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Industrial Disputes: Settlement Machinery

Conciliation: The practice by which the services of a neutral third party are used in a dispute as a means of helping the disputing parties to reduce the extent of their differences and to arrive at an amicable settlement or agreed solution.

Conciliation officer: an authority appointed by the government to mediate disputes between parties brought to his notice; enjoying the powers of a civil court. He is supposed to give judgment within 14 days of the commencement of the conciliation proceedings.

Conciliation Committee: The Board is an ad-hoc, tripartite body having the powers of a civil court created for a specific dispute(when the conciliation officer fails to resolve disputes within a time frame, the board is appointed)

Court of inquiry: In case the conciliation proceedings fail to resolve a dispute, a court of enquiry is constituted by the government to investigate the dispute.


There are four techniques for trade dispute settlement:

  1. Direct negotiation
  2. Conciliation
  3. Mediation
  4. Arbitration

Direct Negotiation

  • An ideal technique to settle a dispute.

  • In this technique, parties that involved in trade disputes are willing to discuss until a mutual resolution is reached.

  • Trade dispute settlement that reached without any third-party intervention will maintain a harmonious relationship between employer and employees.

  • The Labour Act have encouraged employer and trade union to resolve any employment conflict through established internal machinery before referring it to conciliation or arbitration processes.

  • If the dispute cannot settle via direct negotiation, it can be settled via the conciliation process or arbitration process.

Definition – a third party intervention that coming in between parties in dispute with a view to resolving the dispute. A conciliator is a natural and unbiased party.

The Role of Labour office for Industrial Relation Conciliation

When a trade dispute exists or is apprehended, that dispute if not otherwise resolved may be reported to the Labour office:

The main role of the conciliator is to help dispute parties to reach a mutual settlement. The conciliator cannot force any parties involved to accept any suggestions.

Conciliator roles including:

  1. Identifying the issue for the dispute.

  2. Encourage a settlement through advising and construction of valid settlement alternatives.

  3. Giving a consultation on dispute settlement technique in the attempt to help dispute parties generating settlement alternatives and selecting a reliable and valid settlement.


  • This settlement method is not frequently used by organizations in settling disputes.

  • The mediator involves an organization from the private sector that becomes a middle-man (third party) in trade dispute settlement.

Many organizations less interested to use a mediator as a third party due to a high consultation cost and difficult to identify a natural, ethical, unbiased mediator.

Where a trade dispute exists and if that dispute is not otherwise resolved, refer the dispute for arbitration on the joint request by the trade union of workmen and employer / trade union of employer.

Labour Court

Established under the Labour Act.

Where a trade dispute exists or is apprehended, if that not otherwise resolved, the union of workmen or employer refers the disputes to the Court.

The reference to the Labour court could be the issues of both the Individual or Collective nature.

After the matter is referred to the Labour Court, the adjudication process begins.

  • A union is an organization formed for the purpose of representing its members in resolving conflicts with employers.
  • Labor relations is the management specialty emphasizing skills that managers and union leaders can use to minimize costly forms of conflict and to seek win-win solutions to disagreements.
  • Management goals are to increase the organization’s profits. Managers generally expect that unions will make these goals harder to achieve.
  • Labor unions have the goal of obtaining payment and working conditions that satisfy their members. They obtain these results by gaining power in numbers.
  • Society’s values have included the hope that the existence of unions will replace conflict or violence between workers and employers with fruitful negotiation.
  • In contrast to the traditional view that labor and management are adversaries, some organizations and unions work more cooperatively.

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