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11 . What should an organisation do in case of a geographical or sectoral strike?

The law relating to industrial action is very complex and Indian law does not prohibit a trade union from calling strike action and only marginally restricts this right in the case of
a) public utility services where the union is required to give 14 days notice and cannot go on strike during the pendency of conciliation proceedings and 7 days after their conclusion, and
b) in other organizations, during the pendency of conciliation and 7 days after their conclusion, during the pendency of adjudication or arbitration proceedings and 2 months after their conclusion and during the period of a settlement or award on any matter contained in such settlement or award.
During the pendency of a strike, recruitment of workmen or outsourcing such work as a tactic to break a strike is also an unfair labor practice. Thus an employer's courses of action post a strike are very limited.

It is therefore critical for all locations who are in a position to be affected by strike action to have in place a contingency plan which assigns responsibilities to all non-unionized staff to take up unionized staff activities and attempt to keep the show running even in case of strike action. Managers should also try to anticipate such strike action to keep alternate temporary or contractual manpower in place prior to the strike being called.

Post a union call for a strike, the organisation should, after obtaining appropriate legal advice, attempt to seek an prohibition by notification for the union to stop unlawful strike action. An application to the court should be made as a matter of urgency. An injunction can also be obtained from the court to prevent the union from demonstrating or carrying out other protest activities within 100 yards of the factory/establishment if the employer can contend that such action would disrupt normal flow of business.

The principle of no-work no-pay should apply in such cases and after seeking appropriate legal opinions on this front, the organisationshould take steps to reduce or revoke employees pay depending on the kind of industrial action taken.

As a principle, the organisation should also take strong disciplinary action against the instigators of such action in order to create a deterrent to similar activities in the future. Such action can only be taken in case of an illegal strike or if the acts so committed are contrary to work rules and hence, it is critical to take appropriate and urgent legal advice before taking disciplinary action.

12 . What should an organisation do in case of a geographical or sectoral strike?

The law relating to industrial action is very complex and Indian law does not prohibit a trade union from calling strike action and only marginally restricts this right in the case of
a) public utility services where the union is required to give 14 days notice and cannot go on strike during the pendency of conciliation proceedings and 7 days after their conclusion, and
b) in other organizations, during the pendency of conciliation and 7 days after their conclusion, during the pendency of adjudication or arbitration proceedings and 2 months after their conclusion and during the period of a settlement or award on any matter contained in such settlement or award.
During the pendency of a strike, recruitment of workmen or outsourcing such work as a tactic to break a strike is also an unfair labor practice. Thus an employer's courses of action post a strike are very limited.

It is therefore critical for all locations who are in a position to be affected by strike action to have in place a contingency plan which assigns responsibilities to all non-unionized staff to take up unionized staff activities and attempt to keep the show running even in case of strike action. Managers should also try to anticipate such strike action to keep alternate temporary or contractual manpower in place prior to the strike being called.

Post a union call for a strike, the organisation should, after obtaining appropriate legal advice, attempt to seek an prohibition by notification for the union to stop unlawful strike action. An application to the court should be made as a matter of urgency. An injunction can also be obtained from the court to prevent the union from demonstrating or carrying out other protest activities within 100 yards of the factory/establishment if the employer can contend that such action would disrupt normal flow of business.

The principle of no-work no-pay should apply in such cases and after seeking appropriate legal opinions on this front, the organisationshould take steps to reduce or revoke employees pay depending on the kind of industrial action taken.

As a principle, the organisation should also take strong disciplinary action against the instigators of such action in order to create a deterrent to similar activities in the future. Such action can only be taken in case of an illegal strike or if the acts so committed are contrary to work rules and hence, it is critical to take appropriate and urgent legal advice before taking disciplinary action.

13 What types of disciplinary actions are possible? Can employees have their employment and salary suspended for disciplinary reasons?

