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I am functioning as general secretary of trade union. I delivered speech against government policies which against labour like 4 new labour code. For this management has given a charge memo and framed accusation that i've criticized the government and it becoming disrepute to company.
From India, Chennai
Dinesh Divekar

Dear Nandakumar J,

This is what happens when the citizens are indoctrinated with the dictum that criticising the government is against the country's interests. Now it appears that the dictum has become an axiom and the companies have started issuing charge sheets to their employees or the members of the trade union for criticising the government.

However, the Supreme Court has already ruled on this subject. You may check the following link:

‘Criticism of govt, institutions not anti-national’: Supreme Court Judge Deepak Gupta

The additional link is as follows:

By the way, the company can raise the charge sheet for the misconduct that is defined in the company's standing orders. If the misconduct is not defined, then they cannot raise the charge sheet. Therefore, please check the charge sheet and find out under the provisions which clause or paragraph of the standing orders the charge sheet has been raised.

While ordinary HR professionals may not be, the General Secretary of a trade union is expected to be well-versed in the provisions of the labour laws. Ordinary workers rely on them and approach them for guidance. It will be surprising for the members of this forum, mostly who are HR professionals, to see the General Secretary raising a query on their forum on a legally invalid charge sheet. Does the management know the grey area of your personality and hence their offence against you? Yes, the management in many companies tries to enfeeble the trade union. But they do it with great caution, and not by raising a charge sheet on frivolous grounds.

Please ponder!


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Are you working in Government Sector or in a PSU? Such organisations have in their conduct rules a clause prohibiting criticism of Govt policy. If it is there, then you are bound by it as you have accepted the same while accepting the employment. There is a famous English saying on the right of British Policemen (they are called Bob) to grow beard, "You don't have the right to be a Bob, but if you opt to be one, you have to follow the rules and regulations of the force". It is no excuse that you do not agree with them.
From India, Mumbai

Every citizen has the freedom to express hiss thoughts and interests. When it comes to General Secretary of a Trade Union, he has the right to say what is wrong in labour laws. When I take sessions on Labour Law, i used to say about the drawbacks of labour laws/ the proposed labour codes. I think a trade Union leader has a moral and official responsibility to say that. Moreover, the act of speaking against the government policies was not carried out while on duty but in a public rally or a session organised by the trade union.What is wrong in it? What should be the charge? Is speaking against government policy become an act against the company? When the Chamber of Commerce or Trade Associations organise a discussion on tax immediately after the budget, it is quite usual that the company's Manager (Finance /Accounts) or CA attend the same and criticize the the budget, if there is any element in the budget which is not favouring the company. Will we take action against him? Is it that no action is taken against him because his comments were to protect the company interests? If yes, the comments made by a trade union office bearer is also to protect the interests of the employees, and that cannot be a misconduct.
From India, Kannur
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