We have allocated 3 employees in Night Shift. Mean time in the middle of the same week due to less production load our Production department asked them to report in Second shift. They refused to come for duty (with support of Union). Their contention is that we cannot call them in any other shift during the same week when they are schedule in Night shift....
Can we take action on them OR mark them as absent.
Suppose, we need to call them on Second shift in between the same week, what is the procedure / legal obligations.
Can some experts guide us on this issue....

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Starting, altering or discontinuance of shift requires 21 days notice u/s 9A of the Industrial Disputes Act. If the certified Standing Orders permits you to change the shift without notice or with lesser days' notice then you can follow that. In industries which work on certain market conditions there should be an agreement with the workers which will allow the management to have flexible shifts or changing the shifts with a notice of at least 24 hours. Abruptly changing the shift and asking the employee to attend a particular shift is illegal. Therefore, it is high time that you should discuss the issue with the Union and solve the current issue amicably and have an agreement that in future whenever a shift is changed the affected employees will be informed 24 hours/ 48 hours in advance.
From India, Kannur
Thank You Mr.Madhu for your valuable suggestion

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