CHENNAI: The ongoing workers’ agitation at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) took a new turn on Tuesday, with Madras High Court declaring the strike, despite an interim stay, as illegal.
The court also directed the management to initiate disciplinary action and departmental proceedings against those indulging in strike.
On June 29, apprehending that the workers might go on strike, NLC had secured an interim injunction against the unions from resorting to strike or any mode of agitation.
NLC contended that the strike notice issued by the unions was contrary to the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, as wage settlement conciliation discussions for 2012 to 2016 are on. However, unions resorted to strike from July 20.
Charging the unions with being fully aware of the injunction and hence intentionally and willfully disobeying the High Court, M Maheswaran, Chief Regional Manager, NLC, moved a contempt petition.
He alleged that the office-bearers of trade unions were instigating their members to violate the court orders. “The unions even refused to relent to a call made by the conciliation officer to call off the strike,” he added.
Claiming that it is a clear case of contempt, NLC pleaded the court to declare the strike as illegal and take appropriate actions against the unions for willful disobedience of the court’s order.
Admitting the petition, Justice T Raja declared the ongoing strike as illegal and directed NLC to take departmental action against the workers.