For non-workmen staff, disciplinary action is largely based on the contract of employment and such action including punishment is the employers prerogative. Under Indian law, disciplinary action agianst workmen for various misconducts are laid down in the model standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946 for industrial establishments alongwith the various acts and omissions that can generally be regarded as misconducts. Types of disciplinary action possible as stipulated in clause 25 of the Model Standing orders are as follows:
a) Warning or censure
b) fine
c) suspension for a period not exceeding 4 days
d) dismissal without notice

All establishments whether they have certified standing orders or follow model standing orders/published work rules are necessarily required to follow certain procedures before punishment is awarded. Though there are no legal provisions laid down in regard to such procedures, these are generally governed by common law and an organization needs to follow the procedure with due diligence especially in cases leading to dismissal to avoid the dismissal order being set aside on technical grounds.

An employer may suspend an employee pending an enquiry for a serious misconduct. However, the employee in lieu of wages is entitled to a subsistence allowance at the rate of half the wages for the first 90 days, 3/4th of wages for the next 90 days and full wages beyond. If no action is taken after the enquiry, the employee is deemed to have been on duty and is entitled to full wages.
14 What types of disciplinary actions are possible? Can employees have their employment and salary suspended for disciplinary reasons?

For non-workmen staff, disciplinary action is largely based on the contract of employment and such action including punishment is the employers prerogative. Under Indian law, disciplinary action agianst workmen for various misconducts are laid down in the model standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946 for industrial establishments alongwith the various acts and omissions that can generally be regarded as misconducts. Types of disciplinary action possible as stipulated in clause 25 of the Model Standing orders are as follows:
a) Warning or censure
b) fine
c) suspension for a period not exceeding 4 days
d) dismissal without notice

All establishments whether they have certified standing orders or follow model standing orders/published work rules are necessarily required to follow certain procedures before punishment is awarded. Though there are no legal provisions laid down in regard to such procedures, these are generally governed by common law and an organization needs to follow the procedure with due diligence especially in cases leading to dismissal to avoid the dismissal order being set aside on technical grounds.

An employer may suspend an employee pending an enquiry for a serious misconduct. However, the employee in lieu of wages is entitled to a subsistence allowance at the rate of half the wages for the first 90 days, 3/4th of wages for the next 90 days and full wages beyond. If no action is taken after the enquiry, the employee is deemed to have been on duty and is entitled to full wages.
15 Must the employer publish work rules in order to be in a position to take disciplinary action?

The employer must publish work rules in the form of model standing orders/work rules or certified standing orders to be in a position to take disciplinary action against workmen under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946. Such procedure, though not necessary is advisable even in case of non-workmen.
16 Must the employer publish work rules in order to be in a position to take disciplinary action?

The employer must publish work rules in the form of model standing orders/work rules or certified standing orders to be in a position to take disciplinary action against workmen under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946. Such procedure, though not necessary is advisable even in case of non-workmen.
17 What are Industrial Disputes?

Industrial Dispute means any dispute or differences between employers and employers or between employers and workmen or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or with the conditions of labour of any person.
18 What are Industrial Disputes?

Industrial Dispute means any dispute or differences between employers and employers or between employers and workmen or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or with the conditions of labour of any person.
19 Who can raise an Industrial Dispute?

Any person who is a workman employed in an industry can raise an industrial dispute. A workman includes any person (including an apprentice) employed in an industry to do manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory work for hire or reward. It excludes those employed in the Army, Navy, Air Force and in the police service, in managerial or administrative capacity. Industry means any business, trade, undertaking, manufacture or calling of employers and includes any calling, service, employment, handicraft, or industrial occupation or avocation of workmen.
20 Who can raise an Industrial Dispute?

Any person who is a workman employed in an industry can raise an industrial dispute. A workman includes any person (including an apprentice) employed in an industry to do manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory work for hire or reward. It excludes those employed in the Army, Navy, Air Force and in the police service, in managerial or administrative capacity. Industry means any business, trade, undertaking, manufacture or calling of employers and includes any calling, service, employment, handicraft, or industrial occupation or avocation of workmen.
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