Industrial Relations and Labour Laws - 6th Edn

Industrial Relations and Labour Laws - 6th Edn
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Industrial Relations and Labour Laws - 6th Edn

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Publisher: Vikas Publishing
ISBN: 9789325955400
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CHAPTER
1
Over the years, labour laws have undergone change with regard to their object and scope. Early labour legislations were enacted to safeguard the interest of employers. They were governed by the doctrine of laissez faire. Modern labour legislation, on the other hand, aims to protect workers against exploitation by employers. The advent of doctrine of welfare state is based on the notion of progressive social philosophy which has rendered the old doctrine of laissez faire obsolete. The theory of hire and re as well as the theory of supply and demand which found free scope under the old doctrine of laissez faire no longer hold good.
I. APPROACH TO LABOUR LAW Labour law seeks to regulate the relations between an employer or a class of employers and their employees. The reach of this law is so wide that it touches the lives of far more people. Indeed, it covers millions of working men and women as compared to any other branch of law. It is this aspect which makes it most fascinating of all branches of law and, therefore, the study of this subject is of enormous dimension and of ever changing facets. There has been a remarkable change in the approach to labour law and industrial relations since World War II. Philadelphia Charter adopted in 1944 provided that labour is not a commodity and that poverty anywhere is a danger to prosperity everywhere . W Friedmann and others who have tried to analyse the essential characteristics of legal development in this branch of law consider it to be a social duty on the part of employer as the main bedrock on which this law is built. This is exempli ed by the very approach of law makers to the construction of a wage packet of the working men and women, wage xation and condition of service. The Indian Constitution lays down broad guidelines to be followed by the state. The Supreme Court in D N Banerji v. P R Mukherjee1, stated that the law as developed after the Second World War, particularly in a welfare state, has reversed the theories of Sir Henry Maine and now society progresses form contract to status and has witnessed considerable legislation laying down conditions of service and also ensuring payment of minimum wages by laws. 1
AIR 1953 SC 58.
4 Industrial Relations and Labour Laws
II. BASIS OF LABOUR LAW Otto Kahn-Freund in his book Labour and the Law makes the following propositions i The system of collective bargaining rests on a balance of the collective forces of management and organized labour. The contribution which the courts have made to the orderly development of collective labour relations has been in nistesimal. ii Collective bargaining is a process by which the terms of employment and conditions of service are determined by agreement between management and the union. In effect, It is a business deal which determines the price of labour services and terms and conditions of labour's employment. iii The law governing labour relations is one of the central branches of law according to which a very large majority of people earn their living. Nonetheless, law is a secondary force in human relations, especially in labour relations. iv Law is a technique for regulation of social power. This is as true of labour law as it is