Hi all, I need a clarification about "canteen prices fixing in a factory".
1. Who will fix the prices of the canteen in the factory in which an elected body is present?
a) Canteen Managing Committee.
b) Trade Union.
c) Management.
2. What is the role of trade unions in canteen related issues?

From India, Bengaluru
Dear Subamage12,
"Canteen Managing Committee" (CMC) is the right body that can fix the prices of items or meals sold in the staff canteen. This committee can have representative of the management. Generally he/she is from the admin department. Additionally there can be representative from the labour union also.
In fact, the labour union does not have a role in the CMC as such, however, if they are given representation, it helps them in keeping in good humour. Many a times labour unions complaint on the poor quality of the food. Therefore, representation from the labour union helps in minimising their complaints.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Hi Subamage,
There are atleast 3 methods are being followed. The obligation on the part of management is to provide for a canteen facility, whereas how it should be run is left to the management's option.
1. Run the canteen on it's own providing everything A to Z, including staff, equipment, provisions, implement menus, not as a profit centre, charge nominal prices for stuffs or even can be fully free but remain as a welfare measure. Suitable for large units/factories.
2. Provide infrastructure, equipment but outsourced operations, finalise menus, fix rates, ensure quality & quantity of stuff, provide subsidy or pay bills @ fixed rates as per quotes.
3. Let the canteen be managed fully by employees' union or their welfare society to be run as a No Profit,No Loss basis. Infrastructure to be fully provided by the management.
4. Outsourced fully, engage catering contractors to supply stuffs on a fixed menus finalised in consultation with employees. Bills are paid by the management.
Now a days most of IT/ITeU run Cafeteria type facility providing tea/coffee, light snacks etc in their automated vending m/cs meeting the costs and offloading foods, fruits supplies.
So long as management provide a decent canteen facility unions will have no issues. Also go thru' this link -

From India, Bangalore
Dear Subamage12,

I would like to give answer to your specific question with due respect to our two learned senior members, as under:

Your question is pertaining to Canteen in Factory.

Your question is who will fix the prices of the canteen items, whether it is a) Canteen Managing Committee or b) Trade Union or c) Management.

You are advised read rules framed by your State Government under the section 46 of the Factories Act 1948.

In some States, as what I recollect, that the food, drinks and other items prices shall be charged subject to the approval of the Canteen Managing Committee.

I would like to draw your kind attention to Rule 84 and Rule 85 under the Maharashtra Rules 1963.

Rule 84 describes the role of Canteen Managing Committee as under:

(a) the quality and quantity of foodstuffs to be served in the canteen;

(b) the arrangement of the menus;

(c) times of meals in the canteen; and

(d) any other matter pertaining to the canteen as may be directed by the Committee:

I am giving below the Rule 85 verbatim under the Maharashtra Rules 1963:

Foodstuffs to be served and prices to be charged -

(1) The Chief Inspector may, by an order in writing, direct the manager to provide in the canteen any item of foodstuff if he is satisfied that such item is in general demand. Such order shall specify the size of each portion to be served, the number of portions which shall be available and the frequency of serving the particular item per week. Such order shall also specify the time-limit within which the order shall be complied with.

(2) Food, drink and other items served in the canteen shall be sold on non-profit basis and in

computing the charges to be made for such food, drink or other items the following items shall not

be taken into consideration, namely:-

(a) the rent for the land and building;

(b) the depreciation and maintenance charges of the building and equipment provided for the


(c) the cost of purchase, repairs and replacement of equipment including furniture, crockery, cutlery and utensils;

(d) the water charges and other charges incurred for lighting and ventilation; and

(e) the interest on the amounts spent on the provision and maintenance of furniture and equipment provided for the canteen:

Provided that where the canteen is managed by a co-operative society registered or deemed to be

registered under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960, such society may include in the charges to be made for any such food, drink or other items served, a profit up to 5 per cent of its working capital employed in running the canteen.

There is no role of union. There is a representation of the workers in Canteen Managing Committee and you can not ignore the union existence while constituting Canteen Managing Committee.

Hope you got right answer here.

From India, Mumbai

Refering your query
1) Price fixation, finalisation of menu on all working days, Veg food or Non -veg food,
how many days chicken curry or fish or egg to be served etc. etc. are the day-to-day matters in a factory canteen. This is to be decided by CMC or Canteen committee.
2) In the canteen committee both management's and worker's participation shall be ensured.
(Worker shall be a member of registered trade union which have a majority in membership)
3) Trade union does not have any role in canteen management, but they can create problems/head-ache for the management. So select one member from Trade union (who should not be an out-sider) in the canteen committee

From India, Aizawl

Presuming that you are operating in Karnataka, the relevant extract of the Karnataka Factory Rules is given below:
96. Prices to be charged in canteen
(1) Food, Drink and other items served in the canteen shall be sold on a non-profit basis and
the prices charged shall be subject to the approval of the Canteen Managing Committee:
Provided that if the management bears the cost of wages of canteen staff, buildings,
water, lighting, fuel and insurance, it shall not be incumbent on them to run the canteen on any
further loss to themselves.
(2) Items served in the canteen and their prices shall be conspicuously displayed in the
[(3) In computing the prices referred to in sub-rule (1) the following items of expenditure shall
not be taken into consideration but will be borne by the Occupier:—
(a) the rent for the land and building;
(b) the depreciation and maintenance charges of the building and equipment provided
for the canteen;
(c) the cost of purchase, repairs and replacement of equipment including furniture,
crockery, cutlery and utensils;
(d) the water charges and expenses for providing lighting and ventilation;
(e) the interest on the amount spent on the provision and maintenance of the building,
furniture and equipment provided for the canteen;
(f) the cost of fuel required for cooking or heating food stuffs or water; and
(g) the wages of the employees serving in the canteen and the cost of uniform, if any,
provided to them].
So, as the approval of the Canteen Management is required, it would be better to introduce the matter in its meeting and try to arrive at a settlement. A viable option is to link the canteen rate with the wage revision process and when the charter of demands of unions are considered the management shall also rise its counter demands. In my experience, any attempt to even marginally increase the Canteen rates after wage revision will not be acceptable to the unions and hence this should be tried to be included in the wage revision package.
Canteens are the soft target against the management in manufacturing industries, it offers tremendous scope to the unions to exploit the sentiments against management. So involving the unions in the running of the canteens is a very effective strategy to deal with the canteen issues.

From India, Mumbai
Canteen management committee has all the responsibility towards maintaining, administrating, and running the canteen under the direction of laid out policies of the company with in the frame work of prevailing legislations, rules and regulations of factories act or any other act applicable for the welfare of the employees.
As per our learned members the various rules and regulations provide the essential guidelines and It is the core management who should ensure directing the formation of CMC by electing the competent members from the departments entrusted to the job and include the members from employees,unions etc..

From India, Vadodara
Thank U all for your valuable feedbacks and suggestions.
From India, Bengaluru

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