Respected Seniors,

I work in a central govt PSU Mine.

Last year we had signed a MoU with the State Govt (where the PSU is situated) to establish and run an ITI. As per T&C of the MoU all the expenditure was to be borne by us.

In initial stage due to delay by State Govt, we had deployed 05 housekeeping & cleaning staff in the ITI through a contract. As the contract was issued by us and in line with other contracts issued by us, the contractor was paying Central Govt wages to the labours.

Now the concerned State Govt wishes to take over the total management of the ITI including deployment of staff, through their contractor. They had agreed to give priority to engage the current housekeeping & cleaning staff through their contractor.

However, now the housekeeping & cleaning staff will be get State Govt minimum wages as per T&C of contract issued by State Govt. The state govt minimum wage is less by Rs.22/- per day.

Is their any legal issues involved in it? Can the staffs go to Labour Authority for reduction of wages ? Is there any rule of pay protection in this?

From India, Calcutta
Dear Baishaliamit,

Contextually yours seems to be a good tricky question. When the State Government takes over the entire management of the ITI as per the MOU, it becomes a unit of the State Govt despite all the expenditure being borne out by the PSU belonging to the Central Govt. In the absence of information relating to the type/nature/main activity of the Central PSU, whether the PSU- funded ITI is exclusively for the wards of the employees of the PSU or open to all etc., the search for the right answer becomes even more difficult as the fixation of minimum wages undertaken by the appropriate governments is only scheduled employment-wise and not industry-wise or establishment-wise. The same term "appropriate government", though used in the Industrial Disputes Act,1947, The Minimum Wages Act,1948 and the Contract Labour ( Regulation and Abolition ) Act,1970, has different meanings with reference to the object of the Acts. So, the minimum wages fixed by the Central Govt in respect of the employment of house keeping and cleaning in a PSU to which it is the app.govt by virtue of the former's classification under the ID Act can not be applied to the contract labour engaged in the same employment in a different type of establishment managed by the State Govt. Therefore, my personal view is that only the minimum rates of wages fixed by the State Govt would be applicable to the contract labour engaged in such operations though it is lesser than the central rates of MW. Since it is altogether a different contract, the affected contract labour can not have any judicial remedy in this regard. I would like to solicit the views of our learned members.

From India, Salem
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