ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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LABOUR-Varma Committee on Industrial Relations

THE Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926 and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 together have for thirty years provided the legal framework for the settlement of industrial disputes and the organisation of workers into trade unions. Inseparable from this legal framework are the nature and number of industrial disputes with their intensity and duration on the one hand, and on the other, the nature and number of unions, as well as their proliferation and their increasingly debilitating quarrels. The framework has been attacked on both scores; yet it has sur- vived unaltered. Quite clearly it has either deep roots in Indian reality or it must have served satisfactorily the interests of dominant forces in the politics and economics of our country. All these interests, as well as those that were kept out or felt that they had been kept out from this entrenched framework, were brought together by the Janata party government in the largest Committee of its kind (30 members), with the most wide- ranging terms of reference. No dissenting element could snipe from outside at the Committee while it was at work or at its conclusions. With the Labour Minister, Ravindra Varma, himself as the Committee's Chairman, the government could command as it did all the expeditiousness required for the Committee's work and infuse seriousness of purpose and legislative sophistication in the Committee's report. With representation on the Committee of the Central employing ministries, public and private sector enterprises, and state governments any procrastination over the consideration of the report by government can be ruled out. In fact, the Committee's report can straightaway go on the anvil of enactment.

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