Some of the basic objectives of IR could be listed as:
The establishment of mechanisms for communication, consultation and cooperation in order to resolve workplace issues at enterprise and industry level, and to achieve through a tripartite process, consensus on labour policy at national level.
IR, forms the central place occupied by labour law, freedom of association, collective bargaining, the right to strike, employee involvement practices which involves union, trade unionism and so on. So it has been clearly evident from the above discussion that industrial relation in general ways termed as synonymous to trade union and its activities. Trade unions are part and parcel of employees' relations or in broader terms IR. Need for forming trade unions was felt when workmen failed to get deal from employers by bargaining with them individually. Trade union is basically a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of improving conditions of employment. This narrower view about the roles of the union has often been discussed in wider framework beyond bread & butter issues. Allen Flanders (1970) says that the major functions of trade unions are 'Regulation' which is of government role, whose essence lies in rule making. The effects of union action extend beyond the securing material gains to the establishment of workers right in an industry. ...
The effects of union action extend beyond the securing material gains to the establishment of workers right in an industry. The constant inroads the unions have made into managerial role and prerogatives bring about a duel power structure in the enterprise. As Flanders (1970) says "Union restrain the exercise of managerial authority in deploying, organizing and disciplining the labour force after it has been hired." Thus trade unions are considered not merely as economic organizations, but also as political institutions directed towards wresting control over managerial authority. Trade unions are also seen as moral institutions, which will uplift the weak, and downtrodden and render them the place, the dignity and justice they deserve.
The role of the trade unions in industrial relations was a major issue in British politics for much of the twentieth century. The trade union issue remained prominent until mid 1990's by which time adverse economic conditions reinforced by legislation and more generally by the political climate hostile to the trade unions has considerably weakened trade unionism. The received wisdom is that unionization rates have fallen rapidly as unions have failed to become recognized in newly setup work places (Machins, 2000). Throughout the 1980's a range of anti union legislative measures were introduced by conservative govt. and the seemed to have a particularly adverse effect on recognition in establishments setup after 1978 (Disney et. al. 1955). In 1999 the govt. legislated to introduce the Employment Relations Act (ERA) that made provision for statutory recognition procedure. As Wood et. Al. (2003:119) point out the true importance of the