Causes Of Industrial Disputes
Handling employee misconduct is a very critical task to be performed by the senior managers. Misconduct and other offensive behaviors often lead to decreased levels of productivity as they affect the individual performance of the employees. To manage discipline among employees, every company opts for a discipline policy which describes the approach it will follow to handle misconduct.
The causes of industrial disputes can be broadly classified into two categories: economic and non-economic causes. The economic causes will include issues relating to compensation like wages, bonus, allowances, and conditions for work, working hours, leave and holidays without pay, unjust layoffs and retrenchments. The non economic factors will include victimization of workers, ill treatment by staff members, sympathetic strikes, political factors, indiscipline etc.
Ø Wages and allowances
Ø Personnel and retrenchment
Ø Indiscipline and violence
Ø Leave and working hours
Wages and allowances
Since the cost of living index is increasing, workers generally bargain for higher wages to meet the rising cost of living index and to increase their standards of living. In 2002, 21.4% of disputes were caused by demand of higher wages and allowances. This percentage was 20.4% during 2003 and during 2004 increased up to 26.2%. In 2005, wages and allowances accounted for 21.8% of disputes.
Personnel and retrenchment
Personnel and retrenchment: The personnel and retrenchment have also been an important factor which accounted for disputes. During the year 2002, disputes caused by personnel were 14.1% while those caused by retrenchment and layoffs were 2.2% and 0.4% respectively. In 2003, a similar trend could be seen, wherein 11.2% of the disputes were caused by personnel, while 2.4% and 0.6% of disputes were caused by retrenchment and layoffs. In year 2005, only 9.6% of the disputes were caused by personnel, and only 0.4% were caused by retrenchment.
Indiscipline and violence:
From the given table, it is evident that the number of disputes caused by indiscipline has shown an increasing trend. In 2002, 29.9% of disputes were caused because of indiscipline, which rose up to 36.9% in 2003. Similarly in 2004 and 2005, 40.4% and 41.6% of disputes were caused due to indiscipline respectively. During the year 2003, indiscipline accounted for the highest percentage (36.9%) of the total time-loss of all disputes, followed by cause-groups wage and allowance and personnel with 20.4% and 11.2% respectively. A similar trend was observed in 2004 where indiscipline accounted for 40.4% of disputes.
Bonus has always been an important factor in industrial disputes. 6.7% of the disputes were because of bonus in 2002 and 2003 as compared to 3.5% and 3.6% in 2004 and 2005 respectively
Leave and working hours:
Leave and working hours: Leaves and working hours have not been so important causes of industrial disputes. During 2002, 0.5% of the disputes were because of leave and hours of work while this percentage increased to 1% in 2003. During 2004, only 0.4% of the disputes were because of leaves and working hour
Consequences of Industrial Conflicts
Ø Unrest and unnecessary tensions engulf the hearts and minds of all the people involved - labourers and senior management.
Ø There is economic loss due to conflicts because conflicts may result in strikes and lock-outs. This causes low or no production resulting in industrial loss.
Ø Industrial losses may cause economic depression because many industries are interlinked. A problem in one industry may drastically affect another industry.
Ø The lives of low-level labourers become worse when they are out of work. They may be the only working members of the family, and their joblessness may lead everyone in the family to poverty.
Ø When industrial conflicts get out of hand, they become a threat to peace and security. Workers may resort to violence and indulge in sabotage.