1. We are a large manufacturing unit situated in west Bengal with large no. of contract labour.
2. One of our contractor became defaulter in paying wages for July15. After issuing 3-4 letters to the contractors, advising him to clear the wages for Jul’15, when they still remained non complied, we as Principal Employer decided to invoke sec 21(4) of CL (R&A) Act, 1970 and pay the wages to the contractors’ workmen.
3. Accordingly we have asked from the Contractor the Muster Roll, Wage Register, Overtime Register and Wage Slips which they furnished and based on those submitted documents we i.e. the principal employer has disbursed the wages.
4. After disbursement has been made few disputes has been raised by the Contract Labour Union,
(i) Few workers has been paid wages as per the semi-skilled rate instead of skilled rate
(it is pertinent to mention here that the we have paid as per the register prepared and submitted by the contractor and from the last 3 months register as we found that they have received payment as per semi-skilled rates only)
(ii) In case of few workers no. of days is shown less, i.e. 15, 17 etc. instead of 25/26
(it is pertinent to mention here that the we have paid as per the muster roll and register prepared and submitted by the contractor only)
5. However based on the complaint (verbal) by the Union, my Management has asked me to enquire about the same. Please tell me the possible course of action available to me which I can ensure within my purview as Principal Employer so that contractual obligations are not violated as per CL (R&A) Act, 1970.
As rightly instructed by your Management, the cases of lesser payment due to alleged wrong classification and wrong entries in the muster roll if any, against actual attendance require a detailed enquiry to fix your vicarious liability as Principal Employer. So, ascertain by all possible means whether the contractor adopted the practice of paying lesser rates of wages i.e semi-skilled for skilled works and ensure the actual no of days worked by the claimants in that particular wage-period.
From India, Salem
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