Third-Party Intervention is an involvement of person/team into on-going conflict of two parties like management and union to resolve conflict. Generally, third party interventions help parties analyse consequence of their action and manages/ resolve conflict in mutually beneficial way. There are various levels of third party interventions mandated by laws in employer and labour relations in collective bargaining framework.
Voluntary Arbitration: In this first phase of third party intervention, parties mutually agree on name of person who can resolve conflict. This third party person is appointed by free will and consent of both parties to conflict. As this appointment is voluntary, it is believed that solution reached in this level stand on highest footing than solution reached in next level of conflict resolution by third party intervention.
But in case parties does reach consensus in this level then conflict resolution enters into next level.
Conciliations by third party like government appointed officer: In conciliations, parties to conflict are brought to negotiating table. The government appointed officer act as facilitator of discussion. Officer help parties to reach amicable solution to conflict. If any solution is reached in this process, then parties sign agreement with the government appointed officer.
At times, conciliations process may not be able to reach its logical end as suggested above. In such case, conflict resolution reach next level where there is higher level of third party interventions.
Adjudication by Tribunal or labour courts: When parties fails to reach conflict resolution in previous two levels, third levels make them compulsory to do negations in tribunal or labour court. Here parties have to accept judgement proclaimed by third party like tribunal or court.
We can see third party interventions are given in three level mechanism to solve conflict. As parties to conflict enter next level, accepting decision taken by third party becomes compulsory.
Third party intervention is not uncommon, when a conflict that must be resolved somehow happens and all else fails then conflict resolution third party interventions are needed, below are descriptions of mediation and arbitration as the two main third party intervention processes.
- Mediation: the mediator helps both parties to understand the various positions of the all persons involved, in the hope that a mutually acceptable agreement is possible.
- Arbitration: where each of the involved parties explains their case to the arbitrator, who then presents a solution which is binding on all parties.