The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 Preliminary




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Prohibition of Lay-Off (Sec. 25-M)

No workman (other than a 'bad Ii' workman or a casual workman) whose name is borne on the muster rolls of an industrial establishment to which this Chapter V-B applies shall be laid off by employer except with the prior permission of the appropriate Government or such authority as may be specified by the Government by notification in official gazette (Sub.Sec.1).

Where the workman of an industrial establishment being a mine, have been laid off under sub-section (1) above, for reasons of fire, flood or excess of inflammable gas or explosion, the employer in relation to such establishment, shall within a period of 30 days from the date of such lay-off apply in the presented manner, to the Appropriate Government or the specified authority (Sub Sec. (3))

Where an application for permission under Sub. See (1) and (3) has been made to appropriate Government after making inquiry as it thinks fit and after being heard to the employer, the workmen concerned and the person interested in such lay off, grant or refuse to grant, permission. A copy of such order shall be communicated to the employer and the workmen.



Conditions precedent to retrenchment of Workmen (Sec. 25-N) :

No workman employed in any industrial establishment, who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer shall be retrenched by the employer, until the workman has been given three months notice in writing indicating the reasons for retrenchment or the workman has been paid wages in lien of notice period, if the period of notice has expired.



Procedure for closing down an undertaking (Sec. 25-0) :

An employer who intends to close down an undertaking of an industrial establishment shall, in the prescribed manner, apply to the appropriate Government for prior permission 90 days before the intended closure is to become effective, stating the reasons for the intended closure. A copy of such application shall also be served on the representative of the workmen in the prescribed manner (Sub Sec. (1 )).

On receipt of application, the appropriate Government, makes inquiry as it thinks fit and after giving reasonable opportunity of being hard to the employer, the workman and the persons interested in such closure may grant or refuse to grant permission, and a copy of such order shall be served to the employer and the workmen.

Special Provisions as to Restarting of closed down undertaking (Before Commencement of the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1976, (Sec. 25-P)

If the appropriate Government is of opinion in respect of any understanding of an industrial establishment which was closed down before the commencement of Amendment Act, 1976 ­

(a) that it was closed down otherwise than on account of unavoidable

circumstance beyond the control of the employers;

(b) that there are possibilities of restarting the undertaking;

(c) that it is necessary for the rehabilitation of the workmen employed before its closure or for the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community to restart the undertaking; or both; and (d) that the restarting of the undertaking will not result in hardship to the employer in relation to the undertaking.

After it may after giving an opportunity to such employer and workmen, the appropriate Government may direct by order published in official Gazette that the undertaking shall be restarted within such time published in the official Gazette, (not being less than one month from the date of order) as may be specified in the order.

Penalty for Lay-Off and Retrenchment with Previous Permission (Sec. 25-Q)

Any employer who contravenes the provision of Sec. 25 M or Sec. 25 N, shall

be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/-, or with both.

Penalty for Closure (Sec. 2 R)

Any employer who closes down an undertaking without complying with the provisions of sub-section (1) of Sec. 25-0 shall be permissible with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, o(with fine which may extend to Rs. 5000/ -, or with both.

Similarly, any employer who contravenes an order refusing to grant permission to close down an undertaking under sub-section (2) of Sec. 25-0 or a direction given under Sec. 25-P, shall be permissible with imprisonment for a term which may extend to Rs. 5000/-, or with both. Where the contravention continuous further, with a further which may extend to Rs. 2000/- for every day during the contravention continues after the conviction.

No employer or workmen or a Trade Union, whether registered under Trade

Union's Act, 1926, or not, shall commit any unfair labour practice (Sec. 25-T)

Any person who commits any unfair labour practice shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/- or with both.


UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICES
No employer or workmen or a Trade Union, whether registered under Trade

Union's Act, 1926, or not, shall commit any unfair labour practice (Sec. 25-T)

Any person who commits any unfair labour practice shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/- or with both.

Unfair labour practices on the Part of Employers and Trade Unions of Employers (as per New Schedule V added with Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1982).

As defined in Schedule V, unfair trade practices are:

1. To interfere with, restrain from, or coerce, workmen in the exercise of their rights to organise from, join or assist a trade union or to engage in concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, that is to say ­

10. To recruit workmen during a strike which is not an illegal strike.

11. Failure to implement award, settlement or agreement.

12. To indulge in acts of force or violence.

13. To refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with the recognised trade unions.

Unfair labour Practices on the part of Workmen and Trade Unions of Workmen (as per New Schedule V added with Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1982.

