Industrial relations play an important role in establishment and maintaining industrial democracy. The development of industrial relations in India can be studied in two groups:
1. Pre-Independence Period
Till the Second World War, the attitude of the colonial government toward industrial relations was a passive regulator only Because, it could provide, that too only after due pressure, the —um of protective and regulative legal framework for industrial relations Trade Union Act 1926 (TL A) Trade Disputes Act 1929 (TDA). It was the economic emergence of the Second World War that altered the colonial government’s attitude on industrial relations.
The state intervention began in the form of introduction of several war time measures, viz. the Defense of India Rules (Rule 81- A), National Service Ordinance, and the Essential Service Ordinance As such in a marked contrast to its earlier stance, the colonial government imposed extensive and pervasive controls on industrial relations by the closing years of its era-. Statutory regulation of industrial relations was on plank of its labour policy. The joint consultative institutions were established primarily to arrive at uniform and agreeable labour policy.
The prominent instances to mention are passing of Indian Trade Unions (Amendment) Act, 1947, Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946, Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, and Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and split in AITUC and formation of INTUC.
2. Post-Independence period
In the post-independence period, the following are the steps reviewed for the status of industrial relations in India:
1. Enactment of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947: The industrial dispute act,1947 was introduce with an aim of providing fair terms to the workmens and to prevent the problems or disputes arise between employer and employee so that the work/production does not effector or it does not affect the public interests highly. The act not only provides for the establishment of permanent machinery for the settlement of industrial disputes but also makes the awards binding and legally enforceable.
2. Industrial Truce Resolution: Besides the enactment of industrial disputes act, in December 1947,an industrial conference was held in India, where an appeal was made to labour and management in the form of an Industrial Truce Resolution to maintain industrial harmony.
3. Change in government’s Attitude towards labour: In the post-independence period there occurred a shift in the government’s attitude towards labour and their problems. Several labour laws were enacted to protect the interests of industrial workers during 1947 to 1956 covering many issues concerning labour, such as seniority,paid holidays,wage rates,disciplinary matters,social security etc.
4. Setting-up of Indian Labour Conference: The setting up of the industrial labour conference is another development in the immediate post-independence period. This is a tripartite body to look into industrial relations problems in India. The NCL was constitute with the objective of establishing co-operation between the government,the employers,and trade unions. The first meeting of NCL was held in August, 1942. It met once a year to discuss problems relating to labour-management.
5. Code of Discipline: The government has implement a voluntary mechanism to control the dispute. It has done with code of discipline was introduced in 1958, the main aim is to protect and encourage the firm or employees in order to take any unilateral action in industries.
6. Other Solutions: After the implementing code of discipline, It does not provide an effective resolution to solve the dispute, the government has introduced the legislation to regulate the labour management relations. They have created an structural machinery which involves joint management councils,workers committees etc.