Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

This Act makes provision for the investigation and settlement of Industrial Disputes and for certain other purposes. It extends to the whole of India.

The main object of this Act is to

  • promote measures for good relations between the employer and workmen,
  • investigate and settle the Industrial Disputes,
  • prevention of illegal strikes and lock-outs,
  • relief to workmen in the matters of dismissal, non-employment, lay-off,
  • retrenchment, closure and matters incidental thereto.
  • Protection to public utility services,
  • Protection of unfair labour practices,
  • Protective clauses during pendency of conciliation and adjudication.
  • Recovery of money due from employer.

This Act empowers the Government to refer an Industrial Dispute to Labour Court or Industrial Tribunal specially created to adjudicate and pass Awards.

There is a statutory provision in the Act empowering the State Government, to issue special orders regarding terms and conditions of service pending settlement of disputes. (Section. 10B)

This Act empowers the conciliation officers to intervene in the Industrial Disputes which remain unresolved between the employer and the workmen.

Another important feature of this Act is that the Government can prohibit strikes and lockouts in public utility service without adequate notice and during and after specific period of conciliation or adjudication arbitration proceedings and Government can also prohibit strike and lockouts over the issues covered by the settlement or Awards.

If A factory, mine or plantation employing more than 100 workmen then the employer has to obtain prior permission for laying off or, retrenchment or closure of the unit. The effect of the provision is that if prior permission is not obtained then the workers are entitled to full wages as if they are not laid-off or retrenched.

This Act provides a machinery for conciliation, impose conditions for resorting to strike or lock-out and also empowers Conciliation Officers to settle the dispute through conciliation and also to prohibit the strike and lock-out and even to declare interim relief while referring for adjudication of the dispute.

Section. 2A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 has been amended by Tamil Nadu Act 5 of 1988. As per this amendment, the discharged, dismissed, retrenched or otherwise terminated individual workman can directly approach the Labour Court for adjudication of dispute, if no settlement is arrived at in the course of any conciliation proceedings taken under this Act. This amendment is applicable only in Tamil Nadu.