ALL INDIA TELEGRAPH ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES UNION CLASS III Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(APH)-1969-9-13
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on September 08,1969

ALL INDIA TELEGRAPH ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES' UNION CLASS III,ALL INDIA TELEGRAPH ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, UNION, CLASS III,GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA,ALL INDIA TELEGRAPH ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES UNION CLASS III Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.)1. Prior to the year 1954 there were as many as twenty one Associations or Unions of non-gazetted employees of the Posts and Telegraphs Department of the Government of India. Some employees were members of more than one Union. Some of the Unions worked in a spirit of rivalry instead of co-operation and often put forward contradictory demands with the result that great confusion prevailed amongst the employees and often the Government of India would find itself in the unenviable position of not knowing with whom to negotiate In order to remove all confusion and to promote legitimate Trade activity the Government of India in 1954, after consultation and negotiation with repersentatives of the several Unions, sponsored a 'Re-alignment Scheme' which all the Unions accepted in good faith. Under this Scheme the recognition accorded to all the pre-existing Unions was withdrawn and all nongazetted employees of the Posts and Telegraphs Department were realigned into nine All India Trade Unions, one Union each for Class III and Class IV employees of the four wings of the Department, viz,, R.M.S., Postal, Telegraph Traffic and Telegraph Engineering and one Union for all the employees of the Administrative offices. These nine All India Unions were made autonomous Unions, but they were compulsorily federated into an All India Federation. All the nine Unions were recognised by the Government of India who agreed to recognise no other Union except those, The federating Unions were not given the option to secede from the Federation nor was the Federation given the option to expel any one of the federating Unions. The recognition of these Unions by the Government naturally clothed the Unions with necessary 'collective bargaining power. In addition, certain valuable privileges were also accorded to the Unions, their, officers and members. One of the important facilities which was given was to enable employees of the Posts and Telegraphs Department to accept employment as full time paid office bearers of recognised All India Service Unions and to treat the period during which they served the Unions as the period during which they were on deputation on 'foreign service' Office bearers of the Unions were also given immunity from transfer during the first yv:ars of their office. Another important privilege given to the Unions was that the Heads of Circles and administrative officials of the Department were obliged to meet the representatives of the Circle Branches of all the recognised All India Trade Unions. once every month and to discuss problems with which then were competent to deal, Such meetings were also obliged to be held at divisional levels.
(2.)In 1959 the President of India made rules called 'The Central Civil Services (Recognition of Service Association) Rules, 1959'. By these rules the conditions for recognition and withdrawal of recognition of Service Associations were prescribed. By Rule 3 all the Service Associations hitherto recognised by the Government were deemed to have been recognised under these Rules Rule 4 prescribed conditions for recognition by the Government after the commencement of the Rules. Rule 5 prescribed the conditions subject to which recognition would be granted by the Government. Rule 7 empowered the Government to withdraw recognition, if, in the opinion of the Government, a Service Association failed to comply with the conditions set out in Rules 4, 5 or 6. Rule 8 empowered the Government to relax any of the rules to the extent necessary.
(3.)In 1966, the Government, after protracted discussions with representatives of several Service Associations including the nine Unions of the employees of the Posts and Telegraphs Department, set up machinery for joint consultation and compulsory arbitration. The Government and the representatives of the employees signed a joint declaration on 5-12-1966. It was agreed that all problems should be settled by discussion and negotiation before Joint Councils and all disputes which could not be so settled should be referred to arbitration. Though at one stage the Government insisted that only those Service Associations which abjured strike should participate in the joint machinery later the Government recognised the right to strike as an invaluable and inalienable right of the working class which should be preserved and protected and agreed not to insist on that condition.
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