Labour laws course materials

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Statement of Objects and Reasons of Amending Act 46 of 1982 –

The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, provides the machinery for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes. The Act had been amended from time to time in the light of experience gained in its actual working, decided cases and the policy of the Government. The National Commission on Labour (1969) under the Chairmanship of Justice Gajendragadkar made an in-depth study and identified many areas in which the Act needed a new look to promote the industrial harmony.

The object of the Bill are mainly to ensure speedier resolution of industrial disputes by removing procedural delay and to make certain other amendments in the light of the recommendations of the National Commission on Labour. The Bill seeks to make the following amendments in the Act, namely :-

  1. It was difficult to ascertain “appropriate Government” in respect of certain establishments, therefore, It was suggested to consider the Central Government. As appropriate Government in respect of those establishment .

  2. The Supreme Court in the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board V. Rajappa, (A.I.R. 1978 S.C.548) observed that the Government should restructure the definition of “industry” by suitable legislative amendment. Accordingly, new definition was inserted which excluded certain establishments from the scope of the definition of “industry”.

  3. As it is found that even if Labour Courts pass awards of reinstatement, employer prefer appeal therefore causes delay in the implementation of such award which causes hardship to the workmen concerned. Therefore, it is proposed to provide for payment of wages last drawn by the workman concerned from the date of the award till the case is finally decided.

  4. It is proposed to make it obligatory for every industrial establishment employing 100 or more workmen to set-up a time bound grievance redressal procedure.

  5. Provision is to be made that the dispute will be adjudicated and heard even in the case of a death of the workman during the pendency of the dispute.

  6. Taking into consideration the observation of the Supreme Court in the ExcelWear case (AIR 1979 SC 25), it is proposed to recast the provisions relating to closure namely;

    1. the employer has to obtain permission for closure ninety days before the extended date of closure ninety days before the extended date of closure ;

    2. the Government has to give reasonable opportunity of being heard to the applicant and the representatives of workmen before granting or refusing to grant the permission for closure;

    3. where an undertaking is permitted to be closed down, the workmen shall be entitled to closure compensation equivalent to 15 days average pay for every completed year of continuous service.

      1. The National Commission on Labour examined the practice of unfair labour practices from different perspective and suggested a list of such unfair practices to be included in the central law. Therefore it is proposed that suitable provision in the Act to be incorporated to specify certain practices as unfair labour practices on the part of employers, workmen and trade unions and to provide for penalties for those indulging in such practices.

      2. The special provisions relating to lay-off, retrenchment and closure as contained in Chapter – V-B of the Act apply at present establishments employing 300 workmen or above with a view to extending this statutory protection to workmen of smaller establishments also. Therefore, it is proposed to reduce the existing employment limit from 300 to 100.

Statement of Objects and Reasons of Amending Act 49 of 1984 –

The Bill seeks the following amendments, namely :

  1. In order to avoid the problem of interpretation of the expression “retrenchment” it is suggested that the ground for termination of the service of the workmen due to non-renewal of the contract of employment should be excluded.

  2. It is proposed to redraft the special provisions relating to lay-off retrenchment in the light of the closure, which was inserted in the Amendment act, 1982 (46 of 1982) after taking into consideration the observations of the Supreme Court in the ExcelWear case.

Objects of the Act :
Justice Krishna Iyer has categorically observed in L I C of India v. D J Bahadur, (1980) Lab. I.C. 1218 (SC), that the Industrial Dispute is a benign measure which seeks to pre-empt industrial tensions, provide the mechanics of dispute-resolutions and set-up the necessary infrastructure so that the energies of partners in productions may not be dissipated in counter-productive battles and assurance of industrial justice may create a climate of goodwill.
The Act was enacted as its preamble and long title show, to provide machinery and forum for the investigation of industrial disputes and for the settlement thereof and for the purposes analogous and incidental thereto.
The Supreme Court in Workmen of Dimakuchi Tea Estate v. Dimakuchi Tea State (1958), IL.L.J.500 (SC), has successfully summed up the objectives of the Act as follows ;

  1. promotion of measure for securing and preserving amity and good relations between the employer and workmen;

  2. an investigation and settlement of industrial disputes, between employers and employees, employers and workmen or workmen and workmen, with a right of representation by registered trade union or a federation of trade unions or an association of employers or a federation of associations of employers;

  3. prevention of illegal strikes and lock-outs;

  4. relief to workmen in the matter of lay-off and retrenchment and;

  5. collective bargaining


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