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The Industrial Relation

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Explain the differences between the industrial relation and employees relations and describe the industrial relation in the Mauritian system.

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, Industrial relation is defined as ''the interaction between employers, employees, and the government; and the institutions and associations though which such intentions are mediated '. Employment relations are the contemporary term used to refer to what has traditionally been called 'industrial relations'. As both an academic area of study and a set of organisational activities, industrial relations has traditionally referred to the management of the relationship between trade unions and management and associated processes including collective bargaining, negotiation and consultation and industrial conflict. The use of the term 'employment relations', rather than industrial relations, reflects a range of developments in the political, economic, social and legal context of the employment relationship that have taken place over the last three decades.

Political and Legal Structures: Political Independence and Democracy.

Mauritius historical background has created the political structure of the island. The four main political parties in Mauritius are

1. the Labour party

2. MMM (Mouvement Militant Mauricien)

3. MSM (Mouvement Socialist Mauricien), and the

4. PMSD (Parti Mauricien Socialist Democrat).

The advent of the Mauritius Labour Party in 1968 formed the First Government and was also linked to the independence of the island .They remained in power until 1982.


* In the 1965, a Trade Disputes Ordinance was set up and it did not provide proper settlement of disputes for wage determination. Ad-hoc wages boards were set up under the Regulation of Wages and Conditions of Employment Ordinance, 1961.

* In the 1973's, the industrial relations legal framework was characterised by a collective laissez-faire approach and industrial disputes were left to the parties themselves to take decisions .There was no obligation to refer disputes to the Labour Commissioner. The Labour Commission had no power of arbitration unless both employers and unions consented to such a practice.

* In 1973, taking into consideration the economic and political instability Government introduced the Industrial Relation Act (IRA) as "a response to the consistent demand for more effective communication and more industrial democracy and to the concepts and the legitimate aspirations of a modern society. It seeks to introduce confidence and stability to the system of free collective bargaining; it prescribes orderly procedures for the peaceful and the speedy settlement of disputes, and enunciates clear principles for the free association of workers and employers consistent with a proper degree of order and discipline."

* The first phase is the 1973 - 1982 phase.

Under severe pressure, after the 1979 and 1980's workers strike and movement, the government had to conclude to the fact that the IRA was fundamentally wrong and set



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