Unit IV: Introduction to Industrial Relations - Organization Management - BCA Notes (Pokhara University)

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Unit IV: Introduction to Industrial Relations - Organization Management

Meaning and Nature of Industrial Relations:

Industrial relation is used to describe the collective relationship between the management and the workers in an organization. Industrial relation is a part of management which is concerned with the human resource of an enterprise.
Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,

According to Henry Richardson, “Industrial relation is an art, the art of living together for the purpose of production.”

It is the relationship between employer and employees, between various unions, between the state and union, as well as between the employer and the state. Industrial relations are multi-dimensional in nature and are determined by three factors:

1. Institutional Factors: These factors can be government policies, labour laws, the union of workers and employers, power structures, community, etc.

2. Economic Factors: These factors can be a type of economic ownership like a capitalist, socialist, company ownership, etc.

3. Technological Factors:  These factors can be techniques of production the technology used, adaptation to newer technologies, etc.

Objectives of Industrial Relation:

Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,

The primary objective of industrial relations is to maintain and develop good and healthy relations between employees and employers or operatives and management. It is subdivided into other objectives like:

1. Establish and foster sound relationship between workers and management by safeguarding their interests.

2. Avoid industrial conflicts and strikes by developing mutuality among the interests of concerned parties.

3. Keep, as far as possible, strikes, lockouts at bay by enhancing the economic status of workers.

4. Provide an opportunity for the workers to participate in management and decision-making process.

5. Raise productivity in the organization to curb employee turnover and absenteeism.

6. Avoid unnecessary interference of the government, as far as possible and practicable, in the matters of the relationship between workers and management.

7. Establish and nurse industrial democracy based on labour partnership in the sharing of profits and managerial decisions.

8. Socialize industrial activity by involving government participation as an employer.

Good Industrial Relations Leads To The Following Benefits:
1. Industrial Peace
2. Higher Productivity
3. Industrial Democracy
4. Collective Bargaining
5. Fair Benefits to Workers
6. Higher Morale
7. Facilitation of Change

Concept of Grievance:

Grievance means any type of dissatisfaction that is arising out of factors related to an employee’s job, which he/she thinks are unfair. Grievance arises when an employee feels that something has happened or is happening, which he/she thinks is unfair, unjust or inequitable. A grievance may arise due to several factors like:

a. Violation of management’s responsibilities such as poor working conditions.
b. Violation of companies’ rules and regulation.
c. Violation of labour laws.
d. Violation of natural rules of justice such as unfair treatment in the promotion.
Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,
A compliant represents an employee dissatisfaction that has not been submitted in writing, while the grievance is compliant that has been written and made formal. Grievances are usually symptoms of conflicts in industry, so the management should take grievance seriously and solve the issues as soon as possible.

Causes of Grievance:

Grievance not only reduces the productivity of employees and organization, but it may also put the existence of the organization in a dangerous situation. Therefore, the grievance has to be solved as quickly as possible. For this, the reason has to be identified. The reason for grievance may vary according to the situation. 
Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,

1. Unfair Management:

Employees want to be treated equally as other employees. But if management treats differently to the identically performing employees then the grievance arises.

2. Poor Communication:

Open and two-way communication makes a healthy relationship and motivates employees. Policy, directives, information and other notices have to be received by each employee in a similar way according to their job responsibility. One way and controlled communication make them feel inferior and this will create misunderstanding among the employees and the management. This misunderstanding will slowly turn into the grievance. Thus, poor, controlled and one-way communication is also a reason for an employee's grievance.

3. Different Interpretation:

Different in the understanding and the interpretation between the employees and the management also cause for grievance. If employees understand the policy, rules and terms and conditions, directions and guidelines determined by the management differently then they become negative towards the management and whole organization. An organization with ineffective communication has a high chance of grievance.

4. Personality Traits:

Some employees have a habit of being grievant even in minor and small cases. They needle or point out other employees even in their minor mistakes. This will create grievance to the employee himself/herself and other employees as well. Therefore, a personality trait is one of the reasons for the grievance.

5. Culture of Organization:

In some cases, the wrong culture of organization creates grievance in the employees. Bad culture adversely affects the organizational environment and it dissatisfies the employees. This dissatisfaction grows on increasing into the grievance.

6. Weak Leadership:

A leader must be present as a guardian of all employees. If the leader is weak, then employee's enthusiasm may go down and employees do not follow and ignore the leaders. Serious in-disciplinary activities may be carried out in the organization. This will increase employee grievance.

7. Personality Clash:

Sometimes, some employees may have a personality clash with the colleagues, management and other people's thought, concept and work style. They may take it as a challenge when their idea is not accepted and a feeling of revenge may take place. Feeling of ego may create anger, miserable or dishearten to an employee that will create grievance among the employees.

Settlement of Grievance:

A complaint can become a grievance when it is brought to the formal notice of the management. It is the peak level of dissatisfaction. Grievances may be factual, imaginary or disguised. Grievance handling is a sensitive task-focused to reduce or eliminate employee’s dissatisfaction. Grievance when takes a collective form, can destroy an organization's image and sometimes challenge its existence. So, it should be addressed on time. 

1. Open Door Policy:

Some companies have an informal and open-door policy for grievance handling. Employees are free to walk in any time and express their grievance to a higher level of management. This approach facilitates upward communication from employees to management. This approach makes aware of the employee grievances to the management. Prompt handling of grievances is possible at minimum time and cost. This type of approach is suitable for small organizations where managers are familiar with their employees and the working environment. Management can allocate adequate time for grievance handling in small organizations.
Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,

2. Step Ladder Procedure:

Since the open-door policy is not suitable for large organizations. Most of these companies have followed step ladder procedure for the settlement of grievances. Grievance procedures are typically designed to resolve grievances as quickly as possible and at a minimum possible level in the organization. Step ladder procedure is a method of solving the grievance from the level of origin to the highest level in a stepwise way. The grievance is not reached to a higher level at once. 

