INTRODUCTION ON Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 :
The first enactment dealing with the settlement of industrial disputes was the Employers’ and Workmen’s Disputes Act, 1860. This Act weighed much against the workers and was therefore replaced by the Trade Disputes Act, 1929. The Act of 1929 contained special provisions regarding strikes in public utility services and general strikes affecting the community as a whole. The main purpose of the Act, however, was to provide a conciliation machinery to bring about peaceful settlement of industrial disputes. The Whitely Commission made in this regard the perceptive observation that the attempt to deal with unrest must begin rather with the creation of an atmosphere unfavourable to disputes than with machinery for their settlement.
The next stage in the development of industrial law in this country was taken under the stress of emergency caused by the Second World War. Rule 81-A of the Defence of India Rules was intended to provide speedy remedies for industrial disputes by referring them compulsorily to conciliation or adjudication, by making the awards legally binding on the parties and by prohibiting strikes or lock-outs during the pendency of conciliation or adjudication proceedings and for two months thereafter. This rule also put a blanket ban on strikes which did not arise out of genuine trade disputes.
With the termination of the Second World War, Rule 81-A was about to lapse on 1st October, 1946, but it was kept alive by issuing an Ordinance in the exercise of the Government’s Emergency Powers. Then followed the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The provisions of this Act, as amended from time to time, have furnished the basis on which industrial jurisprudence in this country is founded.