Study Industrial Relations, Industrial Relations Schools

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The labor force is a very important segment of society. In fact, most governments even have a labor department or ministry to address labor-related concerns. In England, the Labour Party enjoys good political following because they always campaign for the betterment of labor conditions. In America, to get elected as president, eloquence can only get them so far as American voters are very discerning. Americans would always vote for those who would promise to improve healthcare, less taxes, more tax deductions in a realistic way. To get the presidency, more or less they have to woo the working class.

Browsing through the pages of history books, it could be seen that most revolutions or civil unrests started out from disgruntled laborers. The French revolution started because the common French people can no longer stand the trappings of monarchy as they would not like to live their lives in eternal labor while the king lives lavishly. The democratic structure in America, which is the envy of all freedom loving people, was paved by the civil war that started from abolition of slave movements, and thank God, the emancipationists won.

Fast forward to the present, labor rights have been given the needed attention it had been clamoring for in the last few centuries. In fact, there is even a field of study called Industrial Relations dedicated solely to foster the harmonious relationship of employers and employees. Thanks to the development of this field, no employee, from janitor to a manager, can be summarily dismissed without a valid ground for termination. Industrial Relations paved the way for promulgation of certain laws that would ensure protection of employees. By law, in most civilized countries, companies are required to enroll their employees to social security benefits. In highly developed countries, paid leaves, salary loan and hospitalization assistance are standard employee benefits resulting to less incidence of labor strikes and violence. However, third world countries tell a different story. Industrial Relations Specialists from third world countries are busier than their Western counterparts. Most local employers tend to discourage unions and other similar types of organizations. Some even employ children to hard physical labor. Although, there are laws in place that protect employee rights in some third world countries, however, bribery is just so prevalent that the pleas of the victims of unfair labor practices just fall on deaf ears.

Usually, Industrial Relations are practiced by the human resources department (HRD) of every company. They act as a bridge between management and employees. Companies with highly developed human resources departments usually act as if they are separate from the company. HRDs, from management’s point of view, makes sure to hire employees that would qualify for the job description applicants are applying for, while from the employees point of view, makes sure that company is complying with laws and regulations of the labor department/ministry of a particular country. When there are disputes between management and unions, the HRD would initially act as intermediary to avert a full-blown stoppage of company operations.

When things really are that out of hand and the matter is beyond the power of the company’s Industrial Relations experts, then third party negotiators are called in. These third party negotiators are usually government officials or lawyers.

Indeed, Industrial Relations have gone a long way and have greatly improved relations between employers and employees in the last decade but experts claim they have only scratched the tip of the iceberg. More opportunities are opening up as companies are becoming more accepting to the roles of labor unions. Courses are available at almost any famous universities and colleges.

Job positions for Industrial Relations:

CBA NegotiatorHuman Resources Manager

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