PROFESSIONALS AND BUSINESSES PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Partner - Risk Management
Doctor Siva Global Hr
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant
KK!HRThe situation appears heading towards a showdown and you have to be prepared. It looks like the Recognised union is unable to sell to the workmen the mutually agreed revised terms and hence wants to divert attention or is it that it is under pressure from the other union, or are they doubting the integrity of management that they may ditch the agreement.
Your queries are answered below:
what will be our respond to the unions and the workers? Since 14 days notice is not given, the strike will be illegal. Approach the Labour Officer and try to involve them to bring it to an end.
do we need to issue a letter to the recognized union? Yes, not only to the union but give an open letter to all the workmen
What will be the role of Labour Officer? The real help could come from the Labour Dept. to bring an end to this situation.
How can we prove the strike illegal? The very fact that the strike has commenced without giving proper notice is illegal
we have also a one more union (unrecognized) what will be their role? That would depend on the role played by them so far. Some continuity in the way they react could be anticipated.
how can we keep under pressure for not resort to illegal strike? Keep up the process of dialogue, having reached an overall understanding, the time taken is only administrative. You need to take the recognised union into confidence and probably could start implementing the deliverables one by one at the earliest.
what will we be substantial documents we need to prepare for this illegal strike.? The correspondence and the reports you have about the union activities in gathering support for the strike are needed.
Such situation needs a lot more information and how it has evolved thus far before venturing on giving advice. But one sure way is to involve the Labour Officer and make agreement in his presence, it is binding on all workmen. Whereas a bargaining agreement is binding only on the parties.
From India, Mumbai
saswatabanerjeeI am not an IR Expert, but I find it incredible that you have signed the wage agreement, but in 15 days you have not paid salaries to the workers, using the most stupid excuse that you are computing the amounts.
Every factory I know continues to pay the old wages till they finish the working and then pay the higher one. The differences are then settled by way of arrears within a month (at most). It seems from your post you in fact held back salaries you were required to pay by law. Then the action of the workers is not surprising
From India, Mumbai
Nagarkar Vinayak LDear colleague,
Apparently, you are facing unexpected IR dilemma. You have just concluded long term wage settlement with the recognised union and are in the process of its implementation. In the mean time , the Union/Workmen have suddenly gone on strike apparently , according to you, on account of delay in payment of wages.
Since you have culture/ history of resolving issues across the table, what is stopping you to discuss and ascrtain the reasons for sudden strike? Is it only delay in payment or some other reason?
In my view instead of only building documents for getting strike declared illegal or otherwise, focus your efforts on bringing out amicable resolution of the pressing issues across the table without solely depending on third party interventions. And I don't believe it is impossible to bring about an understanding looking at the fact that your major milestone of wage settlement is behind you.
Yes, if the unrecognised union is playing some role in capitalising possible disgruntlemet on the wage settlement, then with the help of the recognised union and intervention of the Government Labour machinery will have to be considered.
Thanks and wish you speedy solution to your current challenge.
HR and Employee Relations Consultant
From India, Mumbai
The Basic facts are : There are 2 Unions and One Union is recognized and other is not. You were about to conclude the settlement and the process was on. Suddenly before signing there is a flash strike. How to handle such situation from IR Perspective?
In general, in the IR when LTS process is on such stunt by the Unions are quite common in case of the Union is normally feel weak and if they sign the other union will criticize etc. The ideas agreed would have been debated and when they go out, there will be too many cooks to spoil the Egg Omlet. Yes different corners will give too many ideas and generally some forces will not allow to reach settlement. This happens in most of the LTS process. In our past IR history there were more than 25 to 30 such incidents. Later we learned and applied a different ways and means: We do all working ready, we keep draft ready, share the draft by display in PPT form to all participants etc and we keep all approvals ready in the last but 2 meetings and on the day of concluding the talks we try level best that the room doors are closed and whatever difference we fight, shout, convince and only after signing the settlement we come out of the room. Food everything served inside to all members. Still they escape in some instances and go out and all confusion starts.
When settlement is delayed we should never stop the usual salary as any way we are going to pay the arrears. This will be a big point to take care.
In case of such low confidence leaders, never to for bi-partite and once your talks are nearing completion, then proceed for tripartite before Conciliation Officer for a 12(3). Here as the conciliation process is on, they can not go on strike. Also the other Union which is not recognized will also be called and heard. Once settlement is entered it binds to all workers and unions. In between they can not go for strike and if they do any strike that becomes Illegal.
Now to specifics:
1. What will be our respond to the unions and the workers?
Now send the due notices to the Labour Authority - Conciliation Officer and ask for conciliation as well as prohibiting strike which will be done under the provisions of Industrial Disputes Act 1947
You may also declare Lock- Out to counter such illegal strike if law and order situation is there. If no such law and order situation, then it is suggested not to do this but to go for 8 days wages deduction under Standing Orders provisions (if there is a provision in your standing orders)
2. Do we need to issue a letter to the recognized union?
You may raise a letter to the Union asking them why the Recognition should not be cancelled with due consultation with Registrar of Trade Unions. You may also mention that what they did is UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICE under the schedule to Industrial Disputes Act 1947. You may inform that hereafter as the trust is breeched, we will go only for 12(3) settlements etc for making them to think that they had done Illegal strike etc when the process was on and about to conclude to reach LTS. Also check your Certified Standing Orders and if there is a clause you may issue notice to workers and to Union stating that the Management is proposed to deduct 8 days wages for the illegal strike and also all the days on which workers were on strike will be marked as Strike and will cone considered for " NO WORK NO PAY " and not salary will be paid for those days as well due disciplinary action will be proceeded for loss of production and for the acts subversive of discipline etc.
