Industrial Disputes Watch






Stop and Negotiate

Industrial disputes watch looks at events where employees are dissatisfied with their terms and conditions of employment, workplace environment, among others. As the result these may lead to industrial action by unionized employees.

Industrial disputes are disruptive. Their negative impacts may cause havoc if not managed well.


Kingfisher Airlines, India (Reported in The Borneo Post, Monday, October 8, 2012)
India's Kingfisher Airlines services have been suspended. Kingfisher Airlines had sought "to create benchmarks for the airline industry in India."

Engineers and pilots are on strike for unpaid salaries for the past six months.

It is now reported that an employee's wife committed suicide due to financial hardship that kept getting worse.

The entire fleet is grounded. The air-crafts need to be certified for airworthiness by engineers who are on strike.

The ultimate question is whether Kingfisher Airlines will be shut down. The airlines must reply to the country's civil aviation regulator show cause notice for failing to establish a "safe, efficient and reliable" service. Shutdown may become a reality if new investors are not attracted to a Kingfisher Airlines with its "massive debt burden, crippled fleet and poor employee morale."

If this happens, what will happen to employees? Must these disputes always lead to employees' suffering and cause family members to end their lives?


Learning points from Industrial Dispute incidents

Johannesburg, South Africa, 12 October 2012
Anglo American, the world's top platinum producer announced the loss of US$126 million due to a month-long illegal strike.

Some 28,000 workers went on "wildcat strike" beginning four weeks ago. 

A week ago, Anglo American dismissed 12,000 of the workers on strike. It is believed that the sacking could make the crisis worse. And so far, more than 50 people had been killed.

Talks between the government and the trade union movement failed to resolve the dispute and to stop the industrial actions.

Investors are worried. Business confidence is waning.

Note:
A wildcat strike is defined as "a strike undertaken by workers without approval from the officials of their union."

Long Beach, California, 8th December 2012

Port workers strike came to an end but not before as many as 20,000 workers lost a few days of wages.

Long Beach, California, 8th December 2012

Port workers strike came to an end but not before as many as 20,000 workers lost a few days of wages.

Long Beach, California, 8th December 2012
Port workers strike came to an end but not before as many as 20,000 workers lost a few days of wages.

The workers went on strike alleging that jobs were being outsourced.

The ports suffered loss but so did many workers. Industrial dispute is like a double-edged sword.

Australia
First Quarter 2014: The number of disputes was 37 fewer than the first quarter of 2013.

Lufthansa: Flights back to normal after pilots' strike

What happens when pilots go on strike? Thousands of flights are cancelled. Thousands cannot fly, able to go home, or go anywhere.

This was exactly what happened when Lufthansa pilots went on strike, March 18-21, 2015.



Harmonious Workplace, India
It was reported that the Labour Ministry of India plans "timely disposal of various claims and industrial disputes in 2014-15 to improve harmonious relations between employers and employees."

This underlines the importance of workplace harmony.

Good Industrial Relations
Good industrial relations helps in maintaining industrial harmony and brings benefits to both employer and employees.


Click HERE for information on adversarial industrial relations.

Read 'What is good industrial relations?'







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