collective bargaining process, if there is an agreement between the management and the union on some or all issues, then such agreement culminates into a settlement in terms of Sec.2(p) of the ID Act. If the management does not accept these demands, then it is construed that there is a difference or dispute between the management and the union with regard to the issues raised in the charter of demands and such difference/dispute is termed as an industrial dispute in terms of Sec.2(k) of the ID Act. The union then can raise an industrial dispute before conciliation officer (Asst.Lab.Commissioner) under Sec.12 of the ID Act inviting his interference to conciliate on the matter.The conciliation officer then initiates the process of conciliation by summoning both parties and hearing them and making an effort to settle the matter. If both the parties agree to settle the matter before conciliation officer, then the settlement is called settlement arrive at during the course of conciliation in terms of section 2(p) of the ID Act and is binding on all workmen in terms of Sec.18(3) of the ID Act.If no settlement is arrived at, the matter will be referred to Government which may refer it to Labour Court/Tribunal for adjudication

Hope this clarifies your doubts.


In-House HR & IR Advisor

From India, Mumbai
Mr.Saikumar has given a graphic presentation of the happenings if the process of collective bargaining failed. Of course, adjudication is the ultimate process of resolution of any industrial dispute.But, always carries with it the weight of the third party intervention by means of modified conclusions based on the Industrial Adjudicator's perspective of the issues referred.It may later impose an introspection in the minds of the disputants at times that each of them could have been a bit more liberal earlier in understanding the other's difficulty.That's why in conciliation circles it is said that a worst settlement is, at times, better than the best award.My dear Srinivas Babu, you have said that the management is not at all accepting the union's very much needed demands.So, in effect there is no bargaining at all - just the management rushed through the charter of demands and ascertained what are crucial to the union and said no - that's all.Sorry, it is not negotiation.On the other hand, it is like a gentleman seated high on an elephant's back asking a by-stander below to give a glass of water to him.Negotiation can not be linear.It has to criss-cross through the various positive alternatives available. Try to evaluate the repurcussions - conceding to the demands subject to convincing modifications favouring both or fighting it out without knowing the exact outcome under strained relationship with the other partner of production viz, the workmen.
From India, Salem
Dear Rajendra,

From the unions' perspective all the contents of a charter of demand are valid ones because submission of the charter of demands either for the first time on the union's recognition as a bargaining agent or at periodic intervals arising out of the expiration of earlier settlements affords them an opportunity to put up new ones necessitated by the present circumstances as well as to press for certain demands rejected by the management earlier.The union office bearers, apart from their genuine interest in the welfare of the workmen, out of the necessity to consolidate their position, would deliberately put up more no of demands.Some demands may be mere clap-traps such as asking for employment opportunity to the wards of the retiring workmen while some others may not partake of an issue resolvable by the management such as seeking exemption from professinal tax.These would have been intelligently interspersed with the genuine demands.However, as a seasoned management representative you can distinguish them very easily.So, from management's perspective, those of such demands whose acceptance will increase productivity, ensure a reasonable hike in the real earnings of the workmen on par with industry-cum- regional average, reduce indirect financial commitments, promote good-will in the long-run etc., would be valid ones.

From India, Salem
Dear Sir,
Many thanks for your inputs in the matter. You rightly mentioned that from the Union's perspective all the demands are valid for them. But if we see from the Management's perspective should we entertain such demands which are not relevant to the working conditions or payment of wages or any matter connected with the employment. Say for
example there is colony of the company & workers have been provided with family accommodation. Any matter pertaining to facilities at colony if included in charter of demands should be entertained by the management ? Please advise.
Kind Regards,

From India, Rajkot
Hello Srinivas Babu

What I provided is knowledge on the subject and what Mr.Umakanthan provided is wisdom. Mr.Umakanthan is right in saying that a worst settlement is always better than a technically sound award, as you may find after a protracted and acrimonious adjudication, that you would be better off by settling the dispute across the table.Collective bargaining is recognized as a vital and potential means of maintaining harmony in industrial relations and the Industrial Disputes Act seeks to provide a statutory flavour to all those sincere efforts to resolve disputes and differences through deliberations between the management and the union by defining a settlement under Sec.2(p) and Sec.12 making available the services of Government also to the parties to the dispute to resolve it and by lending as well a binding force to them under Sec.18 of the ID Act.In fact the ID Act provides as much sanctity to a settlement through conciliation as to an ward as observed from sec.18. Thus a cryptic reply of NO' to the charter of demands is no negotiation and no collective bargaining.Therefor grasp this spirit to resolve the disputes through dialogue amicably. Adjudication shall b the last resort.

Thanks Mr.Umakanthan for providing a right and practical perspective to the issue.


In-House HR & IR Advisor

From India, Mumbai
Thank you Mr.Saikumar for your compliments and I really owe them to the resourceful questioners who by their constant nagging for clarity bestow ample opportunity to people like us to refresh ourselves. Coming to Rajendra's latest question, let me first explain what the term "demand" means in industrial relations context.Here, demand refers to a formal request by Labour of some employment issue capable of redressal by the positive action of the Employer. At times it can be vice-versa too. When the Employer or the Management straight away rejects them or scales down the importance of the issues raised on monetary and other constraints, the issues partake the character of disputes. Thus a dispute is the metamorphosis of a live unsettled demand.These industrial disputes could be classified into (1) Interest Disputes (2) Grievance Disputes (3) Disputes over unfair labour practices AND (4) Recognition Disputes.Simply put,Interest Disputes which are otherwise called as 'Economic Disputes' are concerned with establishment of new terms of employment conditions; Grievance Disputes, also called as Rights Disputes arise against the act of employer over the non-employment and conditions of labour such as dismissal, discharge, retrenchment, payment of wages, over time, seniority, transfer, promotion, demotion etc; Disputes over unfair labour practices enumerated in Sch.V of the I.D Act,1947 can also be raised by the Trade Unions; and finally Recognition Disputes arise when the management refuses to recognize a Trade Union for the purpose of collective bargaining and the genesis of this type of disputes is purely psychological and attitudinal. Though the Code of Discipline,1953 emphasizes upon the procedure for recognition, the Judicial Pronouncements are not in favour of the Trade Unions.Except the State of Maharashtra, if I were correct, no separate Law on this subject-matter. Now, Rajendra, analyze the issue of seeking improvements in residential accomodation provided for by the Management and its inclusion in the Charter of Demands.
From India, Salem
Yes. Maharastra has provided a statutory procedure for recognition of trade unions through the MRTP & PULP Act.I guess M.P has M.P Industrial Relations Act but I am not sure whether it provides for recognition of trade unions. In other cases, it is the code of discipline that operates as a guide in matters of trade Union recognition.thanks for the input.
In-House HR & IR Advisor

From India, Mumbai
I am thankful to Mr. B.Saikumar and Mr.Umakanth for their valuable inputs as regards the query asked by Mr.Sreenivas. They have clearly explained in short the settlement process under Industrial Disputes Act.
Thanks once again
Adoni Suguresh
Sr.Executive (Pers, Admin & Ind.Rels) Rtd
Labour Law Consultant

From India, Bidar
Charter of demans is the right of union and we call it "Collective bargaining". Legal stand has been clarified some of the masters. My submission to get it prepapred a Counter Charter of Demand i.e., your(Management) wanted positions? e.g., Efficiency, Discipline, and Cost effecive/optimization solutions.
Hope you are understanding what I wanted to communicate.
Gajendra Harishanker

From India

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