Introduction It is a Universal fact that where ever human beings are involved, of certain there will be discontents and dissatisfaction, even though it may superbly be best managed organizations. But, it does not mean that by thinking so, the management can ignore the grievance of the employees. Accumulation of dissatisfaction may result in severe conflicts and litigations, hampering the peace and work, for which the majority of the human being aspires. Further, it is observed that some of the situation which could easily be otherwise avoided result in the form of grievances, damaging the very harmony of the rganization.

This is generally because of lack of concern for the employees, or due to lack of managerial expertise, or due to irrational decisions. Quite often, it is forgotten that the grievances are pests that weaken the organization tree with the trace of indelible marks. Meaning The term "Grievance" is derived from the word 'Grieve' which means to cause grief or pain of mind, to make sorrowful, to show grief. According to Chambers' dictionary, Grievance is "cause or source of Grief, ground of complaint; condition felt to be oppressive or wrongful". In the words of Prof. Jucius -

Grievance is "any discontent or dissatisfaction, whether expressed or not, whether valid or not, arising out of anything connected with the company that an employee thinks, believes, or even feels is unfair, unjust or inequitable". According to Edwin Flippo, "A complaint becomes a grievance when the employee feels that an injustice has been committed. If the supervisor ignores, the complaint and dissatisfaction grows within the employee; it usually assumes the status of grievance. A grievance in business organizations is always expressed, either verbally or in writing.

A grievance s usually more formal in character than a complaint. It can, of course be either valid or ridiculous, but must grow out of something connected with company operation or policy. In many instances, it must involve an interpretation or application of provisions of labour contract". Pigors and Myers have expressed three terms: 'dissatisfaction', 'complaint', and 'grievance'. According to their views, "a dissatisfaction is anything that disturbs an employee, whether or not expresses his unrest. A complaint is a spoken or written dissatisfaction, brought to the attention of the Supervisor and the Stop Steward.

A grievance is simply a complaint that has been ignored, over-ridden, or dismissed without due consideration. " "The ground for a grievance may be any measure or situation which concerns the relation between employer and worker or which affects the conditions of employment of one or several workers in the undertaking when that measure or situation appears contrary to the provisions of an applicable collective agreement or of an individual contract of employment, or to work rules, or to laws or laws or regulations or to custom or usage of the occupation branch of economic activity or country, regarding faith".

Features f Grievances The features of Grievance are the following:- Grievance arises due to discontent or dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is anything that disturbs an employee. The discontent or dissatisfaction arises when an employee perceives that an injustice has been attributed. The discontent or dissatisfaction may be genuine or may not be genuine. A Grievance is usually expressed either verbally or in writing witn the intention ot bringing it to the attention ot management. The representation can be made by employee himself or by the representative of the employee. There can be individual grievance or collective grievance.

Types of grievances Individual and Collective (Group) Grievances The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines a grievance as a complaint of one or more workers with respect to wages and allowances, conditions of work and interpretation of service, condition covering such areas as overtime, leave, transfer, promotion, seniority, Job assignment and termination of service. The National Commission on Labour observed that "complaints" affecting one or more individual workers in respect of their wage payments, overtime, leave, transfer, promotion seniority, work assignment and discharge would constitute grievances.

It is important to make a distinction between individual grievances and group grievances. If the issue involved relate to one or a few individual employees, it needs to be handled through a grievance procedure, but when general issues with policy implications and wider interest are involved they become the subject matter for collective bargaining. Reasons for Grievances Grievances occur for a variety of reasons: Economic Wage fixation, wage computation, overtime, bonus Employees feel they are getting less than what they ought to get Working Environment Poor working conditions, defective quipment and machinery, tools, materials.

Supervision Disposition of the boss towards the employee perceived notions of favoritism, nepotism, bias etc. Work Group Need for Grievance Procedure Most grievances disturb the employee and affect their morale and performance. Supervisors may not have the proper training for grievance handling, So there is a need ofa procedure. Serves as a check on the arbitrary actions of the management. Objectives of the Grievance Procedure To settle the grievances of the employees in the shortest possible time.

To settle the grievances, at the lowest possible step of authority. To settle the rievances, resulting in the highest possible satisfaction. To settle the grievances, to give the best possible opportunity for participation to the unions Characteristics of a Good Grievance Procedure It should be mutually acceptable to the management and the employees' representatives, and should not be unilaterally imposed. It should possess several well defined steps for handling grievances. The procedure should be simple, fair and easy to understand.

Each stage of the procedure should be time bound to avoid unreasonable delay in considering the It should provide for reference of the grievances to voluntary grievance. rbitration, if no acceptable settlement is possible at the highest level. It should be in conformity with the existing legislation. {draw:g} Recommendations of National Commission on Labour A formal grievances procedure should be introduced in units employing 100 or more workers. There should be statutory backing for the formulation of effective grievance procedure, which should be simple, flexible, less cumbrous and more or less on the lines of the Model Grievance Procedure.

It should be time bound and have a limited number of steps: namely, (i) approach to the immediate supervisory staff, (it) Appeal to the departmental head; nd (iii) appeal to bi-partite grievance committee representing management and the recognised union. A grievance procedure should be such that gives sense of: (i) Satisfaction to the individual workers, (it) Reasonable exercise of authority to the manager, and (iii) participation to union. The constitution ot Grievance Committee should have a provision that in case a unanimous decision is not possible, the unsettled grievance may be referred to arbitration.