They include the following:

1. To advise or actively support or instigate any strike deemed to be illegal

under this Act.

2. To coerce workmen in the exercise of their right to self-organisation or

to join a trade union or restrain from joining any trade union, such as :

(a) for a trade union or its members to picketing in such a manner

that non-striking workmen are physically debarred from entering

the work places;

(b) to indulge in acts of force or violence or to hold out threats of

intimidation in connection with a strike against non-striking

workmen or against managerial staff.

3. For a recognised union to refuse to bargain in good faith ..vith the

employer.

4. To indulge in coercive activities against certification of a bargaining

representative.

5. To stage demonstrations at the residence of the employers or the

managerial staff members.

6. To incite or indulge in wilful damage to employer's property connected

with the industry, etc.



Victimization

Victimization means one of two things. One is when the workmen concerned is innocent and yet he is punished because he has in some way displeased the employer. For example, by being an active member of the union of workmen who were acting prejudicially to the interests of the employer1. The second instance is where an employee has committed an offence but is given a punishment quite out of prosportion to the gravity of the offence, simply because he has incurred the displeasure of the employer, or where the punishment is shockingly disproportion to the misconduct.



PENALTIES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Penalty for illegal strikes and lockouts (Sec. 26)


This section prescribes penalty imposed on any workman who continues or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike which is illegal under this Act. Any workman found guilty of participating in an illegal strike shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with a maximum fine of 50/-, or with both.

.In the case of employer, sub section (2) of Sec. 26 provides that the employer shall be punishable with imprisonment extending to one month or with a maximum fine of Rs. 1000/-, or with both, if:

(1) such employer commences, continues or otherwise; acts in furtherance

of lock-out; and

(2) such lock-out is illegal under the Act.

Penalty for instigation, etc.(Sec. 27):

This section makes the following acts punishable:

(1) Instigation or incitement to others to take part in an illegal strike or

lockout;

(2) Otherwise acting in furtherance of a strike or lockout which is illegal

under the Act.

Any person, other then employer and workmen, who has no personal interest in a dispute, instigate or inciting of an illegal strike or lockout is more severely punishable under the Act. There must be something tangible in evidence to show that the persons are responsible for instigating or inciting the strike.



Penalty for giving Financial Aid to illegal strike and lockout (Sec. 28)

Any person who knowingly extends or applies any money in direct furtherance or support of any illegal strike shall be punishable under this section. Punishment may extend to six months imprisonment, or Rs. 1000/- as fine, or with both.



Penalty for breach of settlement of award (Sec. 29)

In order to be penalised a person under this section, the following facts must be proved:

(1) An award or settlement was in operation at the time of breach;

(2) Such award or settlement must be valid,

(3)The award or settlement must be binding on the accused,

(4)The accused must be responsible for committing breach of such award or settlement.

(5) The appropriate Government must have made complaint regarding the

breach.


If these requirements are cumulatively fulfilled the accused shall be punishable with imprisonment extending to 6 months or with fine or with both. If the breach is continuing a further fine which may extend to two hundred rupees for every day during which the breach continues after the conviction for the first breach.

Penalty for disclosing confidential Information (Sec. 30)

Any person who discloses any information in contravention of Sec. 21

(confidential matters) shall be penalised under Sec. 30 of the Act. Punishment provided is imprisonment extending to 6 months or fine upto Rs. 1000/-, or with both. For valid exercise of power under this section, the following conditions must be satisfied:

(1) A complaint must have been made by or on behalf of (a) the Trade

Union, or (b) the individual members affected. (2) Complaint should be made to the appropriate Government. (3) It should be against any person who wilfully disclose any such information and the disclosure must be in contravention of the provisions of Sec.21.

Penalty for closure without notice (Sec.3D-A)

Any employer who closes down any undertaking without complying with provisions of Sec. 25 FFA shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine, which may extend to Rs. 5000/-, or with both.



Penalty for other offences (Sec. 31)

This section provides that at any employer who contravene the provisions of Sec. 33 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/-, or with both (sub. Sec.1)

A Criminal Court has jurisdiction to try any employer for violation of Sec. 33 these two sections 31 and 33 are intended to protect the right of workmen pending industrial dispute and for that purpose the employer is prohibited from doing anything to the prejudice of workmen without express permission or approval of the authorities before whom a reference is pending. .

