INDIA TOBACCO COMPANY LID Vs. DEPUTY LABOUR COMMISSIONER GOVT OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
INDIA TOBACCO COMPANY LID
DEPUTY LABOUR COMMISSIONER GOVT OF WEST BENGAL
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(1.) THE question which arises for determination in this appeal is whether in the facts of this case, any conciliation proceeding was pending at the time an application was made by the appellant Company under section 33 (2) (b) of the Industrial disputes Act for approval by the conciliation Officer of the dismissal of a workman. The decision largely depends on the determination of the effect of an interim settlement on a conciliation proceeding. The appeal also raises a question of considerable importance in industrial law, namely, what is a 'settlement' in the contemplation of subsection (P) of the Section 2 of the Industrial Disputes Act.
(2.) IT is common case that the conciliation Officer was holding a conciliation proceeding in respect of a dispute on bonus for the year 1964. The Union representing the workmen, contends that surplusage of workmen at the company's Head Office and at some of its units in West Bengal, was also a matter in dispute in the conciliation proceeding. The Company denies the contention.
(3.) ON April 28, 1964, at a tripartite conference, the Company and its workmen, represented by their Union, entered into a settlement by a memorandum of Settlement which reads: -"there was a dispute on the question of bonus for the year 1964 which was referred to for conciliation to the labour Directorate, Government of west Bengal. A number of tripartite meetings were held before Shri H. M. Ghosh, Deputy Labour Commissioner, west Bengal, and after taking into consideration the viewpoints of the parties, the conciliation officer ultimately made certain written suggestions as per his letter No. S/2032/927/64 LC dated 27. 4. 65 for the sake of industrial peace and early settlement of the issue which was considered desirable in the interest of both parties. He suggested in his letter the basis for an interim settlement pending final settlement of the issue, on the basis of Joint Committee's recommendations or otherwise according to law, and the parties in the tripartite conference held on 28. 465 agreed to accept the following terms of settlement:
(1) The Company hereby agrees to pay two months' basic wages towards payment of bonus for the year 1964 over and above one month's basic wages paid as advance in September, 1964. (2) The advance paid in september, 1964, will be adjusted on finalisation of the issue as referred to in the short title. (3) It is hereby agreed by the parties that this interim settlement is without prejudice to the legal rights of the parties concerned and in. the event no final settlement on bonus for the year 1964 is reached through course of negotiation between the parties it would be open for the parties to exercise their respective legal rights. ";
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