CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has vacated its interim order which restrained the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) Limited from deducting six days wages from the salaries of workmen who had participated in a strike in July last and abstained from work.
The fact remains that the workmen went on strike in spite of an order passed by the High Court restraining them doing so. “It prima facie appears that the workmen had unleashed terror in the township and there has been damage to public property apart from the vehicles owned by the management and its executive. The life of the public in the area was in peril.” “Given these hard facts, this court is of the firm view that the petitioners have failed to make out any prima facie case. The balance of convenience is also not definitely in their favour,’’ the judge said.
By an order dated November 3, the NLC management deducted six days wages of the workmen for participating in the strike from July 20 to 27 last. The CITU NLC Labour and Staff Union moved the High Court, which on November 27 stayed the operation of that order.
When the matter came up last week, the NLC filed its counter and after going through it and satisfying himself that the management had made out a case, the judge vacated the stay on NLC’s wage cut order.
In any event if there is a wage cut and there is a challenge to the same and ultimately if the workmen succeed in the challenge, the action of the management imposing the wage cut is reversible. Therefore, it is not a situation where the “clock cannot be put back”, the judge also said and posted the main petition for January.