Following Steps are Taken in This Procedure:

Step One: Grievant To Superior:
If employees have grievances, she/he can convey about it to the immediate supervisor. The grievance is conveyed verbally. The supervisor has to listen with a priority and has to take a certain step for its solution within a fixed period of time. This step is suitable for 'give and take' approach. If the grievant is not satisfied with, the next step is followed.

Step Two: Grievant To Department Chief:
If the grievant employee is not satisfied with the supervisor's decision, she/he will present the complaint letter to the department head. Department head will study, analyze and solve the grievance within a fixed time period. If the grievant employee is not satisfied with the decision of a department head, the next step is followed.

Step Three: Grievant To Grievance Handling Committee:
At this step, grievant employee appeals to the grievance committee. Generally, in a large organization, the grievant committee is formed of experts in a different discipline. This committee includes the representatives of employers and employees. The committee identifies various alternative solutions. If required, they can suggest the chance or revision of the policy and procedure. The committee gives a decision within a fixed period of time.

Step Four: Grievant To Chief Executive Officer:
If the grievance handling committee is unable to satisfy the grievant employees, they can present their grievance to the chief executive officer. Chief executive will mobilize the sources and execute authority within the boundary of act, law, policy, rules and directives to handle the grievance. If the grievance is not handled or resolved at this level, it goes outside the control of an organization. So, the CEO tries to solve the problem with a full extent.

Step Five: Grievant To Arbitrator:
If the CEO cannot satisfy the grievant employees, it may take a serious form. With the consent of employers and employee, a reliable and independent person of organization or committee will be selected as an arbitrator to handle the situation. In this mediating committee, mediator and representative of employees and employers will be included. On the basis of the complaint, the mediator will study the problem seriously. The mediator will discuss with the employer and grievant employees separately. After different serious of discussion, appropriate alternatives will be identified, agreed by both of the parties. Generally, the solution prescribed by the mediator is acceptable to both of the parties.

Step Six: Grievant To Labor Court:
If an arbitrator is also unable to solve the grievance, it goes to the labour court. In the labour court, the complaint is registered as a case. Both of the parties hire lawyers from their side. Court decides the date of hearing. On that particular date, lawyers argue for and against the case. The judge decides on the basis of legal provision, proofs, argument and reasoning presented by the lawyers. This decision is bounded to be accepted and followed by both of the parties. The party who does not obey the count's decision is subject to be punished.
Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,


Grievance Settlement Process in Nepal:

Section 73: Procedures Relating to Personal Claims or Complaints:

(1) If anyone or more workers or employees have any personal claim or complaint against Proprietor relating to the service, the concerned worker or employee may file it in writing with the concerned Proprietor.

(2) Upon receipt of the claim or complaint as per Sub-section (1), the Proprietor shall have to discuss it with the concerned worker or employee within fifteen days and settle the problem.

(3) If the problem, could not be solved through the discussion held as per Sub-section (2), the worker or employee may file a petition at the concerned Labor Office specifying clearly their claims.

(4) The Labor Office shall hold a discussion between the Proprietor and the worker or employees and solve the dispute, within fifteen days of the receipt of a claim pursuant to Sub-section (3).

(5) The Chief of concerned Labor Office shall have to decide on the dispute within seven days in case, the problem could not be solved as pre Sub-section (4).

(6) Any of the parties may appeal to the Labor Court within thirty-five days from the date of receipt of notice of the decision in case not being satisfied with the decision made pursuant to Sub-section (5).

Section 74: Procedures Relating to Submission of Claims of Collective Dispute:

(1) The claim relating to collective right, interest or the privilege shall have to be presented in  writing to the concerned Proprietors signed by at least fifty one percent of the concerned workers or employees and in the claims their representatives shall have to be nominated and the claim shall be presented through such representatives.

(2) Upon receipt of the claim relating to the dispute as per Sub-section (1), the Proprietor shall hold bilateral discussion with the representatives as mentioned in the same Sub-section and solve the dispute within twenty-one days and shall enter into an agreement.

(3) If the dispute could not be solved as per Sub-section (2), the dispute shall be solved within fifteen days by holding bilateral discussion in the presence of Labor Office.

(4) If the dispute could not be solved through the bilateral discussion held as per Sub-section (3), the dispute may be referred to a mediator appointed, with mutual consent of proprietor and the workers and employees, or if no such the mediator could be appointed, with mutual consent of proprietor and the workers and employees, or if no such mediator could be appointed, to a tripartite committee constituted, with the consent of both parties, by Government of Nepal having equal representation from the workers or employees, the Proprietor and the government.

(5) The mediator or the committee appointed as per Sub-section (4) shall decide the dispute within fifteen days.

(6) Any parties if not satisfied with the decision made pursuant to Subsection (5), may appeal to the Government of Nepal within thirty five days from the date of receipt of notice of the decision.

(7) If the mediator or the Committee does not make a decision within the time-limit as referred to in Sub-section (5) or, in case where an appeal is filed before Government of Nepal pursuant to Sub-section (6), a decision thereon is not made by the Government of Nepal within sixty days from the date of filing such appeal, the workers or employees may strike by following the procedures set forth in Section 76.

