In a cement factory, about 1200 workers are working. In the year 2010, on 1st November, about 800 workers requested half day leave due to solar eclipse. But the Management refused to give leave. Hence at 4 PM, 800 workers stopped work. After 8 PM, all the workers resumed work. The Management issued notice to cut one day wages. The Trade Union on behalf of workers raised an Industrial dispute. Decide.
Sec. 2(q) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 defines a ‘strike’ as:
– the cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any Industry acting in combination, or
– a concerted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding, of any no. of persons, who are or have been so employed, to continue to work or accept employment.
It is not relevant as to how many hours the workers go on strike, but the mere fact that the workers stopped work during the working hours amounts to their participation in an illegal strike. Granting of leave is within the discretionary powers of the Management and therefore the workers cannot demand it as a matter of right.
The Management in the above case, has the right to take legal action against the workers who took part in the strike. The notice issued by the Management regarding one day wage cut for participation in the strike is in response to the strike notice by the workers to warn them of the consequence of strike.
However, the Trade Union may negotiate with the Management for lowering down the punishment instead of treating the issue as an Industrial dispute, because resolving the dispute through court, though legal, is time consuming.