Collective Bargaining

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Collective Bargaining :

Collective Bargaining According to Dale Yoder , “Collective bargaining is the term used to describe a situation in which the essential conditions of employment are determined by bargaining process undertaken by representatives of a group of workers on the one hand and of one or more employers on the other.” In the words of Flippo , “Collective bargaining is a process in which the representatives of a labour organisation and the representatives of business organisation meet and attempt to negotiate a contract or agreement, which specifies the nature of employee-employer-union relationship.”

Features of Collective Bargaining :

Features of Collective Bargaining I. It is a collective process. The representatives of both workers and management participate in bargaining. II. It is a continuous process. It establishes regular and stable relationship between the parties involved. It involves not only the negotiation of the contract, but also the administration of the contract. III. It is a flexible and dynamic process. The parties have to adopt a flexible attitude through the process of bargaining. IV. It is a method of partnership of workers in management

Subject Matter of collective bargaining:

Subject Matter of collective bargaining The Indian Institute of Personnel Management suggested the following subject matter of collective bargaining: I. Purpose of agreement, its scope, and the definition of important terms II. Rights and responsibilities of the management and of the trade union III. Wages, bonus, production norms, leave, retirement benefits, and terms and conditions of service IV. Grievance redressal procedure V. Methods and machinery for the settlement of possible future disputes VI. Termination clause.

Importance of Collective Bargaining :

Importance of Collective Bargaining Importance to employees Collective bargaining develops a sense of self respect and responsibility among the employees. It increases the strength of the workforce, thereby, increasing their bargaining capacity as a group. Collective bargaining increases the morale and productivity of employees. It restricts management’s freedom for arbitrary action against the employees. Moreover, unilateral actions by the employer are also discouraged. Effective collective bargaining machinery strengthens the trade unions movement. The workers feel motivated as they can approach the management on various matters and bargain for higher benefits. It helps in securing a prompt and fair settlement of grievances. It provides a flexible means for the adjustment of wages and employment conditions to economic and technological changes in the industry, as a result of which the chances for conflicts are reduced.

Importance of Collective Bargaining:

Importance of Collective Bargaining Importance to employers It becomes easier for the management to resolve issues at the bargaining level rather than taking up complaints of individual workers. Collective bargaining tends to promote a sense of job security among employees and thereby tends to reduce the cost of labor turnover to management. Collective bargaining opens up the channel of communication between the workers and the management and increases worker participation in decision making. Collective bargaining plays a vital role in settling and preventing industrial disputes.

Importance of Collective Bargaining:

Importance of Collective Bargaining Importance to society Collective bargaining leads to industrial peace in the country It results in establishment of a harmonious industrial climate which supports which helps the pace of a nation’s efforts towards economic and social development since the obstacles to such a development can be reduced considerably. The discrimination and exploitation of workers is constantly being checked. It provides a method or the regulation of the conditions of employment of those who are directly concerned about them.

Pre-requisites for collective bargaining: :

Pre-requisites for collective bargaining: Effective negotiations and enforcement requires a systematic preparation of the base or ground for bargaining which involves the following three steps: Recognition of the Bargaining Agent. The management should give recognition to the trade union for participating in the collective bargaining process. In case there is more than one union, selection could be done through verification of membership by a government agency giving representation to all the major unions through joint consultations. Thus, the bargaining agent of the workers should be properly identified before initiating any action. Deciding the Level of Bargaining. Whether the dealings are confined to enterprise level, industry level, regional or national level should be decided as the contents, scope and enforcement agencies differ in each case. Determining the Scope and Coverage of Bargaining. It would be better to have a clear understanding of what are the issues to be covered under bargaining. Many a time, bargaining is restricted to wage and working conditions related issues but it would be advantageous for both the management and union to cover as many issues as possible to prevent further friction and disputes. Therefore, all the important and interrelated issues are to be taken for consideration.