Section 76: Notice of Strike To Be Provided:


In case the demands are not solved through the process mentioned in Sub-section (3) of Section 73 the workers and employees wish to strike in the Enterprise, a notice in writing stating the claims and their  rationale, including with a resolution passed by at least sixty percent of the total workers and employees through secret the ballot shall have to be provided to the  concerned Proprietor thirty days in advance and information thereof shall also be given to the Department of Labor, concerned Labor Office and the local administration and a strike may be started thereafter only.

Trade Union:

Labour unions or trade unions are organizations formed by workers from related fields that work for the common interest of its members. They help workers in issues like the fairness of pay, good working environment, hours of work and benefits. They represent a cluster of workers and provide a link between the management and workers.
Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,
The purpose of these unions is to look into the grievances of wagers and present a collective voice in front of the management. Hence, it acts as the medium of communication between the workers and management. Regulation of relations, settlement of grievances, raising new demands on behalf of workers, collective bargaining and negotiations are the other key principle functions that these trade unions perform.

According to Lester, “A trade union is an association of employees designed primarily to maintain or improve the conditions of employment of its members.”

According to G.D.H. Gole, “A trade union means an association of workers in one or more occupation, an association carried on mainly, for the purpose of protecting and advancing the members’ economic interests in connection with their daily work.”

Trade Unions:
a. Negotiate agreements with employers on pay and conditions.
b. Discuss major changes to the workplace such as large scale redundancy.
c. Discuss members' concerns with employers.
d. Accompany members in disciplinary and grievance meetings.
e. Provide members with legal and financial advice.
f. Provide education facilities and certain consumer benefits such as discounted insurance.

Trade Union Movement in Nepal:

Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,

1989

1. Establishment of GEFONT (General Federation of Nepalese Trade) by four federations, NIWU, ITWAN, NIHWU and TWAN

1990

1. GEFONT played a significant role in gear up popular movement as a co-coordinating body of all workers. The movement became successful, multi-party system restored

2. GEFONT organised the first-ever open-air programme; existing Central Ad-hoc Committee reorganised forming Board of Directors & National Executive Committee

3. Government formed the National Labour Advisory Committee; GEFONT was a key member

4. GEFONT mobilised Workers for timely promulgation of the New democratic Constitution

1991

1. Bills to introduce various labour legislation tabled in the parliament; new Labour Act promulgated.

2. GEFONT Convened first women workers workshop

3. Workers' News, the official organ of GEFONT published

4. Rate of minimum wage reviewed by increasing significant amount

1992

1. GEFONT first National Congress convened (March 28-31)

2. Documentation of the history of Nepali Trade Union movement began

3. Parliament promulgated first Trade Union Act in Nepal

1993

1. Labour Rules adopted

2. GEFONT established Labour Resource Centre

3. GEFONT launched Trade Union Education Campaign (TRUE- Campaign)

1994

1. GEFONT hosted International Trade Union Conference

2. GEFONT established an Emergency Fund Scheme

1995

1. GEFONT registered as First National Confederation in the country

2. Formed Kamaiya Liberation Forum as affiliates of GEFONT in order to relinquish bonded agricultural labour in western Nepal

3. GEFONT represented Nepali workers in ILC for the first time

4. Trade Unions and individual academics formed the National Labour Academy (NLA-Nepal)

1996

1. GEFONT convened Second National Congress (March 16-19)

2. Nepal ratified ILO Conventions 98 and 138

1997

1. GEFONT Chairman Cde Mukunda Neupane appointed as a Labour Minister

2. First National Labour Conference convened

3. NTUC divided, DECONT recognised as third national centre

1998

1. Labour Act amended with granting trade union rights to the agricultural workers

2. GEFONT declared Kamaya Appeal a movement to relinquish them from slavery

1999

1. GEFONT Celebrated 10th founding day

2. Government adopted national Labour Policy

3. National Minimum Wage for agricultural workers fixed the first time

4. National Welfare Fund created

2000

1. GEFONT convened Third National Congress (May 01-03)

2. Man Mohan Labour building (GEFONT's HQ) inaugurated

3. Government declared Kamaiya liberation

4. GEFONT established workers Health Cooperative

5. GEFONT /NTUC agreed to form a high level task force for joint trade union initiative

6. Trade Union Committee for Gender Equality and Promotion (TUC-GEP) formed by three trade union centres

7. Hotel workers began nationwide movement for 10% service charge

2001

1. Organised South Asian child labour workshop

2. GEFONT launched new web-portal, labournnepal.org

2002

1. GEFONT with other unions finalised & adopted workers' common agenda

2. Unions made a declaration on gender equality and promotion in the world of work

3. GEFONT organised South Asian Women Workers' Conference

4. GEFONT established Women Workers' Relief Fund

2003

1. Nepal Street Vendors Union (at present- Nepal self-employed workers’ union) won registration

2. GEFONT organized 2nd National Women Workers’ Conference

3. GEFONT organised Central Policy Workshop targeting to forthcoming National Congress

4. Hulas Metal Craft in Biratnagar went in the strike; Police made an intervention in Hotel Yak & Yeti strike

5. Minimum wage reviewed by increasing Rs. 444

6. National workshop on Gender mainstreaming in the Trade Union Movement held

7. GEFONT handed over a protest letter to Korean Embassy in Nepal against the grave workers’ rights violations in the republic of Korea

8. GEFONT and ILO jointly organised interaction on Status of Implementation of “Strategic plan on poverty reduction”

2004

1. GEFONT participated in World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai, India

2. GEFONT declared Micro-health Insurance Scheme for workers two districts of Bheri Zone

3. GEFONT convened 4th National Congress in Kathmandu replacing founding Secretary-General by his new successor

4. GEFONT invited 10 Danish Trade Union representatives for Educational Visit to Nepal

5. Terrorists brutally killed 12 Nepali workers in Iraq; Recruiting agencies in Kathmandu were vandalised; GEFONT organised memorial service to pay tribute to the 12 workers killed in Iraq

