Court says no to workers’ job demand

Court says no  to workers’ job demand
The High Court has refused the contentions of 386 former contract workers of Federal-Mogul Goetze India Ltd who sought reinstatement to work with effect from 1992. These workers were among the 1,200 contract workers, who were not offered work, post-1992. A workers’ union and the management settled the issue in 1993 with the regularisation of jobs of 100 workmen.

386 workmen formed another union in 1996 and continued the dispute. They argued that the earlier union did not take them into confidence, while settling the issue with the management. Their case was that the terms imposed by the management limiting the regularisation only to 100 workmen was against their interest. They claimed that “no general body meeting was called to discuss the terms of the settlement.”

The High Court, however, pointed out that there was a long delay in this process and it would not be reasonable to reinstate them now. The order said, “Though the workmen cannot be held responsible for the delay in the judicial process, the fact remains that at this point more than 25 years has elapsed during which period the industrial scenario itself has changed and the status of respondent company is also not the same. Hence, in a matter of the present nature unsettling the settled issues would not be justified when the case itself is that the workers and the union representing them and competent authorities were involved in the process of reaching a settlement which was accepted by the Court and award was passed pursuant thereto.”

HC said, “Reopening a settled issue belatedly would not be appropriate. Two unions had raised the dispute and entered into settlement. Even if it is accepted, at the point the contract workmen were 1,200 in number, the fact remains that the present 386 persons were also part of the same process by which the unions which were in existence had raised the dispute on behalf of all the workmen.”

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