In the interests of the industry in particular and the national economy in general, cordial relations between the employer and employees should be maintained. To ensure cordial labor management relations and to achieve industrial harmony, the following methods of settlement of industrial disputes are provided under the Act ---
1) Collective Bargaining
3) Voluntary Arbitration and ;
1) Collective Bargaining ---
Collective Bargaining or Negotiation is one of the methods for settlement of an industrial dispute. It plays significant role in promoting labour management relations and in ensuring industrial harmony. Collective Bargaining is a process/Method by which problems of wages and conditions of employment are settled amicably, peacefully and voluntarily between labour and management. In collective bargaining, the parties to the dispute I.e., the employer and the employees/workmen settel their disputes by mutual discussions and agreements without the intervention of a third party. Such settlement are called "bipartite settlement". Therefore, settlement of labour disputes by direct Negotiation or settlement through collective bargaining is always preferable as it is the best way for the betterment of labour disputes. Collective Bargaining is recognized as a right of social importance and greater emphasis is placed on it by India's five year plans. The term 'Collective Bargaining' was coined for the first time by Sidney and Webb in their famous book 'Industrial Democracy' published in 1897. It means Negotiation between an employer and group of workers to reach agreement on working conditions. N. W. Chamberlain (in his 'Source Book on Labour : 1958 p. 327) described collective bargaining as "the process whereby management and Union agree on the terms under which workers shall perform their duties". In simple word, collective bargaining means "Bargaining between an employer or group of employers and a bonafide Labour Union".
2) Conciliation ----
Conciliation is a process, by which a third party persuades the parties to the industrial dispute to come to an amicable settlement. Such third party is called 'Conciliation Officer' of Board of Conciliation. Sections 4 and 5 of the act provide for the appointment of Conciliation Officer and the constitution of the Board of Conciliation respectively.
3) Voluntarily Arbitration -----
The expression 'Arbitration' simply means "the settlement or determination of a dispute outside the court". Parties to the dispute, without going to the Court of law, may refer the dispute/Matter to a person in whom they have faith, to suggest an amicable solution. Such person, who acts as a mediator between the disputants to settle the dispute is called "Arbitrator". The decision given by the parties, which is binding on the parties is called "Award". Therefore Arbitration is a judicial process under which one or more outsiders render a binding decision based on the merits of the dispute. Section 10-A of the industrial dispute act, 1947 confers on parties, power to enter into Arbitration agreement. The agreement must be in prescribed form and must specify the name/names of the arbitrator or arbitrators.
4) Adjudication -----
When an industrial dispute could not be settle either through bipartite negotiations or through the Conciliation machinery or through the voluntary Arbitration, the final stage resorted to, for settlement of an industrial dispute is Adjudication or compulsory Adjudication, which envisages Governmental reference to statutory bodies such as Labour Court or Industrial Tribunal or National Tribunal. Section 7, 7-A and 7-B of the Industrial disputes Act, 1947 provide for the constitution of Labour Court, Industrial Tribunal and Labour Tribunal respectively.