Decided on June 01,1961

Biswanth Ghose Appellant
Deb Respondents


B.N.BANERJEE, J. - (1.) THE Corporation of Calcutta employs certain contractors, who are called 'sardars,' for maintaining in proper condition the filter -beds in the Falta Waterworks belonging to the said corporation. The petitioners are three such 'sardara.' It was part of their contract to remove silt and sand from the filter -beds and refill the same according to the specifications laid down by the corporation. The petitioners in their turn employ a force of labour consisting of certain coolies and workers. As there is no guaranteed supply of work, and the volume of work varies from season to season, the employment of labour is casual and varies from time to time. The grievance of the labourers or coolies employed by the 'mrdars,' like the petitioners, was that being employed by independent contractors, they did not get the same terms and conditions of employment or amenities that they would have got, had they been employed directly by the corporation. This grievance raised an industrial dispute; and on 29 February 1956, the State Government made an order, in exercise of its powers under Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, making a reference of the following issues to the fifth industrial tribunal, West Bengal, for adjudication: (1) Basic pay and dearness allowance. (2) Leave and holidays. (3) Should the present contract system be abolished and whether the workmen now employed by the three contractors be directly employed by the Corporation of Calcutta on the same terms and conditions of employment as are enjoyed by similar workmen of the Corporation of Calcutta.
(2.) THE fifth industrial tribunal took up the decision of issue (3) first of all and came to the following conclusion: The present contract system should be abolished within one month of the award coming into operation. The workmen now employed by the three contractors, if they so chose (Sri Biswanath Ghosh, Sri Ramdohin Singh and Sri Nagina Singh) and particularly the 96 workmen who have joined this dispute should be placed directly under the Calcutta Corporation as its direct employees. They will be made permanent according to the conditions referred to above having the terms and conditions of employment as stated above Having decided issue (3) in the aforesaid manner, the fifth industrial tribunal disposed of issue (1) as follows: I allow, however, basic pay and dearness allowance on the same scale as the other permanent unskilled workmen of the Calcutta Corporation do get at present, having of course, the same status.
(3.) THE tribunal disposed of issue (2) in the following manner: I award that these workmen will get the same leave and holidays as are being enjoyed by similar other workmen of the Calcutta Corporation. ;

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