STRIKE AND ITS CAUSES By Trapti Pareek

Strike and lock-out are two powerful weapons in the hands of the workers and the employers. Strike signifies the suspension or stoppage of work by the worker while in case of lock-out the employer compels persons employed by
him to accept his terms or conditions by shutting down or closing the place of business. Strike is recognized as an ordinary right of social importance to the working class to ventilate their grievances and thereby resolve industrial
conflict.

Strike as defined in clause (q) of Section 2 of the Act means:
1. Cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any industry acting in
combination; or
2. A concerted refusal of any number of persons who are or have been
employed in any industry to continue to work or to accept employment; or
3. A refusal under a common understanding of any number of persons who
are or have been employed in any industry to continue to work or to accept
employment.
Thus the definition given in the act postulates three main things or ingredients:
(a) Plurity of workmen;
(b) Combination or concerted action;
(c) Cessation of work or refusal to do work.

Causes of Strikes:
Strikes are caused by differences as to –
1. Rates of wages and demands for advances or reductions i.e. Bonus, profit sharing, provident fund and gratuity.
2. Payment of wages, changes in the method, time or frequency of payment;
3. Hours of labour and rest intervals;
4. Administration and methods of work, for or against changes in the methods of work or rules and methods of administration, including the difficulties regarding labour-saving machinery, piece-work, apprentices and discharged
employees;
5. Retrenchment of workmen and closure of establishment.
6. Wrongful discharge or dismissal of workmen.

Kinds of Strike
There are mainly three kinds of strike, namely general strike, stay-in-strike and
go slow –
1. General Strike: In General Strike, the workmen join together for common cause and stay away from work, depriving the employer of their labor needed to run his factory. Token Strike is also a kind of General Strike. Token Strike is for a day or a few hours or for a short duration because its main object is to draw the attention of the employer by demonstrating the solidarity and co-operation of the workers. General Strike is for a longer period.

2. Stay-in-Strike: It is also known as ‘tools-down-strike’ or ‘pens-down-strike. It is the form of strike where the workmen report to their duties, occupy the premises but do not work. The employer is thus prevented from
employing other labor to carry on his business.

3. Go-Slow: In a ‘Go-Slow’ strike, the workmen do not stay away from work. They do come to their work and work also, but with a slow speed in order to lower down the production and thereby cause loss to the employer.

CASE- Mysore Machinery Manufacturers v/s State
Held: Where dismissed workmen were staying on premises and refused to leave them, did not amount to strike but an offence of criminal trespass.

CASE -B. R. Singh v/s Union of India
Held: it was held that the strike is a form of demonstration. Though the right to strike or right to demonstrate is not a fundamental right, it is recognized as a mode of redress for resolving the grievances of the workers. Though this right has been recognized by almost all democratic countries but it is not an absolute right.

CASE- Dharma Singh Rajput v/s Bank of India,
Held: it was held that right to strike as a mode of redress of the legitimate grievance of the workers is recognized by the Industrial Disputes Act. However, this right is to be exercised after complying with the conditions mentioned in the Act and also after exhausting the intermediate and salutary remedy for conciliation.

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