WORKMEN OF KETTLE WELL BULLEN CO LTD Vs. KETTLEWELL BULLEN CO LTD
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
WORKMEN OF KETTLE WELL BULLEN CO LTD
KETTLEWELL BULLEN CO LTD
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(1.) THIS appeal and cross-objection arises out of an order passed by Sinha, J. , under Article 226 of the Constitution. The litigation relates to an industrial dispute between Messrs. Kettlewell Bullen and Co, Limited and their workmen. The principal business of Messrs. Kettlewell Bullen and Co. Limited (hereinafter referred to as the company) is that of managing agents of other limited companies. The associated companies or concerns carry on business as manufacturers and sellers of jute-textiles, cotton textiles and tea. The company as also the associated concerns have their registered and principal offices at premises No. 21 Strand Road in the town of Calcutta. The company maintains a clerical and subordinate staff at its office at No. 21 Strand Road.
(2.) THE workmen of the company claimed payment of bonus for the year 1955 on the ground that the company made huge profits in 1955. This claim was resisted by the company. An industrial dispute accordingly arose between the company and their workmen. By order dated 9th April, 1957 the State Government acting under section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, referred the dispute relating to "bonus for 1955" existing between the company and its workmen represented by the Kettlewell Bullen Employees' Union to the Fourth Industrial Tribunal for adjudication. By another order dated 5th June, 1957, the State Government corrected its previous order and stated that the workmen were represented in the dispute by the National Union of Commercial Employees also. Pursuant to the directions of the Tribunal the parties filed their respective statements. The Kettlewell Bullen Employees' Union claimed a bonus amounting to three months' basic pay. The National Union of Commercial Employees claimed a bonus amounting to five months' wages inclusive of dearness allowance. Both the Unions claimed that all the 163 employees working at the head office of the company at premises. No. 21 Strand Road and named in Ext. 4 were the workmen of the company. The company disputed the claim for bonus as also the claim that all the employees working at No. 21 Strand Road were entitled to payment of bonus out of the profits of the company. The company maintained that only 84 persons named in Ext. 5 were its workmen and that the remaining 79 of the 163 persons named in Ext. 4 were the employees of the associated concerns of which the company was the managing agent. The company submitted that the claim for bonus by those 79 persons should be rejected. The company stated that the claim of bonus of individual employees should be determined on the basis of the profits made by the different concerns employing them and that as some of the managed concerns did not make any profits during the relevant year the claim of their respective employees could not be entertained. The company submitted that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction to grant bonus to a person working at 21 Strand Road who was not an employee of the company.
(3.) ORAL and documentary evidence were adduced by the parties before the Tribunal. The Tribunal made its award on the 26th September, 1957. By its award the Tribunal pointed out that having regard to the defence of the company two issues arose, namely, (i) whether the employees of the company were entitled to any bonus for 1955 and (ii) whether all the employees employed at 21, Strand Road were the employees of the company.;
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