CHENNAI: Holding that no workman could be denied permanency for want of qualification, the Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) to confirm the services of 11 temporary employees of Hotel Tamil Nadu in Hogenakkal in Dharmapuri district.
Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar gave the direction while dismissing the writ petitions from the Management of Hotel Tamil Nadu, challenging an order of the Inspector of Labour dated July 14, 2011 ordering permanency to C Athirstaboopathy and 10 others, last week.
“The order of the Inspector of Labour has been passed by virtue of the powers conferred under the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishments (Conferment of Permanent Status of Workmen) Act, 1981, which specifically excludes all other enactments while conferring permanency under section 3 (1) of the Act. The legislative intent for enacting the said statute has to be borne in mind while appreciating the orders passed by the Inspector of Labour”, the judge said.
The 11 workmen were employed as daily wage labourers by TTDC for a number of years. As the TTDC was fully owned by the TN government, the workmen, having worked for more than 480 days in 24 calendar months, claimed conferment of permanency and the Labour Inspector ordered to regularise their services. Hence, the present petitions.
Senior counsel R Muthukumaraswamy contended that the Labour Inspector was not justified in ordering permanency since the workmen were not having the required qualifications for the post as per the service regulations framed by the TTDC and the hotel was functioning on seasonal basis.
However, counsel for petitioners S Sathiachandran argued that the workmen were entitled for regularisation of service since they were engaged for the whole year with the hotel receiving tourists throughout the year.
The judge said the workmen were engaged by the TTDC management and were continuously serving for several years ranging from seven to 16 years as on date.
The hotel was not justified in contending that as per the service regulations, workmen were not qualified. “If any of the workmen is not able to perform his duties which are technical in nature, which requires special skill, it is open to management to engage him in an appropriate post in which he is having experience and skill and no workman shall be denied permanency on the ground of want of qualification,” judge added.