The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 – Brief Notes

This Act deals with Industrial Disputes which means the disputes between employers and employers, employers and workmen, workmen and workmen which is connected to the employment, the term of employment or conditions of labour.

The main object of this Act is to investigate and settle industrial disputes along with ensuring harmony between workmen and employers, ensuring social justice, settling disputes between the parties by way of arbitration, conciliation, to prevent illegal strikes and lockouts, to promote collective bargaining, to pay compensation in case of retrenchment and lay-offs. It also aims at preventing victimization of the workmen by the employer.

Following are the Authorities to settle disputes under the Act, they are as follows:

a) Work Committee

b) Labour Courts

c) Courts of Inquiry

d) Conciliation

e) Arbitration

f) Industrial Tribunals

g) National Tribunal

  • Industrial Disputes may be of various types such as Interest disputes that may arise as deadlocks in negotiations in case of collective bargaining, unfair practices like discrimination or illegal strikes, grievance disputes over wages etc, and recognition disputes of Trade unions.
  • Section 22(1) of the Act prohibits the employees from going on strike without a 6-week notice to the employer or when proceedings are underway for that dispute. If the workers continue they can be punished with one month or more imprisonment and fine up to Rs. 1000.
  • Without State intervention, the parties may resolve disputes through collective bargaining or voluntary arbitration.
  • Settlement can also be reached under the influence of the State through the prescribed methods of setting up bipartite committees, compulsory collective bargaining, compulsory investigation, compulsory arbitration and mediation etc.
  • The government may appoint a Labour Court for adjudicating any industrial dispute and one person of appropriate judicial qualifications presides over it.