(Sec.33 ensures against victimization of workmen by the employer).



Offence by companies etc. (sec.32).

This section provides that where a person committing an offence under this Act. is a company, or other body corporate or an association of persons (whether incorporated or not) every director manager, secretary, agent or other officer or person concerned with management thereof shall, that the offence was committed without his knowledge or consent, be deemed to be guilty of such offence.



Conditions of service, etc. to remain unchanged (Sec. 33)

The purpose of this section is to maintain status quo during the pending of certain proceeding under this Act. This section applies during the pendency of the following proceedings:

(a) conciliation proceedings before a Conciliation Officer or Board.

(b) any proceeding before an Arbitrator; and

(c) any proceeding before Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal.

Sec. 33(3)'of the Act deals with the right of protected workman. The employer shall not take the following action against a "protected workman" in regard to any matter connected with the pending dispute:



Special provision for adjudication as to whether conditions of service etc. changed during the pendency of proceedings (Sec.33-A).

Where an employer contravenes the provisions of Sec. 33 du ring the pendency of proceedings before a Conciliation Officer, Board, an Arbitrator, a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, an employee aggrieved by such contravention may make compliant in writing, in the prescribed manner, to such authority before it the matter is pending,

The object of Sec. 33 and 33-A is to protect workmen against victimization by the employer.

Recovery of money due from an employer (Sec. 33-C)

This section deals with the proceeding for recovery of money due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter VA or VB

The application for recovery of money due may be made to the appropriate Government. If the Government is satisfied that the claim in genuine it shall issue a certificate for that amount to the District Collector, who shall recover the amount, as shown in the recovery certificate as an of land revenue.

Every application for recovery shall be made within one year from the date on which the money becomes due to the workman from the employer. However, the appropriate Government may consider the application which was presented even after one year if it is satisfied that the applicant had sufficient reason for not making the application within the period of one year.



Cognizance of offences (Sec. 34).

This section provides that a Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act or of the abatement of any such offence, if a compliant to that effect is made either:

(i) by the appropriate Government, or

(ii) under the authority of the appropriate Government. [sub sec. (1)] Sub section (2), provides that any Court inferior to the Court of Metropolitan

Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of tha first class shall not try any offence punishable under this Act.

Protection of persons (Sec. 35).

No person refusing to take part or to continue to take part in any strike or

lockout which is illegal under the Act shall, by reason of such refusal or by reason of any action taken by him under this section, be subject to expulsion from any trade or society, or to any fine or penalty, or to deprivation of any right or benefit to which he or his legal representatives would otherwise be entitled, either directly or indirectly,

. under any disability or at any disadvantage as compared with other members of the Union or Society, anything to the contrary in the rules of a trade union or society notwithstanding.

This section further provides that nothing ill the rules of a Trade Union or

Society requiring the settlement of disputes shall apply to any proceeding for enforcing any right or exemption secured by this section and in any such proceeding, the Civil Court may, in lieu ordering a person who has been expelled from membership of a Trade Union or Society to be restored to membership, order that he be paid out of the Trade Union funds such sum by way of compensation or damages as that Court thinks fit.



Representation of parties (Sec. 36)

According to sub section (1), a workman who is a party to a dispute shall be

entitled to be represented in any proceeding under this Act by:

(a) any member of the executive or other office bearer of a registered Trade

Union of which he is a member;

(b) any member of the executive or officer bearer of a Federation of Trade

Union to which the Trade Union is affiliated;

(c) where the workman is not a member of any Trade Union, by any member

of executive or other office bearer of any Trade Union connected with it

or by any workman employed in, or the industry in which the worker is employed and authorized in such manner as may be prescribed.

In the opinion of the appropriate Government, any difficulty or doubt arises as to interpretation of any provision of the award, or settlement, it may refer the matter to such Labour Court / Tribunal/National Tribunal; as it may think fit (Sec 36-A).

The decision of the Labour Court ITribunal1 National Tribunal shall be final and binding on all the parties.

Power to exempt from the provisions of the Act (Sec 36-B) Para Where the appropriate Government is satisfied in relation to any industrial establishment or undertaking carried on by a department of the Government that adequate provisions exist for the investigations and settlement of industrial disputes; such class of establishments or undertaking, it may, by notification in the official Gazette, exempt, conditionally or unconditionally such establishments, or undertakings from all or any of the provisions of this Act.