Problems of Collective Bargaining :

Problems of Collective Bargaining I. Due to the dominance of outsiders in trade unionism in the country, there is multiplicity of unions which are weak and unstable, and do not represent majority of the employees. Moreover, there are inter-union rivalries, which further hinder the process of collective bargaining between the labour and the management. II. Since most of the trade unions are having political affiliations, they continue to be dominated by politicians, who use the unions and their members to meet their political ends. III. There is a lack of definite procedure to determine which union is to be recognised to serve as a bargaining agent on behalf of the workers IV. In India, the law provides an easy access to adjudication. Under the Industrial Disputes Act, the parties to the dispute may request the Government to refer the matter to adjudication and the Government will constitute the adjudication machinery, i.e., labour court or industrial tribunal. Thus, the faith in the collective bargaining process is discouraged. V. There has been very close association between the trade unions and political parties. As a result, trade union movement has leaned towards political orientations rather than collective bargaining.

Types of Collective Bargaining :

Types of Collective Bargaining Conjunctive / Distributive Bargaining Distributive bargaining is the most common type of bargaining & involves zero-sum negotiations, in other words,one side wins and the other loses. Both parties try to maximize their respective gains.They try to settle economic issues such as wages, benefits, bonus, etc. For Example, Unions negotiate for maximum wages &the management wants to yield as little as possible while getting things done through workers In distributive bargaining, unions and management have initial offers or demands, target points (e.g.: desired wage level), resistance points (e.g.: unacceptable wage levels) &settlement ranges (e.g.: acceptable wage level).Another name for this type of bargaining is conjunctive bargaining . .

Cooperative /Integrative Bargaining: :

Cooperative /Integrative Bargaining: Integrative bargaining is similar to problem solving sessions in which both sides are trying to reach a mutually beneficial alternative, i.e .a win-win situation Both the employer & the union try to resolve the conflict to the benefit of both parties .Both sides share information about the interests and concerns and they create a list of possible solutions to best meet everyone’s needs. For Example, when companies are hit by recession, they cannot offer the kind of wages and benefits demanded by workers. At the same time they cannot survive without the latter’s support. Both parties realize the importance of surviving in such difficult times and are willing to negotiate the terms of employment in a flexible way.

Productivity Bargaining: :

Productivity Bargaining: The concept of productivity bargain involves a good understanding of the following concepts. Based on these concepts both the parties must develop a productivity linked scheme. Difference between productivity & work intensity How to conduct work study ILO guidelines for work study Personal needs allowance, Fatigue allowance, hazardous allowance , etc. Other Methods like MOST (Maynard Operational Sequence Techniques) Systems improvement and method improvement Required Skills and Knowledge for productivity settlement

Composite Bargaining:

Composite Bargaining Workers believed that productivity bargaining agreements increased their workloads. Rationalization, introduction of new technology, tight productivity norms have added to this burden and made the life of a worker some what uneasy. As an answer to such problems, labor has come in favor of composite bargaining. In this method, labor bargains for wages as usual, but goes a step further demanding equity in matters relating to work norms, employment levels, manning standards, sub-contracting clauses etc. This works in the favor of the workers, for e.g., when unions negotiate standards they ensure the workload of workers don’t exceed .

Concessionary Bargaining:

Concessionary Bargaining Quite opposite to the other forms of bargaining, where the unions demanded from the employers, in concessionary bargaining,the objective is to giving back to management some of what it has gained in previous bargaining. Why should labor be willing to give back what it has worked so hard to obtain? A good example is the agreement between General Motors & the International Union of Electric Workers that granted GM around the-clock operations, wages and benefits concessions for the new hires, and a two-week mass vacation. The concessions were made to save over 3,000 jobs. In some cases, despite a financial crisis, the union may not be willing to concede. This may be because the union doesn’t view management’s arguments as credible. Thus, the degree of trust and credibility between the management and the union may influence the extent to which concessionary bargaining occurs.

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