Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
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HI seniors
I have recently joined a company having registered union. They have demanded for paying on duty to them when there is a hearing at the labour court. The case is about declaring "Protected Workmen" against the company.
In support of this they have cited and presented evidence of same been done by previous HR managers. I am personally of the belief that this is not a company's work hence on duty is out of question.
Kindly suggest what should be done in accordance to law or normal indusrty practice.
4th January 2014 From India, Ahmadabad
Once a workman or a few workmen are declared 'protected' they will automatically get the right of duty leave for attending negotiations, conciliation ete. Therefore, you have to take a call based on the facts. If the petitioner is the company and the workmen are respondents, naturally, it is for the interests of the company that they should appear and the company is expected to make them appear. In such scenario it would be open that they will claim on duty. It should not be otherwise when the company is the respondent. Therefore, it is advisable to grant them duty leave.
4th January 2014 From India, Kannur
Please ensure the number of union members attending the labour court and it should be pre intimated to concerned plant head. Only required members shoulb be allowed to attend the court as od.
4th January 2014 From India, Pune
Dear Mr Madhu and Mr Prashant
Is there any legal provision for granting leave with wages for the Office bearers of registered Trade union to attend negotiation, conciliation or Court matters etc.,Please clarify and shall be thankful if you could provide necessary details / documents for the HR fraternity. Regards Nataraajhan, Sakthi Management Services
5th January 2014 From India, Bangalore
General practice in Industries is most of the companies allowed required Members to attend the case, only to maintain Industrial Piece & Harmony.
6th January 2014 From India, Mumbai
Dear All,
In case the Registered union is Appellant and the management is Respondent, the persons representing Union shall not be entitled to any Tour / On duty treatment. If the management is Appellant and the Union representatives are required to give evidence on behalf of management in any case in favour of management, then only such union representative or workmen shall be treated as on Tour / On duty and they shall be paid salary/wages as well as TA/DA as per rules of the Company.
How can one management allow union representative(s) to file a case against management in any court/legal body and ask for favour of treatment as on duty ? If this will be accepted, this will be against the interest of the management. Being HR or Finance manager, it is our utmost duty to safeguard the interest of employees as well as the management equally.
AK Jain
6th January 2014 From India, Jabalpur
Dear friends,
Granting paid special leave to attend Conciliation and other court cases would depend on the Leave policy of an establishment. It's customary if the employee is required to appear as a witness for and on behalf of the Estt. he/she could be granted a special casual leave with pay. However same is not the case when they are opposing the Estt. Some times when the trial takes place in a different place than the duty place he/she could be paid Travelling Exp. also. Otherwise an Estt. cannot defend their cases successfully. In some instances compensatory duty off also in vogue instead of granting special leave in the circumstances.
6th January 2014 From India, Bangalore
Dear Friends,

First and foremost, no statutory right vests with a Trade Union to stake a claim for permission to its office-bearers to discharge the activities of the union whether it is representation before any authority or otherwise during their working hours nor any legal obligation cast upon the management to oblige in this regard. The status of either the management or the union in a dispute as plaintif or respondent or vice-versa has no relevance in such a situation.However, convention demands grant of leave of absence at times to office-bearers of a recognized Trade Union that too restricted to certain numbers. It is just a cocession in the interest of cordial industrial relations to enable the institution of Trade Union to discharge its duties effectively in a given conflict-situation whose expeditious resolution would benefit both the partners of production. By the phrase 'at times', what I mean is the hearing of a case before an Adjudicatory Authority or a negotiation involving the collective interest of all the workmen and the management as parties.In this connection, the following observation of the hon'ble High Court of Madras in Secretary, Tamilnadu Electricity Board Accoints Subordinate Union v. TNEB [ 1984(II) LLJ 478 (Mad) ] is noteworthy:

"Trade Unionism is recognized all over the world but that does not mean that an office-bearer of the union can claim, as of right, that he can do union work during office hours.When the workmen were given a concession, dictated by the then prevailing circumstances, it should not be considered as an inviolable right."
6th January 2014 From India, Salem
Thanks Mr Umakanthan for correct legal clarification. In fact it is always better for the Management not to give unnecessary and extraordinary benefits to any trade union members under the pretext of having smooth and cordial industrial relations and a true trade union expects and always appreciate a strong and straight forward Management. Regards, Nataraajhan, Sakthi Management Services
7th January 2014 From India, Bangalore
I endorse the views of Mr.Umakanthan which are well considered.There is no statute conferring such rifts and it is a matter of good convention,custom and principles of mutual respect for each other's rights that govern the industrial relations that will be the basis for granting such rights and concessions to the union.
navi Mumbai
7th January 2014 From India, Mumbai
Dear SIA,
I appreciate Sh Umakanthan for nicely explaining the law position and the citation of the judgement in the Secretary, Tamil nadu Electricity Board Accounts Subordinate Union vrs. TNEB [ 1984(II) LLJ 478 (Mad), which suggests that a union cannot claim, as a matter of right,to do the union work during office hours at the cost of his regular duties entrusted to him.
I am of the strong views that in the particular case, such concession should not be extended to them as they have not been declared as 'Protected Workmen' under the provisions of the I.D.Act,1947 rather they are fighting a case against the company for declaration as "Protected Workmen".
BS Kalsi
Member since Aug 2011
7th January 2014 From India, Mumbai
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