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Employee Grievances Essay

In industrial context the word grievance is used in industrial context to designate claims by workers of a Trade Union concerning their individual or collective rights under an applicable collective agreement, individual contract of employment, law, regulations, work rules, custom or usage. Such claims involve questions relating to the interpretation or application of the rules. The term “Grievance” is used in countries to designate this type of claim, while in some other countries reference is made to disputes over “right” or “legal” disputes. The grounds for a grievance may be any measure or situation which concerns the relations between the employers and worker or which affects the conditions of employment of one or several workers in the undertaking when that measure or situation appears contrary to provisions of an applicable collective agreement or of an individual contract of employment, to work rules, to laws or regulations or to the custom or usage of the occupational branch of economy activity or country”.

Causes for Grievance

Grievances generally arise from the day to day working relations in an undertaking, usually a worker or trade union protest against or act or omission of management that is considered to violate worker rights.

Grievances typically arise on such matters like discipline and dismissal, the payment of wages & other fringe benefits, working time, over time and time off entitlement, promotions, demotions and transfer, rights deriving from seniority, rights of supervisors and the Union officers, job classification problems, the relationship of works rules to the collective agreement and fulfillment of obligations relating to safety and health as laid down in the agreement.

Such grievances, if not dealt with a procedure that secures the respect of parties, can result in embitterment of the working relationship and a climate of industrial strife. Procedure for Settlement: It has been widely recognized that there should be an appropriate procedure through which the grievances of workers may be submitted and settled. This recognition is based both on consideration of fairness and justice, which requires that workers’ claims regarding their rights should receive fair and impartial determination, and on the desire to remove from the area of power conflict a type of dispute that can properly be settled through authoritative determination of the respective rights and obligations of parties.

Essence of Model Grievance Procedure:
The three cardinal principles of grievance settlement, under the procedure, are;
1. Settlement at the lowest level,
2. Settlement as expeditiously as possible; and
3. Settlement to the satisfaction of the aggrieved Like justice, grievance must not only be settled but also seem to be settled in the eyes of the aggrieved.

The Model Grievance Procedure has a three tier system for the settlement at the levels of the

1. immediate supervisor;
2. departmental or factory head;
3. and a bipartite grievance committee representing the management and the union, with a provision for the arbitration appeal to the organization head, and a specified time limit for the resolution process.

Views of the National Commission on Labour NCL has recommended that a formal grievance procedure should be introduced in units employing 100 or more workers and they are: 1. There should be a statutory backing for the formulation of an effective grievance procedure which should be simple, flexible, less cumbersome and more or less n the lines of Model Grievance Procedure, 2. It should be time bound and have a limited number of steps namely, approach to the immediate supervisory staff; appeal to the departmental head/manager; and appeal to the bipartite grievance committee representing management and the recognized Union.

3. A grievance procedure should be such that it gives a sense of satisfaction to the individual worker, ensures reasonable exercise of authority to the manager and a sense of participation to Unions, 4. The constitution of the grievance committee should have a provision that in case a unanimous decision is not possible, the unsettled grievance may be referred to arbitration. At the earlier stages the worker should be free to be represented by a co worker and later by an officer of the union, if one exists, 5. It should be introduced in all units employing 100 or more workers. INDISCIPLINE/MISCONDUCT Discipline is the employee self control which prompts him to willingly co- operates with the organizational standards, rules, objectives, etc. Misconduct is the transgression of some established and definite rules where no discrimination is left to the employee. It is violation of rules.

Any breach of these rules and discipline may amount to misconduct. It is an act or conduct which is prejudicial to the interest of the employer or is likely to impair the reputation of the employer or create unrest and can be performed even outside the premises of the establishment and beyond duty hours. It is for the management to determine in its Standing Orders as to what shall constitutes acts of misconduct and to define the quantum of punishment for them.

Causes of misconduct:

• • Unfair labour practices and victimization on the part of employers, like wage diffentials, declaration of payment or non payment of bonus, wrongful works assignments, defective grievance procedure etc., • • Bad service conditions, defective communications by superiors and ineffective leadership lead to indiscipline, • • Poverty, frustration, indebtedness, generally overshadow the minds of the workers, these agitate their minds and often result in indiscipline, • • Generally speaking absenteeism, insubordination, dishonesty and disloyalty, violation of plant rules, gambling, incompetence, damage to machine and property, strikes, etc., all lead to industrial indiscipline. Remedial Measure for Acts of Indiscipline: • • Labour is most important factor of production. Therefore an Organization can prosper only if labour is properly motivated towards the attainment of specific goals.