6. Nepal Barbers’ Trade Union got registration

7. High-level mission of ICFTU/GUF visit Nepal; an interaction organised with GEFONT leadership. GEFONT agreed to be part of the Contact Group committee created between ICFTU/WCL and Independent national centres

2005

1. 2nd National Labour Conference in Kathmandu

2. Police raided and padlocked in GEFONT Central Office after coup de' ate by the then monarchy

3. The regime banned 8 March Rally organised by the Trade Union Committee (TUCGEP)

4. Trade Unions organised a huge workers'-march on May Day as the first open programme in challenging the dictatorship of the King

5. Three trade union confederations organised a programme opposing the registration of the fictitious trade union created by King Gyanendra

6. GEFONT, NTUC, DECONT and Nepal Teachers’ Union jointly organised a wider National Workers’ Conference under the Theme- ‘Building Workers’ Solidarity for Democracy’

7. GEFONT along with 3 other trade union confederations presented protest letter to Ministry of Labour opposing the ordinance to amend the existing Labour Act by the royal regime

8. GEFONT, NTUC and DECONT organised nationwide rallies and gatherings in opposition to the labour ordinance

9. GEFONT on the street against the Government’s ordinance to ban Citizen’s Right to Information

2006

1. GEFONT Chairman Cde Mukunda Neupane and Secretary General Cde Binod Shrestha arrested by the Government. National and International trade unions and several organisations sent a protest letter to the King against it

2. GEFONT Chair Cde Mukunda Neupane & Secretary General Cde Binod Shrestha released from police custody after strong pressure from national and international trade unions and organisations

3. Trade unions declared 35 days ultimatum along with charter of demand to solve the problems of informal and formal sector worker

4. Interaction between 4 trade union centres and leaders of Seven political Parties' Alliance (SPA) was held in Hotel Radisson; trade unions decided to support fully the People’s Movement declared by the SPA

5. Nationwide popular movement called-on by SPA; entire workers went to general strikes from factories, schools/colleges, transportation, construction, civil service, health and other public service. GEFONT Vice-chair Cde Lalit Basnet along with hundreds of workers arrested

6. Victory of People’s Power! On the 19th day of general strike King Gyanendra forced to reinstate dissolved parliament and accepted the roadmap of SPA

7. Trade Unions asked SPA to scrap Labour ordinance with 72 hours ultimatum; reinstated Parliament responded it by scrapping the Ordinance; declared trade union rights to employees in civil service till to under-secretary level

8. GEFONT activist Cde Dorje Khatri successfully hoisted the GEFONT flag on Mt. Everest

9. Joint delegation of GEFONT, DECONT and NTUC submitted Memo to PM Koirala asking relevant legal frame to form Single union in the country

10. GEFONT addressed 75th International labour Conference held in Geneva

11. GEFONT organised 3rd National Women Workers’ conference

12. GEFONT along with 3 other Trade Union Centre submitted their issues to the Interim Constitution

13. Minimum monthly wage increased by NRs. 750; (28.89% up in monthly wage & 39.9% up in daily wage)

14. Tea plantation workers went on strike demanding to revisit their wage-rate; concluded after 14 days

15. GEFONT organised National Women Conference; the theme was- Women Participation: Inclusive and proportional

16. Asia Regional Workshop of StreetNet concluded in Kathmandu

17. ITUC Founding Congress concluded in Vienna, Vice-chair Cde Bishnu Rimal elected in General Council

18. IUF organised Hotel tourism Conference of South Asia in Kathmandu

19. Agreement was made to implement 10% service charge in HRC sector; workers in HRC sector won their continuous 2 decades-long battle

2007

1. Declaration of Interim Constitution with the provision of National Workers Commission and workers’ right as fundamental right

2. GEFONT launched the first union of teachers and employees working in private and boarding schools

3. GEFONT formed the first Union of Domestic Workers

4. Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre (JTUCC) submitted the Charter of Demand to Constituent Assembly for 10% representation of working-class in peoples' representative bodies of the state

5. GEFONT organised a high-level interaction program on Social Transformation

6. GEFONT declared Voters' Educating programme making aware Constituent Assembly election

7. GEFONT organised an interaction program on Women Workers’ rights in the constitution

8. JTUCC formalised through a workshop of union leaders – the world of work fix a historical milestone

2008

1. GEFONT Vice-chair Bishnu Rimal, Dy Secretary-General Binda Pandey, NEC member Jogilal Yadav and CWWD member Shanti Jirel elected member of Constituent Assembly

2. Government increased the minimum wage by NRs. 1300

3. GEFONT organised 2nd South Asian Conference of Women Trade Unionists

2009

1. GEFONT Fifth National Congress concluded in Kathmandu Chairman Cde Mukunda Neupane replaced by electing Cde Bishnu Rimal as President.

