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CHAP 3: CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE 1. WHAT ARE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS This is the term used to describe the relations between the management of a firm and.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAP 3: CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE 1. WHAT ARE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS This is the term used to describe the relations between the management of a firm and."— Presentation transcript:


2 CHAP 3: CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE 1. WHAT ARE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS This is the term used to describe the relations between the management of a firm and its employers. If Industrial relations are good employees will be well motivated and as a result morale and productivity will be high. If industrial relations are poor employees will be a lot less motivated and productivity low with a high labor turnover.

3 2. What is a trade union? Is a body representing employees views with their employers? Union members elect a shop steward to represent them in negotiations with the employers. Reasons for joining a trade union 1.Increased bargaining power – one voice as a representative 2.Having a skilled negotiator on behalf of employees 3.Greater job security if the union is powerful 4. Higher standard of living for members

4 3. What causes industrial disputes? Pay disputes Working conditions Unfair dismissals Promotion Poor industrial relations Introduction to new technology Discrimination

5 4. What action can the employee/employer take in an industrial conflict? Getting Legal Approval Before organising a strike or any other form of industrial action a trade union must follow the rules set out in the Industrial Relations Act This states that a union cannot organise a strike or any other industrial action without getting members majority approval

6 Official disputes are ones which have received the approval of workers in a secret ballot and are confirmed by the ICTU. The union must them decide the type, the timing of the industrial action. Unofficial disputes have no ICTU or union approval. A wildcat or lightning strike is an unofficial dispute where no advance notice is given to management

7 Deciding on the action to take 1)Token stoppages involve employees stopping work for a short period of time to demonstrate their feeling to management 2)Work to rule is where employees refuse to undertake any work outside the terms of their employment contract 3)A go slow occurs when employees carry out the minimum amount of work they can get away with without jeopardising their basic pay 4)All out strike means employees stop working and leave the premises

8 5) Picketing involves walking up and down outside the work place indicating a strike is in process Feb 2009 – public sector workers in Ireland picketing outside their employers premises

9 How can an employer respond to strike Some employers may attempt a lock out to break the strike. This can occur when an employer locks out or suspends employees during an industrial dispute. This is seen as trying to break the strikers morale. A more reasonable approach is to start negotiating a settlement with those involved. This may result in talks between employees unions and employers. If unresolved it may lead to help from the LRC or failing that the Labour Court

10 What are the consequences of industrial relations conflict for a business Industrial relations conflict can affect the business in the following way. 1.Reduced productivity, increased costs 2.Loss of profits 3.Damage to public image 4.Difficulty in recruiting & keeping staff 5.Wasted time and energy

11 5. How an industrial relations conflict between employees/employers can be resolved Internal Solutions 1. Take the complaint to the union shop steward 2.The union shop steward will follow the grievance procedure agreed with the employer 3.If no union, agreed employees should talk directly to manager responsible or to the HR manager

12 Help from the LRC 4. Agreement of both sides, the matter is taken to the LRC which provides the following conflict resolution services. Conciliation services (for group conflict resolution) Rights Officer Service (for individual conflict resolution)

13 Getting Help From the LABOUR COURT 5. This is seen as the last resort for industrial disputes. It provides an ARBITRATION SERVICE for group conflict resolution.

14 6. What is the LRC? THE Labour Relations Commission was established to assist in settling disputes and to promote good industrial relations. The LRC provides the following services 1. Conciliation service – the LRC provides an Industrial Relations Officer (IRO). He/she listens to both sides arguments and then recommends a settlement. 2. Codes of practice – rules, practices to be followed when dealing with conflict. The LRC offers guidance to firms drawing up code of practice.

15 3. Equality services - the LRC provides equality officers in investigating disputes under Employment Act (1998). It relates to issues on discrimination in the workplace. When investigating they can enter premises and seek records they need. 4. Rights commissioner service – looks into disputes involving individual workers or small groups of workers concerning unfair dismissals or maternity leave etc. any recommendations of the rights commissioner can be appealed to in the Labour Court.

16 5. The LRC assists Joint Labour Committees (JLC) and Joint Industrial Councils (JIC). The JLC is a body set up by the labour court to investigate rates of pay, work conditions for workers that have no union. A JIC is a voluntary body set up to solve disputes that may arise in a particular industry. 6. The Industrial Relations Advisory Service offers advice to employers and unions on industrial relations matters. It also helps firms to understand the root of the problems that cause conflict.

17 7.The Labour Court F The Labour Court is a court of last resort in industrial disputes: Functions of the Labour Court 1)To resolve disputes that the LRC feel that they cannot sort out 2)To resolve any conflict that LRC feel they cannot investigate 3) To resolve disputes that are referred to by minister of employment /enterprise 4)To resolve disputes of exceptional circumstances Court of appeal The labour court hears appeals against recommendations of equality officers under the Employment Act (1998). Joint labour committees (JLC) and Employment Regulations Order The labour court establishes JLCs & employment regulation orders following the recommendations of the JLC.

18 Enforcement The labour court has inspectors of the Dept of enterprise, trade and employment; they may begin proceedings on behalf of employees against employers for poor conditions in the workplace. Investigating breaches of codes of practice The labour court investigates breaches of codes of practice, provided the LRC has first considered the complaint. Registering employment agreements Agreements negotiated between employers and employees can be registered with the Labour court. These agreements once registered become legally binding.

19 8.What is the role of the (EEA) employment equality agency The employment agency acts to eliminate against any discrimination between the treatment of employees in the workplace. It was established in association with the Employment Equality Act It is responsible for ensuring that the employment equality legislation is obeyed by employers This legislation states that it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of religion, sex or marital status.

20 Main services of the EEA 1.Advises employers on their responsibilities and employees on their rights regarding equality issues. 2.Monitors the equality legislation to ensure it is being properly implemented. 3.Investigates complaints concerning any discrimination against individual employees. This work is done by equality officers.

21 9. Role of the (EAT) Employment Appeal Tribunal The EAT is responsible for ensuring that firms obey the Unfair Dismissals Act It investigates any disputes between employees/employers concerning sackings, redundancy. Note: Compensation must be paid to employees up to a maximum of two years if a firm is guilty of unfair dismissals

22 10. How Industrial Relations are conducted at national level Since 1987 national agreements have been negotiated between the social partners every three years. The social partners include: Government representatives Employers representatives – IBEC Employees representatives – ICTU Farmers – IFA Community Organisations

23 Examples of social partnership agreements Programme for national recovery (PNR) (1987 onwards) Partnership 2000 which covered the years from 1997 – 2000 Programme for prosperity & fairness (PPF) Towards 2016 (partnership agreement we are currently in)

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