Kerala: High Court restrains BPCL unions from joining countrywide general strike
26 November 2020: Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar of the Kerala High Court restrained the employees union of BPCL and its members in Kochi from taking part in the nationwide general strike by issuing an interim order on a petition filed by Kurian P Alappatt, Chief General Manager of BPCL. The Court stated that provisions in the Industrial Disputes Act allowed workers in public utility service to be restrained from resorting to strike, notwithstanding the notice served by them within the time mandated under the Act.
Government releases draft rules for Code on Social Security
13 November 2020: The Ministry of Labour and Employment released the draft rules for the Code on Social Security, 2020 for comments within 45 days from the date of notification of these rules.
The draft rules provide for Aadhar-based self-registration by unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers on a Central government portal to register as beneficiaries to the social security schemes notified under the code.
The rules also specify the procedure for self-assessment and payment of cess in respect of building and construction industry thereby leaving much to the discretion of employers and complex process of verification, if challenged.In case of PF, the rules make it clear the non-cognisability of its violation, thereby allowing one more clear ‘ease of business’ factor for employers.
Madras: High Court orders telecom operator BSNL to release pending wages of contract workers
06 November 2020: As a measure of interim relief before Diwali, Justice R. Suresh Kumar of the Madras High Court ordered BSNL to immediately pay Rs. 40,000 to each of the 3,528 contract employees who have not been paid their wages since January 2019 by the contractors.
The Tamil Nadu Telecom Contract Workers Union and Tamil Manila Tholaithodarpu Contract Labour Union had filed the case for 3750 contract workers for non-payment of wages. The Court directed BSNL to deposit Rs. 60 crore immediately, in a dedicated account so that it could be paid directly to the employees. The Court further ordered Rs. 15 crore to be paid immediately to each workers at the rate of Rs. 40,000 each.
Government notifies draft rules for Industrial Relations Code
1 November 2020: The Ministry of Labour and Employment published the draft rules framed under the Industrial Relations Code, 2020 seeking comments within the next 30 days.
The rules, when passed, would supersede the Industrial Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1949, the Industrial Tribunal (Central Procedure) Rules, 1954, the Industrial Disputes (Central) Rules, 1957 and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules,1946. The rules for the Trade Union Act has been left for the states to draft while the Model Standing Orders are also explicitly absent even from the rules, leaving these totally at the mercy of the executive to be notified as desired.