A more humane approach is necessary to motivate them. • • Each worker, as an individual, needs a fair or reasonable wage to maintain himself and his family in good health and spirits. So the wage should be adequate so that the worker may meet the economic needs of his family, • • He Trade Union leadership should be developed from within the rank and file of workers, who would understand their problems and put it up to the management in the right perspective. Disciplinary Action: Indiscipline is the result of many interrelated reasons- economic, psychological, social etc. It needs to be properly handled. The disciplinary action must conform to certain principles e.g. • • The principal of natural justice must guide all enquiries and actions. No biased person to conduct inquiry, • The principal of impartiality or consistency must be followed, • • The disciplinary authority should offer full opportunity to the worker to defend himself. Procedure for Punishment: • Framing and Issuing of Charge sheet • • Receiving the defendants’ Explanation

• • Issuing the notice of Inquiry
• • Holding the Enquiry
• • Findings of the Inquiry Officer
• • Decision of the Disciplinary Authority
• • Communication of the Order of Punishment Termination of Employment:
• • Voluntary abandonment of Service by the Employee
• • Resignation by the employee
• • Discharge by notice thereof given by the employer
• • Discharge or dismissal by the employer as a punishment for misconduct,
• • Retirement on reaching the age of superannuation

Type of Punishment Under Standing Orders:
1. Censure or Warning
2. Fines
3. Suspension
4. Dismissal Best of Luck…..

Sample of labour grievance handling policy in a manufacturing unit:

As a matter of Labour Policy name of the company, hereby lays down the following procedure for addressing employees’ grievances

1 An employee who has any grievances viz.,
(a) A complaint against their supervisor or co-worker
(b) Problems related to methods or systems in the production floor
(c) Inconveniences caused due to work environment
(d) Disturbances caused by personal problems in the factory premises etc.

2 Apart from the above the management may take other problems which it may consider relevant

3 The aggrieved worker shall inform their problems in writing to any one of the following –

Factory Manager
Technical Manager
Admin Officer
Welfare Officer

4 The gist of grievances of the employee shall be recorded in Employee’s Grievance Register mentioning the date and reference number if any

5 The registered complaints will be addressed within 48 hours

6 Employee may also drop their letter of grievance in the suggestion/complaint boxes kept in the production floor.

7 If the problem stated in the letter is found crucial the Factory Manager shall call concerned department head explanation and may order for enquiry.

8 The enquiry shall be done and redressal shall be made as per the company’s standing orders in force.

9 The action taken by the management will be recorded

10 The management shall refer the problems registered and action taken to solve it periodically and thus monitor the situation and ensure that the problems are not repeated.

This policy on procedure for redressal is introduced to ensure good working environment in the factory, maintained at all time.

NOTICE BY MINISTRY OF LABOUR FOR HANDLING GRIEVANCES & DISPUTES AMONG EMPLOYEES!!

MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
NOTIFICATION
New Delhi , the 15th September, 2010
S.O. 2278(E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of Section 1 of the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 2010 (24 of 2010), the Central Government hereby appoints the 15 th Day of September, 2010, as the date on which the said Act shall come into force. [F.No.S-11012/1/2007-IR(PL)]

RAVI MATHUR, Addl. Secy.
THE INDUSTRIAL DIPSUTES (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2010
No.24 OF 2010
[18 th August, 2010]
An Act further to amend the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Be it enacted by Parliament in the Sixtieth Year of the Republic of India as follows:- 1. (1) This Act may be called the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 2010. (2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint. 2. In the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in section 2, -. (i) in clause (a),-

(a) in sub-clause (i), for the words “major port, the Central Government, and”, the words “major port, any company in which not less than fifty-one per cent of the paid-up share capital is held by the Central Government , or any corporation, not being a corporation referred to in this clause, established by or under any law made by Parliament, or the Central public sector undertaking , subsidiary companies set up by the principal undertaking and autonomous bodies owned or controlled by the Central Government, the Central Government and” shall be substituted: (b) for sub-clause (ii), the following sub-clause shall be substituted, namely:- “(ii) in relation to any other industrial dispute , including the State public sector undertaking, subsidiary companies set up by the principal undertaking and autonomous bodies owned or controlled by the State Government, the State Government.”;

