The object of the government’s Labour policy was to create a environment in which both the industrialists and the workers can work together to achieve higher productivity and equitable distribution and the intention of labour legislature was to confer benefits of labour laws on as many persons as would be covered by definition of workmen. Whenever a worker has any grievance regarding any right granted to him either by law or any award or settlement, he could redress, that, under section 33 PIRA 2010.
2. Relevant Provisions
Sec 33 of Industrial relation Act 2012
Sec 33 of Punjab Industrial Relation Act 2010
3. Redress of Individual Grievance
a. Locus Standi
A person who seeks to enforce a claim must establish that he is entitled to that claim or right and that he is a “Workman” under PIRA 2010 or under the other law under which he claims the right.
b. Cases for redress of Grievance
A worker may bring his grievance in respect of any right
(i) Guaranteed to him under PIRA 2010. or
(ii) Guaranteed to him under any other law for the time being force, or
(iii) The violation, non-implementation or breach of which secured to him under any settlement or award
4. Procedure followed by workman for the redress of his grievance
a. Grievance Notice
Grievance notice to employer is essential pre-condition for filling grievance petition before labour court. Service of grievance notice by workman on employer is mandatory. Grievance notice not only to employer but also to those whose rights were likely to be affected is necessary.
b. Mode of giving Notice
The notice of the employer must be in written form and may be delivered either
(i) By the worker himself, or
(ii) Through his shop steward or collective bargaining agent.
c. Limitation period for such notice
Grievance notice must be filed within three month of the day on which cause of such grievance arises. First representation containing grievance is to be considered grievance notice for the purpose of limitation.
d. Decision by an employer
After receiving the grievance notice from workman, the employer shall communicate his decision in writing to the worker, within fifteen days of such receiving.
e. Failure of communication by employer or dissatisfaction of worker
If an employer fails to communicate his decision within 15 days of receiving notice or a worker is dissatisfied with the decision of an employer, then the worker has the following two forums to redress his grievance.
(i) Collective Bargaining Agent
The worker or shop steward may take up the matter with his collective bargaining agent for its proper solution. Collective bargaining agent means the trader union of workmen is the agent of the workmen in the establishment etc., in the matter of collective bargaining.
(ii) Labour Court
If the collective bargaining agent has itself filed the grievance notice, he may file a petition of grievance before the labour court.
a. Limitation Period
The Limitation Period for filing a grievance petition before labour court is two months from the date of communication of the employer or, if he does not communicate, from the expiry of the period of 15 days given to employer.
b. Procedure of Labour Court
The petition filed in the labour court is to be adjudicated as if it is an industrial dispute the labour court shall go into all the facts of the case and give its decision expeditiously and pass such orders as may be just and proper in the circumstances of the case.
iii. Award of compensation to a workman
Where the workman is terminated from his service wrongfully, the labour court may reinstate him in service and in lieu of it, may award compensation equivalent to not less that twelve months and not more than thirty months basic pay last drawn and house rent if admissible, to the workman.
iv. Effect of non-compliance of order of labour court or High Court
Where the decision of the Labour court or High court in an appeal against such order of labour court is not given effect or complied with within one month or such period as specified in such order or decision, the defaulter shall be punished with imprisonment of term which may extend to 3 months and fine Five Hundred thousand Rs.
Such punishment of fine can be imposed on defaulter only
i. If the order or decisions is in the favour of workman and
ii. Is not implemented within the period specified therein and
iii. Workman made a written complaint about it.
5. Joint application to Labour court
Where more than one worker have common grievance arising out of a common cause of action, they may make a joint application to the labour court.
To conclude, I can say that the PIRA 2010 safeguards the rights of workman by inserting the provision of sec. 46, under which a workman could seek redress of his grievance. It is wider in scope and he can filed grievance petition for the enforcement of right guaranteed by law, award or settlement.