To maintain harmonious relations and promote industrial peace, a Code of Discipline has been laid down which applies to both public and private sector enterprises. It specifies various obligations for the management and the workers with the objective of promoting cooperation between their representatives.

This code of discipline guide the employers and workers to settle disputes making use of the existing machinery and abstaining from taking direct action was evolved at the Indian Labour Conference in 1958.

The basic objectives of Code of Discipline are to:

  • Maintain peace and order in industry.
  • Promote constructive criticism at all levels of management and employment.
  • Avoid work stoppage in industry.
  • Secure the settlement of disputes and grievances by a mutually agreed procedure.
  • Avoiding litigation.
  • Facilitate a free growth of trade unions.
  • Eliminate all forms of coercion, intimidation and violations of rules and regulations governing industrial relations.

The Code is based on the following principles:

  • There should be no strike or lockout without prior notice.
  • No unilateral action should be taken in connection with any industrial matter.
  • Employees should not follow go slow tactic.
  • No deliberate damage should be caused to a plant or property
  • Acts of violations, intimidation and coercion should not be resorted
  • The existing machinery for the settlement of disputes should be utilized.
  • Actions that disturb cordial relationships should be avoided.

To ensure better discipline in industry, management and unions agree on not indulging into various actions. These actions can be summarized as follows:

Actions having Mutual Agreement of Management and Union:

  • that there should be no strike or lock-out without prior notice.
  • that no unilateral action should be taken in connection with any industrial matter and that should be settled at appropriate level.
  • that they will avoid litigation, sit-down and stay-in strikes and lock-outs
  • that neither party will have recourse to coercion, intimidation, victimization or go -slow tactics.
  • that the existing machinery for settlement of disputes should be utilized with the utmost efficiency.
  • that they will formulate a mutually agreed grievance procedure which will ensure a speedy, fair and comprehensive investigation leading to a time bound settlement.
  • that they will abide by the various stages in the grievance procedure and take no arbitrary action which would by-pass this procedure
  • that they will promote constructive co-operation between their representatives at all levels and as between workers themselves
  • Actions Agreed to by the Management:
  • not to increase workloads unless agreed upon or settled otherwise.
  • not to support or encourage any unfair labor practice such as discrimination and victimization of any employee.
  • to take prompt action for settlement of grievances and implementation of settlements, awards, decision and orders.
  • to take appropriate disciplinary action against its officers and members in cases enquiries reveal that they were responsible for precipitate action by workers leading to indiscipline

Actions Agreed to by the Union:

  • Abstain from resorting to violent demonstrations.
  • Not to engage in any form of physical duress.
  • To discourage unfair labor practices such as negligence of duty, damage to property and insubordination.
  • To take prompt action to implement awards, agreements, settlements and decisions.
  • Abstain from instigating the employees to engage in any union activity during working hours.

Provisions in the Code of Discipline:

All central organizations of employees and workers have voluntarily accepted the ‘Code of Discipline’ applicable in Indian Industry. This code of Discipline applied both to the public as well as the Private sector.

According to the Code of Discipline, it is Mandatory:

(i) To lay down a regular grievance procedure in every organization.

(ii) Each grievance should be promptly redressed by legal means and through the normal channels. There should be no direct, arbitrary or unilateral action on either party.

(iii) To avoid litigation, lock-outs and strikes (sit-down and stay in) intimidation, victimization or delaying tactics should be avoided.

(iv) Unfair practices like negligence of duty, damage to property and physical stress should be discouraged.

(v) Management should give workers the freedom to form trade unions.

(vi) Management should promptly implement awards, agreements, settlements and policy decisions.

(vii) The trade unions should function in a democratic fashion and discourage violence, casteism, communalism, provincialism, intimidation or personal deformation in inter-union dealings.

Machinery for implementation and evaluation has been set up at the centre and state level to ensure that the obligations outlined in laws, agreements and the code of Discipline are observed by both management as well as labour.

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