Broadly speaking grievance means any real or imaginary feeling of dissatisfaction and injustice which an employee has about his employment relationship. A well defined grievance procedure is an important element of a sound industrial relations machinery. Prompt and effective disposal of workers grievance is the key to industrial peace. The grievance procedure set up by agreement with a union provides a medium for the workers to transmit his grievance to management in an orderly manner and get the answer in writing.
According to Michael J. Jucious
A grievance is any discontent or dissatisfaction, whether expressed or not, whether valid or not, arising out of anything connected with the company that an employee thinks, believes or even feels, is unfair, unjust or inequitable.
According to Keith Davis
Grievance means any real or imagined feeling of personal injustice which an employee has concerning his employment relationship.
1. A grievance refers to any form of discontent or dissatisfaction with any aspect of the organization.
2. This dissatisfaction must arise out of employment and not due to personal or family problems.
3. The dissatisfaction may be expressed or implied. A grievance may be expressed verbally or in writing. Gossiping, jealous argumentation, careless use of materials, poor workmanship, untidy house keeping etc. are verbal grievances. Written grievances are often called complaints. Day dreaming, absenteeism, tardiness, indifference to work, labour turnover, etc. indicate implied grievances.
4. The dissatisfaction may be valid and legitimate or irrational and ridiculous or false.
5. A grievance arises only when an employee feels that injustice has been done to him.
6. Grievances if not redressed in time tend to lower morale and productivity of employees.
Causes/Sources of Grievances
The causes of grievances may be grouped under following headings:
1. Grievances arising out of Working Conditions :
i. Poor physical conditions of work place.
ii. Very tight production standards.
iii. Non-availability of proper tools and machines.
iv. Unplanned changes in schedules and procedures.
v. Failure to maintain proper discipline.
vi. Mismatch of the worker with the job.
vii. Poor relationship with the supervisor.
2. Grievances arising from management Policy :
i. Wage rates and method of wage payment.
ii. Overtime and incentive schemes.
v. Promotions, demotion and discharge.
vi. Lack of opportunities for career growth.
vii. Penalties imposed for misconduct.
ix. Hostility towards trade union.
3. Grievances arising from Alleged Violation of :
i. The collective bargaining agreement.
ii. Company rules and regulations.
iii. Past practice.
iv. Central or State laws.
v. Responsibilities of management.
4. Grievances arising out of Personal Maladjustment:
ii. Excessive self-esteem.
iii. Impractical attitude to life.