2. Workers in 7 Jungle Resorts inside Chitwan National Park declared strikes

3. GEFONT celebrated 20th founding Day; submitted memorandum for Ratification of ILO Convention 87 to Chairman of Constituent Assembly

4. GEFONT launched a massive public campaign to make awareness on C 87 and Social Security

5. GEFONT organised Interaction with newly appointed labour Attaches

6. GEFONT organised an interaction with members of Constituent Assembly and Trade Unionists on labour agendas to be enshrined in the constitution

2010

1. GEFONT organised First National Youth Workers' Conference

2. ‘Equal Right, Decent Work and Dignified Life’- under this theme 4th National Women Workers’ Conference was held

3. Hotel Workers in Biratnagar called-on strike demanding to implement 10% service charge

4. GEFONT started Wage Card campaign demanding overall wage increment

5. Supreme Court orders Indian Airlines to implement provisions of Nepali Labour Laws

6. GEFONT and KCTU (Korean Trade Union) signed MOU to safeguard the Rights of Nepali workers working in Korea

7. GEFONT mourned the untimely death of its founding leader Cde Madhav Neupane

2011

1. A historic agreement was made between Trade Unions under JTUCC and Employers’ Associations to implement of social security and increase the minimum wage, however, it was disputed by some quarters

2. UNITRAV-GEFONT leader Cde Dorje Khatri hoisted ITUC flag on the world's highest peak Mt. Everest

3. GEFONT CPC member Cde Binda Pandey elected Deputy member of ILO Governing Body

4. Workers in tea plantation reached in agreement with plantation employers to increase the minimum wage

5. Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre organised 2nd National Trade Union Conference

6. GEFONT made interaction with newly appointed labour Attach├ęs for South Korea, Malaysia, Kuwait and UAE

2012

1. GEFONT declared a campaign in 6 different places for Labour Inspection

2. GEFONT organised National Conference of presidents from big enterprises consisting more than 100 workers

3. GEFONT established two awards in the memory of its founders- Cde Madhav Neupane (Madhav Neupane Memorial Award) and Nuru Wang-Xu Sherpa (Nuru Wang-Xu Memorial Award)

4. UNITRAV-GEFONT leader Cde Dorje Khatri submitted Mt Everest for 8th time with the flag of newly established Global Union Federation - the Industrial

5. 3rd National Labour and Employment Conference held

6. 100th special issue of Shramik Khabar (Workers’ News) was launched in a grand ceremony

7. GEFONT organised interaction on migrant workers problem under the theme of "Migration: Possibilities and Policies"

8. Two clothing sectors GEFONT affiliates – ITGWUN and NICWUN organised merger convention establishing ITG-WUN

9. UNITRAV activists attacked by hooligans patronised by employer's association- TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal); UNITRAV padlocked the TAAN office

10. GEFONT organised an Interaction between UML, GEFONT and other mass organisations on Decent Work

11. GEFONT organised historical Workers’ Concert for the first time in Eastern Nepal; about 20,000 audience participated- the theme was decent work, domestic & workplace violence and safe migration

12. GEFONT's Participatory Gender Audit held

2013

1. GEFONT organised National Conference of Trade Union Educators

2. ITWAN-GEFONT organised a huge taxi rally against fuel price hike; ITWAN Narayani zone called on transport strike against the killing of driver Ajay Dewan

3. CWC-GEFONT organised 5th National Women Worker Conference

4. GEFONT marked May Day by mobilising large-meetings across 8 main cities of Nepal including Capital City with a theme ‘Change: By building Workers’ Power’

5. Management of Highland Distillery, Kathmandu Illegally locked-out company, workers staged protest programme

6. Three major affiliates in entire Industrial sector launched new federation, WHIN-Whole Industry Trade Union, Nepal, merging together NIWU, NICIWU and NIFBWU. Merger Conference was held in Birgunj

7. Minimum wage increase by 29% across the board, tea plantation sector and agriculture received a separate rate

8. 7 Nepali workers lost life in the landslide occurred in India’s Uttarakh and State; 64 Indian workers working as bonded condition in Siraha Brick Kiln rescued by Nepali Police

9. GEFONT organised 2nf Youth workers Conference; the slogan was- ‘Youth workers for Change and Decent Work’

10. GEFONT National Congress Delegates Council 4th meeting concluded in Kathmandu

11. Founding Convention of Home Based Workers’ Union of Nepal (HUN) concluded; four domestic & home-based unions merged together during the founding convention.

12. GEFONT mobilised workers in Election of Constituent Assembly (CA-II)

13. Janak Education Material Centre (a public enterprise fully funded by the state) dismissed 5 Union leaders the fight is still continued

2014

1. Three GEFONT leaders- the then Sr. Vice-prez Cde Binod Shrestha, then Vice-prez Cde Chudamani Jangali and then Dy Secretary-General Cde Pemba Lama elected in Constituent Assembly; GEFONT felicitated them

2. Street Vendors staged a Protest rally against the government decision to displace them from their workplace; StreetNet international expresses its concern on Street Vendor's movement in Nepal

3. NEVA submits the Memorandum to the Ministry of Health & population regarding the issue of Health volunteers

4. Agreement on minimum wage implementation in a Tea estate, which was declared by the government

5. ITUC draws the attention of Saudi authorities on the issue of Nepali migrant workers

6. GEFONT reached in an agreement with Department of Foreign Employment (DOFE) to launch awareness prior to departure through its volunteers in DOFE premises

7. GEFONT Sixth National Congress concluded re-electing Cde. Bishnu Rimal the President; outgoing Secretary General Cde Umesh Upadhyaya assigned new responsibility as the Executive Director to newly established GEFONT's policy institute- Trade Union Policy Institute (GEFONT-TUPI); Cde Upadhyaya was replaced by his successor Cde Bishnu Lamsal as the new Secretary-General

8. Avalanche in Mt. Everest killed UNITRAV Vic- president Cde Dorje Khatri including 14 other UNITRAV members, the world mourned on the sad demise of well-known class-A climbers

9. Five Nepali workers lost a life working in Goa- India in a building collapse

10. ITUC Third World Congress concluded in Berlin, established an International Award in memory of late Cde Dorje Khatri recognising him a climate campaign trade union hero

11. GEFONT nominee GC member Cde Binda Pandey re-elected Dy member of ILO Governing Body for 2nd term

12. GEFONT Celebrated Silver Jubilee of its foundation, Celebration was addressed by ILO DG Bro Guy Ryder, TUC-AP General Secretary Bro N. Suzuki, UNI-APRO Regional Secretary Bro Christopher Ng and other dignitaries

13. GEFONT declared NRs 10 million worth GEFONT Solidarity Fund

Collective Bargaining:

Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between management and workers for determining the mutually agreed terms and conditions of works which protect the interest of both workers and management.