Protection of action taken under the Act (Sec. 37)

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall exist against any person for anything done in good faith or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act, or any rule made there under.



Power to make rules (Sec. 38)

The appropriate Government may make rules for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act. Such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters; namely­

(a) the powers and procedure of Conciliation Officers, Boards, Court, Labour Courts, Tribunals or National Tribunal, including rules as to the summoning

of witness, the production of document concerned.

(aa) the form of arbitration agreement.

(aaa) the appointment of assessors in proceeding under this Act,

(ab) the constitution of Grievance Settlement Authorities.

(b) the constitution and functions of, and the filling of vacancies in Works

Committees, and the procedure to be followed by it.

(c) the allowances admissible to members of Courts and Boards and

Presiding Officers of labour Courts, Tribunals and National Tribunal.

(d) the ministerial establishment which may be allotted to a Court, Board,

Tribunal or National Tribunal.

(e) the manner in which and the persons by and to whom notice of strike or lockout may be given and mode of communication.

(f) the conditions subject to which parties may be represented by legal

practitioners in proceeding under this Act before a Court, Labour Court,

Tribunal or National Tribunal

(g) any other matter which is to be or may be prescribed.



Delegation of powers (Sec. 39)

The appropriate Government may by notification in the official Gazette, direct that any power exercisable by it under the Act or rules made there under, shall be exercisable by:



  1. by such officer or authority subordinate to the Central Government,

(where the appropriate Government is the Central Government) or by the State Government or by such officer or authority subordinate to the state Government as may be specified in the notification; and

(b) where the appropriate Government is a State Government, by such officer or authority subordinate to the state Government, as may be specified in the notification.



Power to amend schedules (Sec. 40)

If the appropriate Government or the Central Government feels it necessary in the public interest, can amend the schedule by notification issued in the official Gazette. The first; second or third schedule can be amended.



CAUSES CONSEQUENCES AND SETTLEMENT OF

INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES

Industrial Disputes Act provides for a machinery for just and equitable settlement of Industrial disputes by adjudication, negotiation and conciliation. It promotes measures for securing and preserving amity and good relations between employer and workmen. It helps prevention of illegal strikes and lockouts, and provides provision

for relief to workmen in the case of layoff and retrenchment. It promotes a base or collective bargaining also.

Causes of Industrial Disputes

The problem of industrial unrest is inherent in the industrial system. The main features of industrial work anywhere are that (a) it involves division of labour; (b) it is a group activity; (c) it is carried under control. Broadly speaking, the causes of industrial disputes can be classified as:

1 . Economic causes

2. Management causes, and

3. Political causes

A brief description of each, is given below:

1. Economic causes

Economic causes include questions pertaining to wages, bonus and allowances, retrenchment of workmen by the employer retionalisation and automation, faulty retrenchment system, leave and so on. Low wages, irrespective of rising prices, demand for a rise in D.A., intolerable working and living conditions, issues pertaining to hours of work, etc. are some other economic causes that provoked a number of strikes in India.

The worker factors responsible for industrial unrest have been: (1) Inter union rivalries, (2) Economic and political environment that exercise adverse effects on workers attitudes, and (3) Indiscipline amongst workers.

2. Managerial causes

Some of the causes of discontent are inherent in the industrial system, itself

such as:

(1) Workers do not get any opportunity for self-expression; or

(2) Their social needs are not fulfilled; that is. the position of workers within in informal qroups formed in jndustrial undertakings and problems of conflict within the groups may not be taken into account.

(3)Lack of communication on one hand, between the workers and management may turn petty quarrels into industrial unrest and on the other, the problem of discipline in industrial units may assume serious dimensions.


The other managerial factors responsible for industrial unrest have been as

1. Mental inertia on the part of management and labour.

2. Management's general attitude of hatred towards their workers,

3..Lack of competence on the supervisor and other managers in human relations.

4..Management's desire to pay comparatively lesser amount of bonus or dearness allowance against the desire of workmen.

5. .Efforts to introduce modernisation without prior or appropriate environment.

6. Excessive work load and inadequate welfare facilities.

7. Defective policy of lay-off.

8. Denial of the workers right to recognize union.

9. Unfair practices like victimization or termination of services without assigning any reasons.

10.Lack of definite wage policy and stabilization of prices.

12. Lack of a proper policy of union recognition.

13.Denial of worker's right to organise, etc.

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