Retd staff to join union-bank talks

Division bench of high court allows appeals.

Chennai: The Madras high court has permitted two office-bearers of the All India Overseas Bank Employees Union (AIOBEU), who had retired from service, to participate in the talks with the management on the issue of employer-employee relationship.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, allowed the appeals from L. Balasubramanian and S. Srinivasan, honorary members of AIOBEU, against the order of a single judge which restrained the Indian Overseas Bank from permitting them to participate in the talks.

Originally, on a petition from S. Valaiyapathi, an employee of IOB, Justice N. Kirubakaran had on October 11, 2013 restrained IOB, Chennai, from permitting L. Balasubramanian and S. Srinivasan, president and secretary respectively of the IOB employees’ union, who had retired in June and March 2012, to participate in negotiations and discussions with the bank management in respect of any matter pertaining to employer-employee relations. Challenging the order, the duo filed the present appeals.

The bench said the bye-law of the union provided for membership to outsiders. The union, in its general council meeting held in July 2010, had unanimously conferred on the appellants honorary membership for the purpose of being elected to the national executive retrospectively from the date of their superannuation.

Rule 58 of the industrial disputes (Central) rules and rule 25 of the Tamil Nadu industrial disputes rules provided for the signing of settlement in the case of workmen either by the president or secretary or five representatives of the workmen authorised in this behalf at a meeting of the workmen held for the purpose.

Therefore, the appellants, elected as honorary members in the general council meeting with effect from the respective date of superannuation and acting as office-bearers of the union, can represent the union, which was a major one. As such they were entitled to participate in the negotiations and discussions with the management of the bank, the bench added.

( Source : dc )
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