1. Introduction :
The main object of the Industrial Act 1947 is investigation and settlement of industrial disputes, to prevent illegal Strike and Lockout and to provide relief to workmen in case of Layoff and Retrenchment. The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 has provided some authorities for the prevention and settlement of Industrial Disputes such as The Works Committee, Conciliation Officer, Board of Conciliation, Court of Inquiry, Labour Court, Industrial Tribunal and National Tribunal...
2. Works Committee :
Section 3 of the Industrial Dispute Act,1947 provides for the constitution of Works Committees. The expression 'Works Committee' denotes "A committee comprising of representatives from both the parties (for example employer and their employees) to the Dispute. The appropriate government is empowered to prescribe that works committee should be constituted in every industrial establishment employing 100 or more workers.
3. The Purpose of Creating Works Committee
The main purpose of creating the Works committee is to develop a sense of partnership between the employee and his workmen
4. Constitution of Works Committee
(1) In the case of any industrial establishment in which one hundred or more workmen are employed or have been employed on any day in the preceding twelve months, the appropriate Government may by general or special order require the employer to constitute in the prescribed manner a Works Committee consisting of representatives of employers and workmen engaged in the establishment so however that the number of representatives of workmen on the Committee shall not be less than the number of representatives of the employer.
The representatives of the workmen shall be chosen in the prescribed manner from among the workmen engaged in the establishment and in consultation with their trade union, if any, registered under the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926 (16 of 1926).
5. Duties and Functions of the Works Committee
It shall be the duty of the Works Committee to promote measures for securing and preserving amity and good relations between the employer and workmen and, to that end, to comment upon matters of their common interest or concern and endeavor to compose any material difference of opinion in respect of such matters.
Dealing with the scope of functioning of the Works committees, it was held in Kemp and Co. Ltd Vs. Their workmen ( 1955) L.L.J. 48 (L.A.T) that the Institution of works committee has been provided in the rules passed under the Industrial Dispute Act in order to look after the interest of the workmen. They are normally concerned with the problems arising in the day to day working of the grievance of the employees and to arrive at some agreement also. But the functions and the responsibility of the Works Committee as their very nomenclature indicates cannot go beyond the recommendations and as such, they are no more or less bodies who in the first instance endeavor to compose the differences and the final decisions rests with the union as the whole.
6. Dissolution of the Works Committee
The Central Government or any officer authority to whom the power under Section 39 has been delegated, may, after making necessary enquiry, dissolve any works committee at any time, by an order in writing provided it or he is a satisfied the committee has not been constituted in the accordance with the rules or that not less than 2/3rd of the number of representatives of workmen have without any reasonable justification, failed to attend three consecutive meetings of the committee or that the committee has ceased to function for any other reason, thus defeating the very purpose for which this institution exists in the Industrial law.
Difference between Lay-off and Retrenchment