Chennai: The Madras high court has directed the labour court to dispose of within six months, the dispute between the union and M/s Chemplast Sanmar Limited, relating to the services of 77 workmen.
Justice V.Parthiban disposed of the petition filed by Mettur Chemicals and Plastics Worker's Union.
“The competent authority, before whom the dispute is pending, shall complete the process of conciliation as expeditiously as possible within a period of one month from the date of receipt of copy of this order. After reference of the dispute or on filing of the dispute by the union, the labour court concerned shall dispose of the dispute as expeditiously as possible, not less than 6 months from the date of either the reference is made or the filing of the dispute before it", the judge added.
NGR Prasad, counsel for the petitioner submitted that the workers have been appointed as interns in Chemplast for 36 months in 2017 and before they could complete the internship, their services came to be terminated only on the ground that they had participated in an All India strike for a day.
Senior counsel S.Raveendran, appearing for Chemplast, submitted that the petition itself was not maintainable, as Chemplast was a private establishment and not amenable to writ jurisdiction of this court. The union has chosen to approach the authorities constituted under the Industrial Disputes Act and therefore the proper course open to them was only to pursue the remedy under the provisions of the ID Act, he added.
Concurring with the submission of senior counsel Raveendran, the judge said the petitioner union itself has chosen to approach the assistant commissioner of labour to pursue their dispute within the scheme of ID Act and therefore, it was well within their right to pursue such remedies, which were effectively available under the scheme of ID Act. This court, in the circumstances of the case, does not think that any order for payment of stipend could be considered, since that would be beyond the pale of any statutory backing. Even on equitable consideration, such relief could not be granted.
The members of petitioner union were described as interns by the management and therefore, they cannot be treated on par with regular workers under any circumstances. In any event, the dispute whether the members of the Union were interns or workmen was being placed before the authority concerned and it was always open to the Union to pursue the dispute before the authority, the judge added....