FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA WORKERS UNION Vs. FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (AT: NAGPUR)
FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA WORKERS UNION
FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA
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(1.) The challenge in this petition is to the order dated 21.06.2006 passed by the Government of India, Ministry of Labour, holding that prima facie the Ministry does not consider the dispute fit for adjudication. The reason stated in the order for rejecting the claim for reference is reproduced below;
"During the conciliation proceedings, the Union could not produce any evidence as regards the alleged employment of 275 persons either by FCI or FCI Contractor i.e. the proof of their status as workmen which is the prerequisite for consideration as 'Industrial Dispute' under the I.D. Act. Hence, no industrial dispute subsists".
The aforesaid order was passed upon receipt of failure of conciliation report dated 27.01.2004 from the Regional Labour Commissioner (Central), Nagpur.
(2.) The members of the petitioner Union claimed that they were employed through the contractors by the respondent No.1 Food Corporation of India, for the purposes of loading, unloading and ancillary works at Nagpur Ajni, Gondia and Wardha Depot of the respondent Corporation. According to them, the termination of their services effected on 01.04.1991 and 01.05.1991 after the abolition of contract labour with effect from 01.11.1990 is illegal and all of them, who are 275 in numbers, were entitled to reinstatement in service and also regularization/ permanency.
(3.) The management of the Food Corporation of India opposed the claim of the Union on several grounds including; (i) that there was delay in making reference; (ii) that the members of the petitioner Union were bound by the settlement dated 08.09.1994; (iii) that the members of the petitioner Union were neither employed by the Food Corporation of India nor by the contractors engaged for doing the job of loading, unloading and other ancillary works and therefore, there did not exist any industrial dispute for reference; (iv) out of 129 members of the petitioner Union working at Wardha, 76 members were accommodated at Ajni Nagpur and Gondia in terms of the settlement and the remaining 53 workers who could not be absorbed for want of vacancies or for any other reasons, were bound by the settlement. The reliance was placed on Clause (7) in the terms of settlement dated 08.09.1994.;
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