Boss2966
Industrial Relations
Exiafsergeant
Personnel & Industrial Relations
+1 Other

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Dear Friends

A Contractor worked from December 2005 to Aug 2009. Everymonth while receiving the payment he has signed in the bill. Every month he has submitted the Paysheet, Attendance and OT details which is of total Rs.2581000/- On December 2009, the same Labour Supply contractor filed a case under Payment of Wages Act in his own district ALC Office (Not in the work place where he undertook the contract job) which is not having the jurisdiction, stating that he and 60 other workers have engaged in construction activities at XXXXXX location. He worked for 90 Lakhs work and he got only 35 lakhs. The Balance amount may be paid to him.

As a matter of fact the contractor or any of his workmen never reported of any non payment of wages to anyone in construction Site. All time while receiving the Wages Bill, he has signed stating he checked and understood the bill is correct and no discripancies is there in bill.

What will be the consequences of the case. Can anyone throw some light on the issue???????
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dear friend,
usaually such a trick is alwaysplayed by sub-contractors from orissa.
If you can convince that you paid all his dues how they can claim it.
If there is a non-payment of wages, let him produce his work order, compliance report, his ism registeration etc.,
now most probably you will get another letter to appear before the labour office in orissa. If you go there, you will be in trap. Instead clearly deny all charges and send a letter and meanshile pls consult an advocate.
Regards
georgie daniel
Thank you Mr. Georgie Daniel for your reply.

This has happened at Andhra pradesh. I received a notice from Mehboob Nagar ALC Office, I explained to the ALC with total labour strength daywise from Dec 2009 to Aug 09, Monthly Bill he received, Monthly Payment he made, His retention amount held in company, his earlier representation submitted to Minister at Hyderabad and Last but not least I dialed to my JLC and handed the mobile to that ALC. Then the ALC had written parties not arrived unanimous consensus. Hence papers forwarded to JLC of my district. After reaching to that office the Contractor did not turned to that Office. Because the JLC personally many times visited to my site and appreciated my way of work and control over the workmen and contractors. So even the case comes to him surely he might have summarily disposed off the case.

Here I have placed this case because, the JLC knows me personally and he is good friend of me, that's the reason I did not get any banging. If it happens in other area, I want to know that what will be the consequences of the case.
Dear Mr.Bhaskar
1.Did the contractor give the worksheet along with the claim petionb filed for the claim made by him. This is a must for a claim under the Payment of Wages Act.
2.If there is a written contract with the contractor, that will show that he is not a worker under the PW Act.
3.Please check whether the workmen are covered by the provisions of the PW Act. For getting covered under the PW Act there is a wage ceiling.
4.Please check whethe the PW Act is applicable to the establishment in question.
5.If the Authority before whom the claim has been filed does not have the jurisdiction, then you can question the competence of the Authority to entertain the application.
6.Please check whether there is any delay in filing the claim. If there is a delay the petitioner should file a delay condonation application. If it is not filed you can contest the application as having been time barred.
7.Please check whether you have documentary proof for the payments made/\.
With regards
Dear Mr. Harikrishnan

Thank you for your prompt reply Mr. Harikrishnan. I am giving reply to the question asked by you underneath your question

1.Did the contractor give the worksheet along with the claim petionb filed for the claim made by him. This is a must for a claim under the Payment of Wages Act.

No. He has not given any worksheet, but he made a tabular form stating that 60 workmen X 46 months X Minimum Wages (Per Month) = some amount.

2.If there is a written contract with the contractor, that will show that he is not a worker under the PW Act.

These contractors are not an educated person. He, his wife, brother, brother in law, sister in law and all his relatives are only working with other relatives and his village people. So making a contract agreement will not be of any use.

3.Please check whether the workmen are covered by the provisions of the PW Act. For getting covered under the PW Act there is a wage ceiling.

The subject was discussed with the ALC of Mehboobnagar, but his contention was, as the workmen word is added, then the Payment of Wages act will be applicable.

4.Please check whethe the PW Act is applicable to the establishment in question.

All the construction company has to adhere to the Payment of Wages Act and Minimum Wages Act, and there is no exemption to any company.

5.If the Authority before whom the claim has been filed does not have the jurisdiction, then you can question the competence of the Authority to entertain the application.

The contractor and other 60 workmen word will make the jurisdiction applicability to all over India. If the case is conducted in Assam also we have to respond without any hesitation, because in the eyes of law, the workmen are underprevileged people, hence their rights to be protected. Hence they can file the case as non payment of wages even in their own district and the company has to go and attend the case. The question of jurisdiction is not at all arise.

6.Please check whether there is any delay in filing the claim. If there is a delay the petitioner should file a delay condonation application. If it is not filed you can contest the application as having been time barred.

He started the work in December 2005 and closed his work on 06 August 2009, He started claiming from December 2009, while on contractual period he or his workmen never had any complaint about non payment or less payment of wages. The same was discussed with ALC, but he inturn replied that, as per the instructions of District Collector, he has to enquire the case for its correctness and give opportunity for settlement, hence Limitation does not arise.

7.Please check whether you have documentary proof for the payments made.

I have Register of Workmen, Paysheet, OT Register, Muster Role from December to 2005 to August 2009, for all the workmen and the same also shown to the ALC.

Here my question is, If at all I have all proof, what will be consequences if it happened at other places where there is no influence with authorities.
Dear Mr.Bhaskar

My presumption based on your reply to Mr.Georgie Daniel is that the contractor had not filed any claim under the Payment of Wages Act and the ALC had acted on the complaint of the Contractor given to the Collector and which in turn was forwarded to the ALC for action. From your post referred above I think that the ALC was conciliating on the complaint treating this as an industrial dispute. The subject matter of this complaint being non-payment of wages or lesser payment of wages,cannot be the subject matter of an "industrial dispute" as defined under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947. Therefore even assuming that the ALC records that there was no consensus on the issue between the parties, he could not have sent a failure report or done anything else. The ALC should be aware of it and that is why he had sent the file to the JLC. In such circumstances, when you have all the documentary proof of payment of the correct wages to the workers, you could have asked the ALC to advise the workmen to file a claim for the unpaid wages under the Payment of Wages Act and contest the claim based on the documents available with you.

In case the ALC is the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act for the area in which the cause of action arose(i.e.,where the workmen worked) then he should not have conciliated/held discussion on the complaint(assuming that the complaint is in the prescribed form) and should have gone ahead to decide whether there was non payment or lesser payment of wages as alleged by the contractor.

Your response to issue No.5 is not appropriate. Any judicial authority or quasi judicial authority gets jurisdiction to decide an issue based on the area assigned to him either by the Act itself or by the notifications made under the Act. To make claim regarding a work done in Andhra Pradesh, the worker cannot approach a Forum in Assam. They can approach only a Forum which has got jurisdiction under the Act under which the claim is made. The workers are underprivileged people, but that does not entitle to choose a Forum which has no jurisdiction.

Regarding your response to issue No.4 I was suggesting that you should ascertain whether the establishment in question against which the complaint was made comes within the scope of Section 1(4) or 1(5) of the Payment of Wages Act.

By the way I have not asked you any quesiton, but have only given a check list of issues to be taken note of regarding the issue raised.

With regards
Dear Mr Bhaskar,
Thanks for posting such an issue. It is very valuable learning for all HR/IR personnel. I also thank all the dignitaries who have contributed and opined on the issue.
Regards,
Manish Joshi
Dear Mr. Manish Joshi Your encouraging comments are really motivating us. Keep on encouraging us
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