In an industrial working society, there are 2 groups of people – One group constitutes those who provide employment who are called Employers & the other group constitutes those who seek employment who are called Employees. The relationship between the employers & employees in an organization is called as Industrial Relations (IR). The employers are represented by Management and employees are represented by Labour or Trade Unions.
Though the term refers to the relations in an industrial setup, these days it is also used to include the relation in a non-industrial setup like a government, educational institution, service organisations etc. Hence the term Industrial Relations is fast being replaced with terms like Employer-Employee Relations.
Apart from the two main parties who constitute IR (ie., Employer & Employee), the Government is also a key constituent in the relationship. Government is seen as a third party who protects the interests of the employees by enacting various legislations.
In India, the relations have been associated with Trade Union bodies like INTUC, AITUC, CITU who were concentrated in different regions of the country. But as years progressed, the importance of these bodies has faded and worker unions in organizations prefer not to be affiliated with such bodies.