According to Dale Yoder, “Collective bargaining is essentially process in which employee’s acts a group to shape conditions and relationships in their employment.”
Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,

In collective bargaining, proposals are matched with counter proposals and both parties make every reasonable effort to arrive at an agreement but it doesn’t mean either a party is compelled to agree with other proposals. The basic objectives are to arrive at an agreement between the management and employees to determine the mutually beneficial terms and conditions of employment.

Some Of The Major Objectives Of Collective Bargaining Are:
a. To improve and maintain harmonious between the management and employees.
b. To protect the interest of both employers and employees.
c. To keep the outside parties (government, public, competitors) at bay.
d. To promote industrial democracy.

Types Of Collective Bargaining:

1. Distributed Bargaining:

It involves bargaining over the distribution of surplus like wages, salary, bonuses. In distribution bargaining, one party’s gain is another party’s loss and it is also known as conjunctive bargaining.

2. Integrative Bargaining:

It is also known as cooperative bargaining. It involves negotiation of an issue on which both the parties may gain or at least none of them loses. For example, Representative of employer and employees may bargain for better training.

3. Attitudinal Restructuring:

It involves shaping and re-shaping of attitudes like trust and distrust, friendliness, hostility between management and labour. It tries to erase the bitterness between parties and bring smooth and harmonious industrial relation.

4. Intra-organizational Bargaining:

It aims to result in the internal conflict and the differences between groups, skilled and unskilled workers and even in the management as well.

Employee Discipline:

The acceptable behaviour to be followed by an employee inside and outside the organization is known as employee discipline. In general sense, following the direction of an upper-level supervisor or manager, making effort for the organizational goal attainment and playing a positive role in making the healthy, competitive and dedicated environment in the organization is considered as maintaining the discipline. Discipline reflects the inside and outside organizational behaviour of an employee.
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Employee's behaviour directly affects the productivity and effectiveness of the organization. In this way employees, discipline plays an important role in making the organization a successful or failure organization.

Generally, there are two concepts found regarding employee discipline as a positive concept and negative concept. In positive concept, employee willingly motivates to accept organizational rules, regulations and process. This concept aids to maintain positive thought in an employee through skilled leadership, effective motivation and supervision. Punishment is not included as a disciplinary action in this concept. According to the negative concept, employees have to be pressurized to make them follow the policy, rules and processes because they don't incorporate these things willingly. Thus they have to communicate and warned about it to make them follow the discipline. If required, they have to be punished.

Needs or Importance of Employee Discipline:

It is impossible to attain the organizational goal without spiritual involvement of disciplined employees. Employees play an important role by adopting the policy, rules, guidelines and process set by the organization. If employees maintain the discipline, there will be a reduction in labour cost as a result of which organizational goal can easily be attained as it ensures the appropriate utilization of the human resource. But, if they don't maintain the discipline, there can be a conflict between employee-employee, employee-management and the situation may be worse with other aspects too. Likewise, problems like reduction in productivity, reduction in credibility, the low-performance level may prevail. By adopting discipline, the organizational work environment can be facilitated. 

Main Benefits Of Discipline Are Described As:

1. Good Work Condition:

Discipline should not be regarded only for lower-level staffs. It has to be maintained at all levels. All employees and managers must respect and follow the guidelines of the discipline. It employees are disciplined, the harmonious environment can be maintained in the organization. There can be trust, co-operation and respect among the employees. From this, a good work environment can be maintained.

2. Standard Job Performance:

Disciplined employees are always aware of their job responsibility and authority. They are not involved in unnecessary activities. They initiate to cooperate for better performance. They are willing to implement the appropriate process and ready to abandon useless processes. There will be a significant reduction in employee's absenteeism. Employees follow self-supervisory and self-control mechanism. This will progress to optimally utilize the resource and enhance work speed. As a result, it becomes possible to attain a job performance standard.

3. Follow Up Of Rules And Regulation:

For the attainment of a specific objective, all organizations formulate various rules and policies. To adopt these policies and directives, discipline is required. For this, they make rules, policies and directions for employees too. By following the disciplinary guidelines, an organization can easily adopt the policy formulated by the country. By fulfilling this legal and social obligation, an organization can perform its activities at no pressure condition from government or concerned authority.

4. Establishing Good Relation:

Discipline can help the organization to maintain good relation with external agencies and authorities. Attitude and behaviour of disciplined employees can easily impress to other organizations and supervisory bodies. By maintaining a good relationship with government, supplier, buyer, bank and the financial institution, shareholder, consumer and society, etc. organization can ensure its growth, development and prosperity more efficiently and effectively.

Causes of Disciplinary Problem:

Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,

The reasons could range anything from poor wages to poor management and the communication gaps between the union and management. The common causes of indiscipline are as follows:

1. Unfair Management Practices:

Management sometimes indulges in unfair practices like:
a. Wage discrimination
b. Non-compliance with promotional policies and transfer policies
c. Discrimination in allotment of work
d. Defective handling of grievances
e. Payment of low wages
f. Delay in payment of wages
g. Creating low-quality work life etc.
These unfair management practices gradually result in indiscipline.