At the earlier stages, a worker should be free to be represented by a co-worker, and later by an executive of trade union if one exists. Grievance and Statutory Provision Till the enactment of Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, the settlement of day to day grievances of the workers did not receive much attention in the legislative frame work. Item No. 10 of the Schedule of the said Act makes provision for the grievances while drafting the Standing Orders, Item No. 0 refers to the "means of redress for employees against unfair treatment or wrongful action on the part of the employer or his agent". Para 26 of the Model Standing Order specified in Section 15 of the Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act, 1946, lays that: Any workman desirous f the redress of a grievance arising out of the employment or relating to unfair treatment or wrongful action on the part of a supervisor shall either himself or through a trade union of which he is a member, submit a complaint to the manager or any officer appointed by the management in this behalf.

The manager or any such officer shall personally investigative the complaint at such times and places as he may fix. The workman and - Any other workman of his choice, or (it) where the complaint is made through a trade union, a member of the union, shall have the right to present at such investigation. Where the complaint alleges unfair treatment or wrongful action on the part of supervisor, a copy of the order finally made by the manager shall be supplied to the complainant if he asks for one.

In other cases the decision of the investigating officer and the action, if any taken thereon by the manager shall be intimated to the complaint: Provided that complaints relating to assault or abuse by any person holding a supervisory position or refusal of an application for urgent leave shall be enquired into immediately by the manager or such other officer as he may appoint. Stages of Grievance Redressal Stage -l If an mployee has a grievance, he meets his shift incharge or his equivalent and talks it over with him.

If required he obtains from him a copy of the grievance form I(Annexure l). This should be done within one week of the date on which the facts, on the basis of which the complaint has arisen, became known to him, except that in the case of promotion, a time limit of six weeks of the date of the promotion in question would be allowed. The employee fills up the particulars regarding name, ticket number, designation, section, department etc. n the boxed space provided at the top f the form, and under the heading "Grievance" writes down his grievance in brief, puts his signature on the statement and hands it over to the shift in charge or his equivalent and obtains his acknowledgement receipt. In cases of appeal against punishments excluding suspension, discharge or dismissal, the form should be handed over to the incharged or Shift incharge or his equivalent.

The In charge or Shift in charge or his equivalent as the case may be will make the necessary enquiries and return the form to the employee with the remarks in the space provided for the purpose, within two working days from the date of receipt of this form. In cases requiring reference to higher authorities or to another department this time will be relaxed. Stage - II If the employee is not satisfied with the reply at stage I from the (In charge or Shift In charge or his equivalent), as the case may be, a copy ot the grievance torm II (Annexure II) can be obtained trom the (In charge or shift In charge or his equivalent).

In this form the employee can state the reasons therein for the reconsideration of his case and submit this form to his departmental head (who is bound to reply within a period of three working days of his receipt of the reply at stage l) and obtain an acknowledgement receipt. Appeals against suspension should be addressed to the department head on grievance form II, and they will be considered at stage II in the first instance. The department head will discuss the issue with the concerned supervisor and the employee and return this form to the employee with his remarks.

Here the employee is provided with an option to be assisted by the Union representative in the department. Stage - Ill If the employee is still not satisfied with the reply of the departmental head, he may appeal to the Chairman of his Unit Grievance Redressal Committee on grievance form no. Ill (Annexure Ill) within 7 working days of the receipt of reply at Stage Ill (copies of grievance form Ill can be obtained from the In charge or Shift In charge or his equivalent).

There are seven functional Unit Grievance Redressal Committees and one non-factory employees' works committee who deals with the redressal of grievances in stage Ill. Only the Unit Grievance Redressal Committee, under which the concerned department falls, will deal with that particular grievance. (Annexure - 3) Management's decision reached after the consideration of the recommendation of he Unit Grievance Redressal Committee is committee is communicated to the concerned employee on the grievance form, through the proper channel.

The works committee's unanimous recommendations, to which no objections are raised by management or union within ten days of the receipt of such recommendations, will be final. Where such recommendations are not unanimous or has not been accepted by Management or union, the Unit Grievance Redressal Committee refers the case to the Central Grievance Redressal Committee for consideration with all the relevant papers and the concerned grievances form. The Recommendations of the Central

Grievances Redressal Committee are unanimous and binding on the employee, if no objections are raised by either the management or the union. If objections are raised, the matter is sent for further consideration to the resident director who discusses it over with the President or the Deputy President before he arrives at a definite conclusion. The Informal Grievance Redressal Procedure Apart from the formal system of grievance redressal, there can be a informal method of resolving grievances working simultaneously.

In fact more than half of the employees interviewed said that the informal method of resolving grievances by way of oral onsultants with their superiors is a much better and less complicated method to undertake. Most of them felt that the formal system was too tedious and time consuming. In the informal method, the aggrieved employee can directly approach his shift in charge or the section head (in case of a major grievance) engage into a direct consultation and have his grievance resolved amicably in stage I itself.

Therefore, he not only saves himself from a lot of time but also mental tension and pressure, which many employees claim to have acquired during the course of a formal grievance redressal procedure. Nonetheless, the formal procedure of handling grievances exists and has been successful in resolving extremely major grievances which the informal system cannot claim to have done.

The time factor involved wit n the tormal process makes the intormal method more successtul and preferable, but it definitely does not deteriorate the effectiveness or importance of the formal system. Prevention of Grievances In the end we can say that aggrieved employee's grievances can be avoided to a great extent by adopting the following measures- Detailed induction- In the absence of absolute information regarding ights, obligations and organizational policies, grievances can frequently arise among the employees.

So the organization should program a proper induction. Awareness- By observing the customary change in the behavior of employees and finding out the reason behind it, the superior can take preventive action. Implementation of legislative and policy decisions- Manager and the employer should ensure prompt implementation of the provisions, to avoid any grievances. Encourage suggestion- Employee participation should be encouraged, this inculcates a sense of belongingness. Marriott