whether the industrial dispute raised by the respondent-workmen before the Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Court, Anantapur is maintainable under Section 2-A(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (for short 'the Act') (or it should have been routed through by raising regular conciliation proceedings and referred to the Labour Court as required under Section 10(1)(c) of the Act.-NO) - yes - as the respondent-workmen asserted before the Labour Court that they were directly employed and paid by the petitioner-Corporation and they had completed more than nine years of service including the service rendered with the erstwhile Kallur Gram Panchayat, which merged with the petitioner-Corporation. - 2015 A.P.(2003) MSKLAWREPORTS
In the claim statements filed by them before the Labour Court, they stated that they were employed for more than nine years continuously in the Water Works Department of Kallur Gram Panchayat, which merged with the Municipal Corporation, Kurnool with effect from 8-2-2002. Consequent to the merger, their services along with others were taken over by the Corporation. Even after the merger, they were engaged till 28-2-2003.
With effect from 1-3-2003 their services were orally terminated, which amounts to retrenchment as defined under Section 2(oo) of the Act and violative of Section 25-F, G and H of the Act. There was no necessity of terminating their services, since there was heavy workload in the Corporation. It was also asserted that they worked under supervision and control of the petitioner herein and his subordinates.
They were not free or at liberty to do or to attend to the works entrusted to them at their will and convenience.
Their performance was watched, checked, controlled and supervised by the writ petitioner and his subordinates every day.
The wages for the services rendered by them were paid by the writ petitioner and not by anybody else. Therefore, the termination of their service was in violation of principles of natural justice and fair play.
The same is mala fide and also amounts to colourable exercise of power apart from being unfair labour practice.
The discharge, dismissal, retrenchment or termination is the sine qua non of Section 2-A(2) of the Act.
Grama Panchayat version
The non-renewal of contract work on the expiry of contract does not amount to retrenchment nor does it fall within the meaning of retrenchment under Section 2(oo) of the Act. The workmen were engaged as labour on contract basis to look after the maintenance work and water supply of Kallur Gram Panchayat, which merged with the Municipal Corporation of Kurnool. The payments were made to the workmen under hand receipt. Further, it was stated that on 7-1-2003 tenders were invited for the maintenance of water supply works of Kallur area of the Corporation and the tenders were opened on 22-1-2003
it is clear that a workman in the State of Andhra Pradesh particularly where the employer is amenable to the State Labour Department, can maintain an application under Section 2-A(2) of the Act for discharge, dismissal, retrenchment of termination of his services directly before the concerned Industrial Tribunal/Labour Court.
In the case on hand, the respondent-workmen asserted before the Labour Court that they were directly employed and paid by the petitioner-Corporation and they had completed more than nine years of service including the service rendered with the erstwhile Kallur Gram Panchayat, which merged with the petitioner-Corporation. It is not the case of the petitioner that the respondent-workmen were engaged as contract labour althrough.
"The workman must have consented to give his personal services and not merely to get the work done, but if he is bound under his contract to work personally, he is not excluded from the definition, simply because he has assistance from others, who work under him".
Since the respondent-workmen have asserted that their services were directly engaged by the Municipal Corporation and they were directly paid by the Corporation, it must be deemed that they were the employees of the Corporation and their services were terminated without any notice with effect from 1-3-2003. Once this is the assertion made by the 1st respondent-workmen, the applications filed by them under Section 2-A(2) of the Act are maintainable and no prohibitory orders could be issued by this Court in exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. It is for the Labour Court to go into all aspects including the fact whether the respondent-workmen were engaged by the Corporation on contract basis or not.-2015 A.P. (2003) MSKLAWREPORTS