2. Absence Of Effective Leadership:

Absence of effective leadership results in poor management in the areas of direction, guidance, instructions etc. This, in turn, results in indiscipline.

3. Communication Barriers:

Communication barriers and the absence of humane approach on the part of superiors result in frustration and indiscipline among the workers. The management should clearly formulate the policies regarding discipline. These policies should be communicated and the policies should be consistently followed in the organizations. The management should also be empathetic towards the employees.

4. Varying Disciplinary Measures:

Consistent disciplinary actions must be there in the organization to provide equal justice to all concerned. At different times and for everyone, the same standard of disciplinary measures should be taken otherwise, it may give rise to growing indiscipline in the industry in future i.e., the judicious function on the past of management must be free form may bias, privilege or favouritism.

5. Defective Supervision:

The supervisor is the immediate boss of the workers and many disciplinary problems have them in faulty supervision. The attitude and behaviour of the supervisor may create many problems. As the maintenance of the discipline is the core supervisory responsibilities, indiscipline may spring from the want of the right type of supervision.

6. Inadequate Attention To Personnel Problems:

Delay in solving personnel problems develops frustration among individual workers. The management should be proactive so that there is no discontent among the workers. It should adopt a parental attitude towards its employees. However, it should be noted that no relationship can continue for long if it is one-sided.

7. Victimization:

Victimization of subordinate also results in indiscipline. The management should not exploit the workers. It is also in the long-term interest of the management to take care of its internal customers.

8. Absence Of Code Of Conduct:

This creates confusion and also provides a chance for discrimination while taking disciplinary action. A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities of proper practices for an individual, party or organization. Related concepts include ethical codes and honour codes.

9. Divide And Rule Policy:

Many managers in the business obtain secret information about other employees through their trusted assistants. The spying on employees is only productive of a vicious atmosphere and of undesirable in the organization. Henry Fayol has rightly pointed out that dividing enemy forces to weaken them is clever, but dividing one's own team is a grave sin against the business. No amount of management skill is necessary for dividing personnel, but integrating personnel into a team is the challenging task of sound management.

10. Deferring Settlement Of Employee Grievances:

The employee grievances cannot be put off by deferring or neglecting their solutions. The grievances should properly be inquired into and settled by the managers in a reasonable period. Neglect of grievances often results in reduced performance, low morale and indiscipline among the employees. Strikes and work stoppages stem in many cases form the utter neglect of employee grievances.

11. Misjudgment In Promotion And Placements:

Misjudgment in personnel matters like promotion and placements contribute to the growth of indiscipline in an enterprise. Cases of misjudgment are carefully noted, widely circulated, and hotly debated by the employees. Expecting discipline from misruled people is not possible. Sometimes, undesired persons are placed on the jobs which makes the employees discontented, then giving rise to the problem of indiscipline.

Settlement Of Disciplinary Problem:

Acceptable attitude and behaviour of employees are known as employee discipline. Employee discipline has an important role in the attainment of organizational goal. So, if there arises any disciplinary problem, action has to be taken promptly. Disciplinary action must be progressive. It involves stepwise actions which must be focused on the improvement of negative activities, attitude and behaviour. Effective, fair and promptly implementable action can only reduce the disciplinary problems. 
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There Are Following Six Steps In Disciplinary Actions:

1. Oral Warning:

When the disciplinary problem is seen, first and foremost, the oral warning must be given to the employees. This is the general type of disciplinary action. The employee must be warned individually. This is a general type of disciplinary action. The employee must be warned individually. This is a type of informal action. 

Following Factors Must Be Considered While Giving An Oral Warning:
a. Employees are to be informed about the rules they have broken.
b. With a plan for improvement in employee's attitude and behaviour, chance must be provided to defend them.
c. They must be assured of assisting in the future if they improve their attitude.
d. The description of oral warning must be recorded in the employee's personal file.

2. Written Warning:

If the attitude of employees is not improved after oral warning, the written warning must be given. It is the first step of formal disciplinary action. 

Following Tasks Are Done In This Step:
a. Reason of the problem stating the situation not improved after the oral warning.
b. Warning not to repeat indiscipline in the future.
c. Possible action if similar indiscipline is repeated in the future.
d. Giving chance to defend with a plan of improving them.
e. Keeping a copy of written warning in the employee's personal record file.

3. Suspension:

If the employees are not improved even after the written warning, they are suspended from their job. It is a short term termination from the job. Considering the nature of the disciplinary problem employees can be suspended for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or more than that. Employees are not paid their salary for the suspension period. For the suspension, there must be a noteworthy mistake. 

Following Works Are Done In This Step:
a. For suspension, written suspension notice for the ascertained period is given to the concern employees.
b. Information regarding suspension is given to the notice board.
c. The action paper about suspension is kept in the employee’s personal record file.

4. Pay Cut:

If the same problem prevails even after the suspension, the productivity of employee has decreased she/he is creating an economic load to the organization, management decides to cut the pay of the employee. Since its the effect is long term, it is comparatively a harsh/ruthless disciplinary action. It is a monetary punishment. Though there is a pay cut, the position of the employee is not declined. If the employee improves work performance and attitude, she/he is paid again as previous pay level. Generally, there are three types of pay cut: stopping the grade, reducing the minimum level salary scale, calculating the economic load of employee destroys and reducing it from the monthly salary.

