Dear Seniors,
I work in a PSU iron mine. Every 05/10 years, our higher management signs a wage revision agreement with all central trade unions operating in our organisation. The unions are represented by their top all India leaders. Beside the wage matters there are also some clauses like safety and welfare matters of employees in the agreement.
In one of the clause of the agreement it is written, " Industry shall not employ labour through contractors or engage contractors' labours on jobs of permanent and perennial nature."
Now an Union, which have no members in our organistion, not registered and not recognised also not affiliated with any central trade unions have raised an ID over the violation of the above mentioned clause regarding contract labour.
My question is, whether any person/union can raise a dispute over violation of an agreement of which he/union is not a signatory.

From India, Calcutta

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It is okay that a union not recognised by the employer (not even registered as a trade union) cannot participate in a conciliation regarding wages or service conditions. But how can we say that a worker on whom the settlement is binding cannot question an action of management which is contrary to the settlement?

Your settlement should be a 12(3) settlement, I presume. In such case it will be binding on all the workers/ employees besides the workers who signed the agreement. If so, why canít a member of a union which is not a party to the settlement or even an employee who is not a member of any union raise an industrial dispute over an issue of violation of settlement terms? I feel, there is nothing wrong in it. Moreover, the union is not challenging the settlement but is raising an industrial dispute over the issue of violation of one of the clauses of settlement and trying to prevent the managementís intention of engaging contract labour in perennial nature of jobs. If the unions who signed this agreement is not voicing it, why canít others? I feel that this dispute will be maintainable mainly due to the reason that a tripartite settlement arrived at as per section 12(3) of ID Act will be applicable to all employees and everybody responsibility to follow the terms of settlement once it is enforced.

Madhu.T.K

From India, Kannur
Thanks a lot sir for you time and views.
However, Sir, I would like to explain a bit more. The agreement is a bi-partite agreement. No Labour Department was involved during it's signing.
I will be helpful for me, if you kindly give your views based on the fact that it is a bi-partite agreement.

From India, Calcutta
Thanks Sir for your valuable input and time. However, I would like to clarify some points. The agreement is a bi-partite agreement. There is no involvement of Labour Deptt in its signing.
Kindly give your view based on the fact that the agreement is not a tripartite one.

From India, Calcutta
Such an alien unrecognized union cannot espouse industrial dispute pertaining to the said bipartite settlement arrived at neither under section 2(k) of the ID Act nor it has locus standi to pursue the cause.
Thanks
Sushil

From India, New Delhi
Sir,
This is in continuation of my earlier messages in this thread.
Conciliation Officer has filed a Report of Conciliation based on our stand that this Union had no locus standi to raise the issue as it was a bi-partite agreement.
However, the Union had gone to High Court and Court has directed Labour Authorities to look into it. Now Central Labour Authorities has accepted the Unions grievance.
Now I seek advise on the following:
a) Should we continue our stand that, it is a bi-partite agreement and the said Union have no locus standi? It may also be noted that the bye laws of this Union doesn't cover our establishment.
b) It it is found that, we have violated the terms and conditions of this bi-partite agreement...what can be the consequences?

From India, Calcutta
I think you should consult an advocate soon for recourse in this matter.
You may face industrial unrest and union strike on such violations. Management may be forced to regularize the contract workers

From India, Hyderabad
Sir,
Thanks for your response.
Our establishment was recently inspected by LEO(C) based on complain filed by the Union with Labour Authorities. He has verbally assured that Labour Department will not look into the complain on violation of bi-partite agreement, if any. It's purely a matter of dispute between the signatories.

From India, Calcutta
That's a trade-off I agree with Dinesh, The blame should have been taken on both sides, especially when it involved managerial staff!
Cancel the matter, give them one day off (they have been working continuously) and start afresh.

From Tanzania

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