BHARAT BARREL AND DRUM MANUFACTURING COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED LOWER PAREL BOMBAY 13 Vs. GOVIND GOPAL WAGHMARE
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
BHARAT BARREL AND DRUM MANUFACTURE COMPANY LIMITED
GOVIND GOPAL WAGHMARE
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Wanchoo, J. -
(1.)This appeal by special leave raised two question, namely, (i) bonus for the year 1952 and (ii) retrospective operation of the order of the Industrial Tribunal relating to increase in wages. The appellant is a company manufacturing barrels and drums at Bombay. There was a dispute between the appellant and its workmen about a number of matters, which was referred to the tribunal by the Government of Bombay on November 17, 1955. In respect of the two matters which are now raised in appeal the workmen claimed (i) four months' wages including dearness allowance as bonus for the year 1952 and (ii) retrospective operation of the wage-scale to be fixed by the tribunal from March 1, 1952.
(2.)So far as the increase in wages is concerned, the appellant agreed to the scale suggested by the tribunal but it opposed the grant of the increased scale retrospectively and also wanted that the increased wages should be linked to some guaranteed production. The reason for this was that the appellant felt that there had been deliberate slowing down of production by the workmen in the previous years. The tribunal was of opinion that there was some justification in the appellant's contention that there had been considerable go-slow which had affected production. Taking that into account it ordered that retrospective effect should be given to its order which was passed on May 13, 1957 from June 1, 1956. As to the linking of the increased wages to a certain guaranteed production it found it difficult to lay down any norm itself; but it made it clear that the increase in wages was made by it on the basis that the workers would give a certain reasonable production and noted that the workers were agreeable to do that. It, however, recommended that immediately after the award had been given, an expert should be appointed by agreement, if possible, to go into this question. It also said that in case it was not possible to appoint an expert by agreement it would be open to the appellant to appoint one.
(3.)The appellant's contention before us is that the tribunal having found some justification in its contention that there had been considerable go-slow should not have given retrospective effect at all to the order relating to the increase in wages. This matter has been considered fully by the tribunal and it came to the conclusion that increase in wages should be granted from June 1, 1956. This could hardly be called retrospective considering that the reference was made in November 1955; in any case the tribunal rejected the claim of the workmen for retrospective operation for the period of over four years from march 1952 to May 1956 and a good deal of go-slow was practised during this period. In the circumstances we see no reason for interference with the order of the tribunal fixing the date as June 1, 1956, from which the increased wages should come into force.
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