Provided that in case of a dispute between a contractor and the contract labour employed through the contractor in any industrial establishment where such dispute first arose, the appropriate Government shall be the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, which has control over such industrial establishment.”; (ii) in clause (5), in sub-clause (iv), for the words “one thousand six hundred rupees”, the words “ten thousand rupees” shall be substituted. 3. Section 2A of the principal Act shall be numbered as sub-section (1) thereof and after sub-section (l) as so numbered, the following sub-sections shall be inserted, namely:- “(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 10, any such workman as is specified in sub-section

(1) may, make an application direct to the Labour Court or Tribunal for adjudication of the dispute referred to therein after the expiry of three months from the date he has made the application to the Conciliation Officer of the appropriate Government for conciliation of the dispute, and in receipt of such application the Labour Court or Tribunal shall have powers and jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the dispute, as if it were a dispute referred to it by the appropriate Government in accordance with the provisions of this Act and all the provisions of this Act shall apply in relation to such adjudication as they apply in relation to an industrial dispute referred to it by the appropriate Government.

(3) The application referred to in sub-section (2) shall be made to the Labour Court or Tribunal before the expiry of three years from the date of discharge, dismissal, retrenchment or otherwise termination of service as specified in sub-section (1).” 4. In section 7 of the principal Act, in sub-section (3), after clause (e), the following clauses shall be inserted, namely:- “(f) he is or has been a Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) or Joint Commissioner of the State Labour Department , having a degree in law and at least seven years’ experience in the labour department after having acquired degree in law including three years of experience as Conciliation Officer: Provided that no such Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner or Joint Labour Commissioner shall be appointed unless he resigns from the service of the Central Government or State Government, as the case may be, before being appointed as the presiding officer; or (g) he is an officer of Indian Legal Service in Grade III with three years’ experience in the grade.”

5. In section 7A of the principal Act, in sub-section (3), after clause (aa), the following clauses shall be inserted, namely:- “(b) he is or has been a Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) or Joint Commissioner of the State Labour Department, having a degree in law and at least seven years’ experience in the labour department after having acquired degree in law including three years of experience as Conciliation Officer: Provided that no such Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner or Joint Labour Commissioner shall be appointed unless he resigns from the service of the Central Government or State Government, as the case may he, before being appointed as the presiding officer; or (c) he is an officer of Indian Legal Service in Grade III with three years’ experience in the grade.” 6. After section 9B of the principal Act, for chapter IIB, the following Chapter shall be substituted, namely:-

“CHAPTER IIB

GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MACHINERY

9C. (l) Every industrial establishment employing twenty or more workmen shall have one or more Grievance Redressal Committee for the resolution of disputes arising out of individual grievances. (2) The Grievance Redressal Committee shall consist of equal number of members from the employer and the workmen. (3) The chairperson of the Grievance Redressal Committee shall be selected from the employer and from among the workmen alternatively on rotation basis every year. (4) The total number of members of the Grievance Redressal Committee shall not exceed more than six: Provided that there shall be, as far as practicable, one woman member if the Grievance Redressal Committee has two members and in case the number of members are more than two, the number of women members may be increased proportionately. (5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the setting up of Grievance Redressal Committee shall not affect the right of the workman to raise industrial dispute on the same matter under the provisions of this Act.

(6) The Grievance Redressal Committee may complete its proceedings within forty-five days on receipt of a written application by or on behalf of the aggrieved party. (7) The workman who is aggrieved of the decision of the Grievance Redressal Committee may prefer an appeal to the employer against the decision of Grievance Redressal Committee and the employer shall, within one month from the date of receipt of such appeal, dispose off the same and send a copy of his decision to the workman concerned. Nothing contained in this section shall apply to the workmen for whom there is an established Grievance Redressal Mechanism in the establishment concerned.”

7. In section 11 of the principal Act, after sub-section , the following sub-sections shall be inserted, namely:- “(9) Every award made, order issued or settlement arrived at by or before Labour Court or Tribunal or National Tribunal shall be executed in accordance with the procedure laid down for execution of orders and decree of a Civil Court under order 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure , 1908. (10) The Labour Court or Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, shall transmit any award, order or settlement to a Civil Court having jurisdiction and such Civil Court shall execute the award, order or settlement as if it were a decree passed by it.” 8. In section 38 of the principal Act, in sub-section (2),- (i) clause (ab) shall be omitted;

(ii) for clause (c), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:- “(c) the salaries and allowances and the terms and conditions for appointment of the presiding officers of the Labour Court, Tribunal and the National Tribunal including the allowances admissible to members of Courts, Boards and to assessors and witnesses;”.


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