Industrial relations are concerned with relationships between workers and employers and their respective organizations. Sometimes these are harmonious and cooperative; at other times there may be disagreement and conflict.
In economies where market forces prevail, conflict is unavoidable and accepted as normal. Even if it is inevitable, it should not, however, be ignored because conflict gives rise to disagreements and disputes that may bring about negative consequences for all parties involved. Such situations need to be managed.
To improve and strengthen dispute prevention and settlement mechanisms, a number of issues and roles need to be considered. These include:
- policy formulation,
- legal interventions,
- institutional arrangements,
- operational procedures and resource requirements,
- role of trade unions and employers’ organizations,
- private conciliators and arbitrators,
- collection, analysis and dissemination of information on labour disputes,
- good governance and dispute resolution, and
- international labour standards.
To respond to a growing demand from ILO Member States with regard to dispute prevention and resolution, the ILO Industrial and Employment Relations Department (DIALOGUE) and the Social Dialogue, Labour Law and Labour Administration Programme of the Centre commissioned a new practitioners' guide on establishing effective dispute resolution services with the aim of providing ILO constituents and ILO officials with practical information on how to set up effective dispute resolution institutions and services.
Today a validation workshop is taking place at the Centre, with the main objective of receiving comments on this guide with a view to its finalisation. High level officials from dispute resolution agencies and Ministries of Labour, representatives of employers’ and workers' organisations as well as academics, practitioners and ILO officials will be participating in this event.