industrial dispute

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industrial dispute

a dispute between an employer (or group of employers) and one or more workers usually arising over pay and conditions of employment, allocation of work, work discipline etc. The current official definition in the UK states that it is a dispute between workers and their employer (i.e. not another employer) and that it relates mainly or wholly to their conditions of employment (see CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT). The definition excludes disputes between workers (thereby excluding inter-TRADE UNION conflicts). Disputes that fall outside the official definition (for example INDUSTRIAL ACTION taken by workers or trade unions in furtherance of political objectives) are not covered by TRADE UNION IMMUNITIES and hence those involved are liable to legal action by employers in the civil courts.

A large number of UK employers are party (either directly or indirectly through EMPLOYERS' ASSOCIATIONS) to a DISPUTES PROCEDURE or GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE which governs how disputes of this kind should be dealt with and resolved. Where such procedures are absent or where it is not possible to resolve the dispute in this way some form of INDUSTRIAL ACTION such as a STRIKE may occur. Industrial disputes may be settled in a number of ways, including voluntary agreement between the parties concerned or through some form of third party intervention. See ARBITRATION, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, CONCILIATION, CONFLICT, MEDIATION.

industrial dispute

a dispute between one or more employers, or organizations of employers, and one or more workers or organizations of workers (TRADE UNIONS), where the dispute relates wholly or mainly to matters of trade. Such matters may comprise terms and/or conditions of employment; the engagement, termination or suspension of employment of workers; the allocation of work between workers; matters of discipline, and so forth.

Serious industrial disputes are often characterized by STRIKE action on the part of workers and/or the LOCK-OUT of workers by management. Industrial disputes may be settled in a number of ways, including voluntary agreement between the parties concerned or by recourse to an independent arbiter. See INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, ARBITRATION, MEDIATION, CONCILIATION.

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