Labor Unrest in India
Introduction:Labor unrest has become very frequent in India. The problem of labor unrest is one of the most serious problems inflicting in our economy. Such unrest in an inevitable concomitant of industrialism.
Labor unrest is not confined in India alone. But it is a worldwide phenomenon in various forms and degrees in different counties.
What are the various means of expressing Labor unrest? Formerly the works knew only one-method of expressing their protest and that was going on a strike. But today there are many ways of expressing their unrest. Strikes, hunger strikes, sudden unannounced stoppage of work, show work, etc.
All these various means are used to express discontent among the works. Sometimes peaceful demonstrations turn violent and death claims its share among those who are protesting.
What are the causes of Labor unrest?
Most of the grievances for which works agitate are genuine.
Poor working conditions: Laborers work in miserably poor conditions. The atmosphere is unhygienic and the employers do not take sufficient steps to preserve their safety.
Rising prices and insufficient pay: In factories, the works have to do nard work and get insufficient pay. When the circumstances get beyond endurance, they are obliged to resort to strikes. The works are much affected by rising prices. Though they get dearness allowance and their salary is increased, they are unable to support their family as the real purchasing power of money has substantially decreased. They do not get essential goods at fair prices.
Inter-union rivalry: Multiplicity of unions and inter-union rivalries also cause labor unrest. Inter-union rivalries often help strikes.
Unsatisfactory solutions: Actually both the government and the authorities concerned are guilty of inefficient handling of strikes. Instead of finding genuine solutions to reform the condition of the workers, they make the strike a prestige issue. As a result of unsatisfactory solutions of strike, the trouble is temporarily suppressed but it rises its ugly head again with greater force.
What are the effects of Labor unrest?
The worst effect of labor unrest is disruption of economic activities which lead to misery and hardship.
It is ironical that strikes are done on account of rising prices but they give a setback to production because of which prices rise further. Once the price level has gone up, whatever little concessions are given to workers, prove agitation for still higher wags has to be resumed.
Sometimes when there are strikes in essential services, they hold the whole city or state ransom. Then it is difficult to decide whether strikes deserve sympathy or condemnation because great misery is caused to the masses in general.
Solutions for reducing labor unrest
Some practical measured can be taken to reduce labor-unrest.
First, there should be a rational wage policy evolved in such a way that it may increase with the effect of rising prices. The wage pattern should be so structured that the workers automatically become entitled to a rise in their wages. This will check a large number of avoidable strikes.
Secondly, the principle of ‘one industry, one union’ should be followed. Each industry should have only one union with a number of sub-committees to look after the special interests of different categories of works.
Thirdly, the workers themselves should take over the leadership of trade union.
Finally the workers should be given opportunities to take part in management. This can check labor-unrest.
The life of a labor in modern age is complex. In big cities, their life has become mechanized and monotonous. To an ordinary worker in a big city, life has no meaning or purpose. The tyrannical handling of the machine-technology has transformed a wage-laborer into a cog in the machine. Most of the grievances for which laborers agitate are genuine. However, the government should improve their condition. Laborers should also minimize strikes for the sake of development of their country.