3. What will be the role of Labour Officer?
In case of strike you need to intimate the Strike Details using the relevant Forms under IR Rules to the respective Conciliation Officer immediately. Keep mentioning that the strike is illegal in the narration too and mention that no notice given by Union under section 22 etc.
The Conciliation Officer will sent immediate notice for Conciliation and also advise the Workers to Call off the strike immediately. If they continue the strike further, it will become illegal for actions later as per your standing orders. He will call for Conciliation before him where in both the strike matter and the LTS will be taken up for discussion.
4. How can we prove the strike illegal?
The very fact that no notice under section 22 and 23 of the Industrial Disputes Act will be sufficient to prove that the strike is illegal. You may proceed based on Standing Orders of the Establishment and if Management is desire to issue notice to all those who were on illegal strike you may send Show Cause Notice and based on further developments you may proceed for 8 days wage cut or for at least a strong warming depending on IR developments further and your discussions with Trade Unions.
5. we have also a one more union (unrecognized) what will be their role?
In case of Conciliation and in case of 12(3) settlement, they will also be called for Conciliation and they also become party to the discussion despite their recognition status. The settlement entered in the process will bind this Union also.
6. how can we keep under pressure for not resort to illegal strike?
If you need to teach a strong lesson, I recall an incident happed 10 years back is that we gave Show Cause Notice to all 800 plus workmen who went on flash strike and disrupted the production and created a situation of production loss. We proceed under Standing Orders and deducted 8 days wages from their salary as a punishment using the standing orders clause. We also declared that the days of illegal strike is " Break in Service" for all statutory purpose. The documents entered in their Personal file. Once settlement was reached, we asked individual undertaking letter for accepting the settlement terms and also not to indulge in such strike illegally in future if they want the benefit of settlements. Some refused to sign and they were not extended the benefits for about 2 years plus. One by one they melt done and we gave arrears to them later.
what will we be substantial documents we need to prepare for this illgal strike.?
- Copy of Notice Board display
- Copy of Strike Intimation the Management sent to Conciliation Officer ( Labour Officer)
- Copy of Intimation sent to Local Police station
- Copy of Show Cause Notice issued to Workers
- Copy of your detailed letter sent to the Labour Officer
- Copy of your detailed letter sent to the Recognized Union
- Copy of letter sent to Union seeking their explanation as to Why the Recognition of Trade Union shall not be taken up for cancellation before the Registrar of Trade Union
- Attendance Registers of Workers to show that the mass of workers were on strike
- Production Log books
- Reports from Security Personnel of your Unit
All these documents will be of use for you later before Conciliation Officer and Court of Law
But in IR there is no permanent action and depending on mutual discussion, lot of give and take will happen and most of the actions will be dropped if the Management is looking for long term benefits. Some managements are very firm in actions and they never go back from the disciplinary action stand. It all depends on further developments which needs to be handled with lot of patience and win-win approach keeping further and long term focus. All the Best!!!
From India, Chennai
srivastavacmlalDear All CiteHR members and worthy contributing experts,
It is very optimistic and heartening that CiteHR Expert Members are giving their valuable time and advice inspite of the fact that the querist does not give the most relevant fact/data/detail. In such a situation it is most appreciated that KK HR, Saswata Banerjee, Vinayak Nagarkar and Dr P Sivkumar have given valuable expert advice. However the most important point has not been disclosed by the querist as to what settlement was made and what conditions i.e. time limit etc was decided in the agreement. Had this been disclosed, an appropriate expert opinion could be tendered possibly.
2. I shall also request the CiteHR members to at least demonstrate their reaction on the advice of experts by validating the advice. This will inspire the professional experts to dedicate their valuable time with great zeal. In this case no validation has been depicted from the side of the querist till 10:40pm today 17.01.2022.
With due regards, respect and good wishes to all.
Chandra Mani Lal Srivastava
Master Consultant 9315516083
From India, New Delhi
Nagarkar Vinayak LDear colleagues,
The observations noted by the learned member Mr Srivastava are to the point and appropriate. I share the same.
The posters usually give inadequate data and seek advice . The most disturbing fact is several of them lack courtsey even to let members know whether they have found it useful or not , let alone thanking the expert. Sometimes, it is frustrating feeling that anything doled out as freebies , has no value and it is taken for granted.
The posters, barring a few, need to show more matured and responsible attitude in bringing about qualitative change hereafter while posting.
Thanks Mr Srivastav for expressing your candid views on this .
HR and Employee Relations Consultant
From India, Mumbai
saswatabanerjeeConsidering that the OP has got responses and in 2 days has not responded, I think this is another case of a fake post, or perhaps someone got a homework from college and needed answer without applying the brains
From India, Mumbai
First of all apologizing for the late reply and response to the all the members who has given me insight in solving my issues which i my facing currently.
Anguish for me from certain member for not responding is understandable and but obvious.
Since from the first post i was minutely tracking the responses of all the legends KK.HR Sir,Banerji sir,Nagarkar sir,shivkumar sir,because of only your responses which gives me a confidence to face the issue and tackle it sensibly.
My Inadequate data in the quires which I arise is only because of the lack of experience in the IR domain. since prior to this I was working on payroll and recruitment/Statutory compliances and as a Generalist profile, got very little exposure in IR domain. learnt that the IR knowledge is only get through the situations you face during your professionand it just don’t comes through the books.
As P.shivkumar more specifically answered my queries I am executing and following the path.
From India, Nagpur
saswatabanerjeeI still do not understand why you did not pay the salary to the workers instead of allowing them to go on strike?
I doubt any labour officer will declare the strike illegal if you have not paid the workers their salary on time.
From India, Mumbai