5. Demotion:

If pay cut action doesn't improve the situation, then the employees are demoted. In demotion, the employee’s position is lowered by one level than the current position. Since it is permanent by nature, it is sure that employee will be negative towards the organization. Therefore, it requires serious consideration before attempting to demotion. If the organization is sure of an employee not quitting the job and not reducing the work performance, and the action does not adversely affect in the long run, the action can be considered. Demotion not only minimizes the position but also reduces the salary and service facility. Therefore, there is a high possibility of making employees negative towards the organization forever.

6. Dismissal:

Dismissal is also known as the termination of the employees from the organization. It will end the formal organizational relationship between the employee and the organization. If an employee is not improved from the above-stated action or commits a serious crime the, this action is taken. 

Generally, Dismissal Is Done With Two Consideration As:
a. Employee is supposed to be eligible in the future
b. Supposed to be ineligible in future also.

In the case of the former situation, employees can again be selected from the free competition and can rejoin the organization whereas in the latter case, there is no chance of the employee for rejoining the organization. Dismissed employees are blacklisted.

Employee or Occupational Health and Safety:

Introduction to Industrial Relations, Meaning and nature of Industrial Relations, Objective of Industrial Relation, Concept of grievance, Causes and settlement of grievances, Grievance settlement process in Nepal, Trade union, Collective Bargaining, Trade union movement in Nepal, Employee discipline, Causes and settlement of disciplinary problem, Employee health and safety, Challenges of industrial relations in Nepal Application of case,

Occupational health and safety is a discipline with a broad scope involving many specialized fields. In its broadest sense, it should aim at:

a. The promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations;

b. The prevention among workers of adverse effects on health caused by their working conditions;

c. The protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health;

d. The placing and maintenance of workers in an occupational environment adapted to physical and mental needs;

e. The adaptation of work to humans.

In other words, occupational health and safety encompasses the social, mental and physical well-being of workers that is the “whole person”.

Successful occupational health and safety practice requires the collaboration and participation of both employers and workers in health and safety programmers, and involves the consideration of issues relating to occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, toxicology, education, engineering safety, ergonomics, psychology, etc.

Occupational health issues are often given less attention than occupational safety issues because the former are generally more difficult to confront. However, when health is addressed, so is safety, because a healthy workplace is by definition also a safe workplace. The converse, though, may not be true a so-called safe workplace is not necessarily also a healthy workplace. The important point is that issues of both health and safety must be addressed in every workplace. By and large, the definition of occupational health and safety have given above encompasses both health and safety in their broadest contexts.

Employee health and safety are important because of the following reasons:
a. Legal Compliance
b. Moral Requirement
c. Productivity
d. Cost Saving
e. Employee Retention
f. Improved Labor Relations
g. Minimum Social Evils
h. For Company’s Image And Goodwill

Challenges of Industrial Relation in Nepal:

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Industrial relations is the term that describes how the management and the employees of a company interact with each other. Specifically, it is the relationship that exists between the upper management of small business and the staff that carries out the duties of the small business. Because there is a divide between these two aspects of a business, problems also arise when maintaining a relationship between management and staff.

1. Narrow Focus:

In many businesses, an issue that arises out of industrial relations is a narrow focus by the employees of the organization. An employee or staff member may only view the task at hand that they have to perform to complete their job rather than viewing how the role the employee plays benefits the organization as a whole. Many employees simply see their managers as someone who tells them what to do rather than as a facilitator that can help the employee achieve their own professional goals as well as bring the company to a point where it reaches the goals of the business.

2. Inflexibility of Employer:

When an employer is inflexible, this can stifle the creativity of employees. When employees feel as if their creativity is being squashed or that their opinions do not matter, this can cause strife between the employees and management of the business. When creativity is squashed, this can cause the company innovation to lack, which can ultimately create an uncompetitive position for the company in the marketplace. Employers that allow employees to participate in running the company by allowing suggestions and feedback from the employees and even empowering employees to take on more responsibility for the route the business takes typically enjoy a more successful business environment internally and in the marketplace.

3. Division:

Another issue that arises in industrial relations is “us against them” mentality. Many employees believe there is a great divide that exists between them and the management of the company. This division between the two groups of a business can cause a myriad of issues such as contract negotiation problems, strikes and the required intervention of trade and labour unions. When management and employees can relate and communicate with each other, it typically alleviates the problems, such as not being able to negotiate work contract agreements or having to bring in the labour union to negotiate the terms and conditions between employees and management.

4. Achieving Competitiveness:

Increasingly, one of the central problems of industrial relations in the modern world is how to achieve competitiveness. The modern globalized economy requires more than ever that each individual achieves his maximum level of competitiveness. In general, the primary problem is how companies manage to achieve the levels of innovation and flexibility required by the global economy.

5. Role of Government and Unions:

The global economy also means a different sort of role for government and labour unions in the management of industrial relations. Governments are faced with the task of deciding how to best encourage foreign involvement in their economies that will benefit their own nations but still be attractive to foreign companies. Labour unions are faced with the need to work more collaboratively and less antagonistically with employers.

6. Ethical Theory:

Ethical theory is another extremely important area of industrial relations and presents some of the field most pressing and demanding problems. The Western world is steeped within the libertarian and the utilitarian view of industrial relations, while Asia, India and the Middle East are all working from the ethical institutions that are primary to their culture. The collisions and relationships between these different systems of thought are very important to modern industrial relations.

7. Technology:

The presence of technology in the workplace can create ethical quandaries in industrial relations, such as the loss of privacy and the replacement of jobs by machinery. Industrial relations takes on the task of figuring out how to balance technical innovation with fairness to the humans affected by it.

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