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HC Puts Brakes on NLC Unions' Protest

Published: 06th September 2014 06:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2014 06:17 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court restrained the various labour unions and other agencies from proceeding with any mode of agitation at the government-run power company Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).

Justice R S Ramanathan granted the injunction while passing interim orders on a writ petition from the NLC, by its chief general manager (HR) M Maheswaran, on Friday. The matter will be taken up on October 7.

The injunction applies to labour unions and agencies affiliated to LPF, ATP, CITU, PTS, INTUC, LLF, TVS and AITUC among others.

According to the petitioner, in the conciliation proceedings conducted earlier, a settlement under Section 12(3) of the Industrial Disputes (ID) Act had been reached, wherein the workmen undertook not to resort to any agitational activities during the operation of the settlement and not to raise any demand for wage raise till October 30, 2015. While so, the unions declared that their members would strike work from 10 pm on September 3. The strike announced was illegal for the reason that no notice of 14 days was given before the strike.

The NLC is a ‘public utility service’ in terms of Section 2(n) of the ID Act as well as by the declaration issued by the Central government. In terms of Section 22(1), no person employed in a public utility service shall go on strike in breach of the contract, petitioner contended.

The strike will be neither in the interest of the country, nor in the interest of the employees themselves. It will badly affect the regular working of the mines and power generation. On any consideration, it is essential that the larger interests of the nation should prevail, the petitioner added.

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