Industrial Action is the denial to do work by workers in industrial set up with the aim of purposely lowering the business output. Industrial action include various actions which are taken to register protest by workers to employer’s action. It includes strikes, go slow, occupying workplace etc.
In what circumstances it is legal is important thing to be understood before taking any kind of industrial action. Different countries prescribe necessary condition to call particular industrial action legal.
Legal Industrial Action:
When proper notice is given to other party about the industrial action being considered is normally treated as legal action. This allows parties to seat for negotiation and take necessary action. In this way actually industrial action is avoided.
Illegal Industrial Action:
When group of workman resort to sudden strike due to some issue on work or any other such action which does not give other party chance to take corrective action is considered illegal industrial action.
Penalties for Illegal Actions
Industrial law in many countries provide strict penalties for resorting to illegal industrial action. These penalties are prescribed for both employer as well as workman.
Though industrial actions are used as weapon against perceived wrong doing by other party (usually workers), general attempt is made to avoid any industrial action. In order to resolve dispute law provide step wise dispute resolution mechanism.
In countries like UK and India the mechanism is voluntary arbitration, conciliation and adjudication. In voluntary arbitration parties decide mutually agreed person to solve dispute and in whose authority both parties believe. If this fails, parties discuss dispute in presence of law appointed officer as a way to resolve conflict. If even this fails parties go to industrial courts for resolving the dispute. As parties move to next level of process, they lose on deciding outcome by themselves and are forced to accept outcome pronounced by judicial authority.