Forms of Worker’s Participation in Management

Forms of Worker’s Participation in Management

Participation of workers in management of industrial enterprise is achieved by the following methods:

  1. Works Committee
  2. Joint Management Council
  3. Joint Councils
  4. Unit Councils
  5. Plant Councils
  6. Shop Councils
  7. Collective Bargaining
  8. Co-partnership
  9. Worker-Director
  10. Suggestion Schemes
  11. Grievance Procedure
  12. Quality Circle
  1. Works Committee

Works Committee consists of equal number of representatives of both employers and workers. It meets frequently for discussion on common problems of the workers and the management. After discussion, joint decisions are taken and such decisions are binding on both the parties.

Works committee deals with matters of day to day functioning at the shop floor level. According to Indian Labour Conference (1959) works committee are concerned with:

i. Conditions of work such as ventilation, lighting, temperature and sanitation including latrines and urinals.

ii. Amenities such as drinking water, canteens, dining rooms, medical and health services.

iii. Safety and accident prevention, occupational diseases and protective equipment.

iv. Adjustment of festivals and national holidays.

v. Administration of welfare and fine funds.

vi. Educational and recreational activities.

vii. Promotion of thrift and savings.

viii. Implementation and review of decisions arrived in the meetings of works committee.

The following items are excluded from the purview of the works committee.

i. Wages and allowances

ii. Profit sharing and bonus

iii. Rationalization and work load

iv. Fixation of standard labour force

v. Programmes of planning and development

vi. Quantum of leave and holidays

vii. Retirement benefits

viii. Victimisation for trade union activities

ix. Retrenchment and layoff

x. Provident fund and gratuity

xi. Housing and transport schemes

xii. Incentive schemes

Works Committee have not proved to be effective in India.

  1. Joint Management Council

Joint consultation involves setting up of joint committees represented by the workers and the management to discuss and give suggestions for improvement with regard to matters of mutual interest. The decisions of such committees are not binding on either party, yet they are implemented as they are arrived at by mutual consultations. While work committees are formed at shop floor level, joint management councils are instituted at Plant level.

A Joint Management Council is expected to perform the following functions:

i. The council is to be consulted by management before introducing changes in the modes of production, production schedule, general administration problems etc.

ii. The council is to receive information, discuss and give suggestions on general economic situations, state of the market, production and marketing programmes, organization and general functioning of the concern, methods of production and work, balance sheet and profit and loss account, long term capital budgeting decisions, plants for expansions, modernization and development etc.

iii. The council is to take up accident prevention, management of canteens, water, meals, safety, issues and revision of work rules, avoidance of waste of time and materials, absenteeism, indiscipline, training etc.  Thus council is entrusted with the responsibility of administering welfare measures, supervision of safety and health schemes, vocational training, apprenticeship schemes, scheduling of working hours, breaks and holidays and reward for suggestions.

Wages, bonus, individual grievances, personal problems of workers and matters of collective bargaining are outside the scope of joint management councils.

  1. Joint Councils

A every division/region/zonal levels or may be considered necessary in particular branch of an organization/service employing 100 or more people, there shall be a joint council.

The main features of joint council are:

i. Each organisation/service shall decide the number of councils to be set up fr different types of services rendered by it in consultation with the recognized unions or workers as the case may be, in the manner best suited to the local conditions.

ii. Only such persons who are actually engaged in the organisation/service shall be members of the joint council. Each organization/service may decide the number of member in the manner suggested in items but the membership should not be unwieldy.

iii. The tenure of the council shall be two years.

iv. The chief executive of the organization/service or of its division/regional/zonal branch as the case may be shall be the chairman of the joint council.

v. The joint council shall appoint one of its members as its Secretory who will prepare the agenda, record the minutes of the meetings and report in the implementation of the decisions arrived at every meeting.

vi. The joint council shall meet whenever necessary but atleast once in a quarter.

vii. Every decision of the joint council shall be on the basis of consensus and not by a process of voting.

viii. The decision shall be binding on both the management and workers and shall be implemented within one month, unless otherwise stated in the decision.

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