Types of bargaining
Collective Bargaining may be conducted at three levels, viz, Plant, Industry and National.
1. Collective Bargaining at Plant Level:
In plant level bargaining the union is responsive to the rank and file of workers and to their problems. Further, the union makes every effort and end eavour to resolve the problems of workers in accordance with its best ability and competency. It also makes an earnest effort to resolve such problems in a quicker pace so as to earn the goodwill and confidence of workers. Where the scope of the industry is limited to small unit for local consumption, plant level bargaining will be normally be most useful.
The disadvantage of this type of bargaining is that it is not suitable to industrial undertakings where trade unions are week and feeble. Hence, the success of plant level bargaining depends upon the existence of strong, stable and representative unions at the plant level.
2. Collective Bargaining at Industry Level:
Where the same type of industries is situated in one State then industrywide bargaining would be economic and useful. Industry wide bargaining has the advantage of getting uniform terms and conditions for the entire industry. It benefits workers employed in smaller firms in the form of better wages and working conditions and which normally a strong and fairly representative union can secure from the management for the benefit of workers. The main disadvantage of this type of bargaining is it doesnt give due weitage and consideration to the differences in efficiency, productivity, profitability and prosperity of the firms belonging to the same industry.
If the wages are escalated uniformly, then there is a possibility that weaker firms may resort to retrenchment of some of its work force. On the other hand, if the wages are too low then the workers in the prosperous firms may be dissatisfied and which may lead to rejection of agreement by them.
In order to avoid the situation like this, the possible technique usually adopted is to lay down general guidelines in regard to wages and other working conditions and permitting necessary variations to meet the needs and specifics of local conditions.
3. Collective Bargaining at National Level:
Where the activities and operations of an industry are spread across the country, nation-wide bargaining may be more useful and practicable, For Ex: banking, Railways, Posts and Telegraph Sectors in India.
Nation-wide bargaining has some of the same advantages as industry-wide bargaining; besides it leads to better economic integration and higher living standards. It also helps in mitigating divisive tendencies of caste, community, language, religion, region etc.
The disadvantages emanating from this are nation-wide strikes and other forms of industrial action resorted to by workmen may paralyze all industries across the nation,swim together or sink together. This kind of thinking and attitude between employees and the employer would inevitably push them towards sticking a deal.
4. Promotes Unity of Action among Workers:
Collective Bargaining necessarily demands parity of bargaining power between employees and the employer for its success. This is not possible when there are rivalries in inter and intra unions. Hence, the only way workers can enhance and strengthen their bargaining power is by means of unity of thought, plan and action in regard to their goals.
For realizing this, workers and trade unions should have able, mature and dynamic leadership having vision,missionary zeal and fore-sight. Thus, collective bargaining creates an inner urge among workers to strike for unity of thought and action for enhancing their bargaining power.
5. Promotes Dignity of Labour:
In collective bargaining, workers participate as equal partners with the management. Management also gives up its traditional mindset of treating labour as purchasable commodity at the market place. All this naturally promotes dignity and self esteem of labour.
6. Promotes Industrial Peace and Tranquility:
Collective Bargaining promotes industrial peace and tranquility as the parties sit across the table and strive to resolve their dispute and differences, without any interference by a third party. Any deal struck by the parties has the assent and backing of both parties. Hence, there are no feelings of dissent, disapproval and rancor unlike in the case of compulsory adjudication where the loser has always a feeling apathy for losing the case.
7. Gives an Opportunity To Workers To Upgrade Their Negotiation Skills:
As workers participate in the process of collective bargaining as equal partners with that of management and therefore, it inevitably demands enhancement of negotiation skills by themin order to arrive at amutually beneficial agreement. Further, workers participating in the process of collective bargaining will be exposed to a lot of negotiation skills and persuasion adopted by the management and all this naturally creates an inner urge and
craving among the workers to improve and upgrade their negotiation skills and power of persuasion and which is not possible in compulsory adjudication.
8. Early and Timely Identification of Disputes and Problems.
Collective bargaining facilitates early and timely identification of disputes and differences between the conflicting parties as the parties are empowered to identify and address them and which eventually leads to their early resolution.
9. Democratic in Nature
In collective bargaining the parties themselves settle their disputes without any intervention of any third party. Thus the parties are actively involved and engaged in the whole process of negotiation process and which naturally creates a feeling of shaping their own affairs in the minds of the employer and his employees. Hence, it is democratic and dynamic in its nature.