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Before you go for Strike against your Employer: Be Aware of Industrial Dispute Law

Industrial Dispute

The relationship between the employer and workers is required to be regulated for the purpose of the smooth functioning of the industrial working. A dispute arises wherein rights of a worker are infringed or in cases, the worker is aggrieved by any such action of the employer, the prolonged dispute may result into the deadlock. At the same time rights of the employer shall also be protected and fairness should be maintained. The Industrial dispute act 1947 is the Act which maintains the provision for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes and covers many other purposes that too in an expedient manner and caters due investigation process and defines the provisions for industrial disputes settlement. An industrial dispute law indicates that the industry is at unrest and the boils are symptoms of a disordered body.

Industrial Dispute:

Industrial dispute refers to a kind of dispute or difference

  1. between employers and employers or
  2. between employers and workmen or
  3. between workmen and workmen,

With regard to the employment or non-employment or such other terms of employment or it can also be related to the conditions of labor.

Note that the detailed definition of the Industrial dispute has been defined in detail under section 2 of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.

The types of the Industrial Dispute:

Sympathetic Strike:

In a sympathetic strike, it is done with the intent of showing support or expresses their sympathy with the members of other unions who are on strike in the other undertakings.  The members of a union collectively stop work to express the sympathy.

Sit Down Strike:

A sit down strike is also popularly known as tools down or pen down strike. In a sit-down strike, the workers do not leave their place of work, but stop work, and stay in the strike. The workers also keep their control over the work facilities.

Economic Strike:

The members of the trade union stop work and gage to enforce their demands relating to the wages, bonus, and other conditions of work. The only intent is to enforce their economic demands.

Slow down Strike:

Employees remain at their job only difference is the rate of output is restricted in an organized manner. Go – the slow rule opts and thereby the pressure builds upon the Employer.

Lock –Out:

Unlike other strikes, this strike is done by the employer and, wherein the employer locks the workplace and tries to put up the pressure on the workers until they resume the work in line with the terms and conditions imposed by the employer.

A lockout is exercised by closing the workplace, or by the suspension of the work, or wherein the employer refuses to continue the employment persons employed by you.

Usually, the Lockouts are exercised to curtail the actions of the militant workers.

General Strike:

General strikes can be an extension of the sympathetic strike which is done to express general protest by the workers.

In this strike, the members of all or most of the unions in a region or an industry are involved. All the workers in a particular region of the industry having common demands get to gather and stop the work.


Gherao is a Hindi word which means to surround. A human barricade is created by the workers around the management of an industrial establishment and is completely stopped to leave the business or even residential premises. The workers stop their exit. It is collective action, which is initiated by a group a group of workers who are actually members of the management of the establishment.

A virtual prison type circle is created, with the employer in the center.  The person is not allowed to do any work. It is quite illegal to circumvent any person, as it is a restriction on the right of movement of the employer and as it is done to press upon somebody, it is nothing but a way of getting concern consent under duress and pressure, and this is the reason why gherao is not treated as the industrial protest.


In this kind of set up, the workers are stopped at the factory gate from reporting for work. Till the time there is no violence it is legal. The intent behind this is to draw the attention of the public, expressing any dispute between the management and trade union or worker as the case may be.

Reasons Why Industrial Disputes often occur in India:

There can be n number of reasons for industrial dispute such as Economic and non-economic clauses.

Economic reasons are given below:

  1. Wages
  2. Bonus
  3. DA-Dearness Allowance
  4. Employment conditions
  5. Working Hours
  6. Paid leave and holidays
  7. Unjust retrenchment
  8. Unjust dismissals

Non- Economic reasons:

  1. Trade unions recognition
  2. Victimization of the Workers
  3. Ill-treatment by the supervisors
  4. Sympathetic strikes
  5. Political Causes

Who can go on strike in India?

Nothing specifically has been prescribed under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 like who can go on strike. But the strike definition states that the strikers must be persons, employed in any industry to do work.

Now you must know the valid forms and ways of doing the strike under the industrial depute act 1947:

The Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 under section 2(q) defines the industrial strike, procedure, and related provisions. It is to be noted that employees can go on strike in accordance to the prescribed procedure otherwise it is treated as the illegal strike. Section 22(1) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 put certain prohibitions on the right to strike.

Conditions to be compiled to go for a legal strike in India:

  1. Notice of strike must be given within six weeks before striking to the employer; or
  2. The notice should be given within fourteen days of giving such notice; or
  3. The strike should be conducted before the expiry of the date of strike specified in any such notice as aforesaid; or
  4. A strike cannot be conducted during the pendency of any conciliation proceedings and seven days after the conclusion of such proceedings.

Apart from above General Prohibition of the strike are given below:

During the pendency and 2 months after the conclusion of proceedings before a Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal. Or after the conclusion of the arbitrator, when a notification has been issued under subsection 3 (a) of section 10 A; also when a settlement or award is in operation.

Are you Aware of which all Actions of yours can Result in the Illegal Strike? No? Looking into the below Situations:

  1. All such strikes which are commenced or declared in contravention of section 22 or section 23; or
  2. Where a strike or lockout commences in reference of the dispute to a board, an arbitrator, a Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, the continuance of such strike or lockout shall not be deemed to be illegal.
  3. Note that a strike declared in the consequence of an illegal lock-out shall not be deemed to be illegal.

What could be Possible Consequences of an Illegal Strike in India?

The following can be a consequence of Illegal strike:

  1. Dismissal of workman
  2. The employer can have the right to get the compensation for the losses
  3. An employer shall not be liable to pay wages for illegal strike

Where an Aggrieved of Industrial Dispute can Approach in India?

Any person who is aggrieved by any of the action of the employer can approach to the labor court, the appeal from labor court shall lie to the labor tribunal established at state levels and the further appeal can be made to national labor tribunal.

Tribunals are considered to be the highest fact-finding authority in industrial dispute-related matters. However, on the question of law, you can still approach to the Supreme Court.

Things to know:

  1. In an illegal strike, the employer must keep a check on the quantum of punishment and is required to frame a clear distinction between violent strikers and peaceful strikers.
  2. In the case of a strike, the employer might bar the entry of the strikers within the premises by adopting an effective and legitimate method in that behalf.
  3. In order to entitle the workmen to wages for the period of the strike, the strike should be legal and justified.
  4. A strike may be illegal if it contravenes the provision of section 22, 23 or 24 of the Act or of any other law or the terms of employment depending upon the facts of each case

Also Read:
What is Labour Law Compliance?
All about the Factories Act, 1948 in India

Narendra Kumar

Experienced Finance and Legal Professional with 12+ Years of Experience in Legal, Finance, Fintech, Blockchain, and Revenue Management.

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