Calcutta High Courts Bars On Trade Unions In Housing Estate - CiteHR
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A Calcutta High Court Decision - Bar on Housing Estate Union - It has a wide ramification from the Trade Union angles. The high court held that Employees ( mainly security guards) of a housing comples are not eligible for a trade union. They are not covered by the West Bengal Shops and Establishments Act, - - a prerequisite to form a trade union. Though Housing Complex is an establishment, it is not frofit making and comes under the purview of Socities Registration Act. --- Source - As published in in the Daily "The Telegraph, Metro" Wednesday, 20th January 2016.
It is a single Bench Decision. of Calcutta High Court Requested comments from the experts / professional since it has a far reaqching consequences assross the state of west Bengal.
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Read Calcutta High Court and not Calcutta High Courts - at the top of the post
The decision of the Calcutta High Court is most unfortunate - it amounts to disenfranchising a section of the citizens and depriving them of their fundamental rights. It is a matter of common knowledge that the security guards are ill paid and most exploited.
While fully agreeing with the humanitarian angle emphasised by Mr Nathrao I would like to point out that Calcutta Police personnel have an 'association' of its members. Giving them right to form union can lead to next logical step of going on strike for their demands.This would jeopardize law and order.Similarly security guards going on strike can make banks/ATMs/shops and establishments as well as housing societies vulnerable to criminals.Hence in its wisdom the Hon.Court disallowed that.
Even without unions workers have gone on strike.
CRPF had gone on strike in 70s or 80s.
When employees do not get fair treatment,strikes or reaction is expected.
employers need to keep humanitarian angle in mind and deal with employees.
Discipline is good and badly wanted in our nation.
We stop them from forming unions but not stop housing societies from exploiting them.
Security agencies also exploit them.
In Pune I know guards go for double shifts on almost every day and only Rs5000-6000 in and though agency charges Rs 8000 from housing society.
So decision has a double effect.
Forming an associations or unions is one of the Fundamental Rights of citizens of India under the Article 19(1)(c) of the Indian Constitution. What is the impact of the Hich Court decision on this right of the Indian employeees / workmen ? Are they barred from forming unions in non-profit establishments or NGO, not registered under sectroal relevant industrial / establishment laws. Or this issue is to be decided in higher judicial forum above the single bench under the constitutional laws to protect the fundamental rights..
Opinions are solicited on the course of deciding the issue.
Only after a careful perusal of the entire judgment cited in the thread, we can offer our remarks. It is not clear whether the judgment was delivered in respect of any appeal under the Trade Unions Act,1926 or the quote was an obiter dicta in the disposal of any writ pertaining to an individual case of non-employment of any security guard employed in a Housing Complex. Therefore, I would request the Poster to upload it.
Whatever be the decision-if unions for private security guards are barred,then law must ensure that the bonafide rights of security guards are also upheld and enforced.
If the work of guards are so important and they cannot be permitted to go on strike,then society and government has a moral and legal duty to suo moto ensure that their rights are not trifled with.
I know of housing societies which hire guards but do not provide even a toilet for them and sadly enough,expect them to despoil the nearby open space or public roads.
Even IAS , PCS, secretaries along with ministerial staff have their ASSOCIATION ,nothing harms putting up collective efforts for sustainable and win a win relations.
RDS Yadav
Labour Law Adviser
Why only Security guards ? There is exploitation every where in all sectors.Take for example IT industry where we proudly claim to be world power , the employees are made to do atleast 10-12 hrs work and that too without overtime wages.When some left parties in Bengal tried to organise the IT labour force they were denounced as spoiling the 'investment climate'.So , like in USA the federal government should make it compulsory for all organisations to pay compensation to employees retained over and above normal working hours.Although it may increase cost to companies and squeez their bottom line it should be treated as a necessity.

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