LABOUR SNIPPETS – May 2022
State has to Pay Salary Even if Appointment was Irregular
The appointment of a school principal was cancelled on account of him being a close relative of a member of the selection committee which appoints principals in State Government recognized schools, in the year 1988, which is in violation of the UP Educational Manual. The school alleged that the amount paid to him on account of his appointment as principal must be recovered from him as his appointment was deemed to be irregular. However, the Supreme Court noted that the school principal had rendered 24 years of service before his appointment was cancelled for the aforesaid reasons and that even if the appointment was irregular, the school principal had discharged his duties, and hence, had to be paid for the same and observed – “The State cannot take any work from any employee without payment of any salary.” Therefore, the Supreme Court set aside the order of cancellation of appointment as wholly illegal and untenable, and directed the school to treat the principal as retired and to pay pensionary benefits due to him for the services rendered.
Man Singh vs. State of Uttar Pradesh [Judgment dated 31.03.2022 in Civil Appeal No. 7841 OF 2011 passed by the Supreme Court of India]
Gujarat HC Grants Pensionary Benefits to Daily Wagers Who Have Completed 240 Days of Service
The Gujarat High Court held that the workers, who were daily wagers and petitioners before this court, are entitled to pensionary benefits and other terminal benefits after considering the entire length of their service from the date of their joining. The workers were seeking the revision of their pension and payment of gratuity from the date of their initial appointent, along with arrears, and also to release the benefits of 300 days unavailed privilege leave with interest. The respondents, including the State Government, were directed to fix the pension of the workers by counting their service from the date of their initial joining, until the date of their retirement, and in doing so, each years of service preceding the date of regularization in which years the workers have completed 240 days of continuous service for the purpose of recalculating the pension.
Harkishanbhai Dahyabhai Lad vs. State of Gujarat [Judgement dated 01.04.2022 in Special Civil Application No. 11624 of 2020 passed by the High Court of Gujarat]
Wage Deduction for “Go Slow” Approach Only After Workers are Heard
The Supreme Court has affirmed the order of the High Court of Karnataka which held that if workers take a “go slow” approach as a form of protest against the management, the management cannot unilaterally deduct wages from the workers without giving them a fair opportunity to respond, and had directed the company to pay the workers the wages thus deducted. Bata India Ltd. had challenged the order of the High Court stating that the “go slow” approach was nothing but refusal to work and therefore, in such situation, the management is justified in reducing or paying pro-rata wages. The Supreme Court has reiterated that the company must pay full wages to the workers.
Bata India Ltd. vs. Workmen of Bata India Ltd. [Judgment dated 29.03.2022 in Civil Appeal No. 6794 / 2010 passed by the Supreme Court of India]
Delhi High Court Directs Private Unaided School to Pay Teachers as Per 7th Pay Commission
In a petition filed by teachers of a private unaided school in Delhi, seeking payment of wrongful deduction in wages, fixation of payment in terms of 7th Pay Commission since 01.01.2016, including payment of arrears, among other prayers, the High Court of Delhi has granted relief to these teachers by directing the school to re-fix the salaries and other emoluments of the teachers as per the 7th Pay Commission in accordance with the rules and to pay arrears within a period of three months from the date of the order, and in case of delay in making the payment of arrears beyond the period of three months, an interest of 6% per annum shall be levied. The High Court also held that the teachers of unaided private school are entitled to the benefits as is being given to the employees of the government-run schools.
Mrs. Omita Mago & Ors. vs. Ahlcon Public School & Anr. [Judgment dated 24.03.2022 in W.P.(C) 4979/2021, CM APPL. 15265/2021 passed by the High Court of Delhi]
Hospital Workers Across Country Anticipating Retrenchment
Even as AICCTU has been protesting against the anticipated retrenchment of hundreds of workers in Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing, Sucheta Kripalani Hospital and Kalawathi Saran Children’s Hospital in Delhi, a spate of terminations are anticipated in hospitals of Dehradun and Madurai as well. Despite these workers rendering their services through out the pandemic and serving the people of this country, the hospital managements are arbitrarily terminating the workers without prior notice. Over 600 workers who are employed under the sham contract system in the Government Doon Medical College and Hospital have been protesting against their illegal termination since March 31 and news reports quote workers as stating that over 2,200 workers will be retrenched by the end of April 2022. Similarly, hundreds of workers, who were employed in June 2020 to support COVID-19 patients in Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai, have also been terminated, citing the end of contract. These workers who helped the country overcome the deadly pandemic are being fired even as the number of cases are rapidly increasing. The workers are unanimously demanding that they be taken back into the employment immediately.
Sanitation Workers Protests Across Country
There are several reports of sanitation workers protests coming from across the country. In Bombay, over 600 workers staged a two-day protest outside Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation stating that over Rs.190 crore provident fund dues have not been deposited into the accounts of workers, despite the deductions from the wages of the workers since 2009! The workers demanded that the PF dues be remitted with immediate effect and sought for an inquiry against the BMC for having failed to remit the dues. Similarly, about 105 sanitation workers employed through sham contracts at the Indore railway coaching depot protested against the failure to remit provident dues for the past 14 months. Sanitation workers in Jammu protesting with the demand of regularization of their services before the Jammu Municipal Corporation were detained. They are slated to intensify their protests if the municipal corporation does not meet the demands. Whereas, in Udhagamandalam, sanitation workers held a strike against the Udhagamandalam Municipal Corporation as a supervisor used derogatory language on workers and was exploiting by forcing them to work extra hours. The workers have stated that they were severely underpaid and their payments delayed often by several months. One of the workers had attempted suicide due to such harassment, which prompted the workers to hold the protest.
Garment Workers in Cambodia Protest Fearing Company Shutdown
When the Canteran Apparel Company in Cambodia began to shift machines from the factory premises, without any prior notice to the workers and in violation of the agreement made in early April, over 300 workers in the company held a protest against this move. They feared that the company officials would evade paying the workers their final settlements of dues and compensation. The workers, who held the protest on April 19, demanded that they be given their final settlement of dues and compensation, and that they do not violate the agreement between the workers and the management.