Explore an in-depth analysis of employers’ unfair labor practices, laws, and remedies under the 1947 Industrial Disputes Act. Learn about discrimination, exploitation, wage theft, retaliation, legal recourse, collective bargaining, and landmark judgments in this comprehensive blog post.

Unfair Labor Practices: An Analysis of Employers’ Unfair Labor Practices, Laws, and Remedies Under the 1947 Industrial Disputes Act.

Introduction

The Unfair labor practices are a significant problem that not only affects workers in many industries and regions but also the economic growth of the country. A healthy relationship between an employer and employee will boost the revenue and profit of the Industries, but when the relationship between the two are not fair and there is disputes such as remuneration, job security, minimum wages, health and safety, social security, and working time.  Therefore, any form of violation of such laws by employers or unions is termed unfair labour relations. To ensure and prevent such disputes and for the welfare of labourers or workmen and their employers, the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 came into force.

Analysis of Employers' Unfair Labor Practices

In this blog post, will try to see what are different type of Unfair labor Practices, done by employers, the practices which are recognised by law as unfair practices, analysing the tactics employer and trade union, will look into the action against unfair practices and the landmark Judgment in relation to practices which are considered as unfair.

Different Kinds of Unfair Practices

Unfair employment practises can take numerous forms, and many of them are regarded unethical and unfair. Some of the most prevalent forms of unfair labour practises include discrimination, exploitation, wage theft, and retaliation.

  • Discrimination :- When an employer treats a worker unfairly because of their race, gender, age, religion, handicap, or sexual orientation, this is considered discrimination. It is a type of bias that can result in uneven opportunities and a hostile workplace environment.
  • Employee exploitation is another sort of unfair practise in which businesses exploit their employees by enforcing forced unpaid breaks, unpaid overtime, or allocating them to dangerous or unpleasant activities without enough remuneration.
  • When an employer intentionally fails to give any of its employees the entire amount of money due for labour completed, it is considered wage theft.
  • Retaliation:- This situation arises if an employer try or punishes a worker for participating in a action which are against the interest of employer (protected action), such as submitting a complaint against unfair treatment or their employer, this is considered retaliation. Many and various types of retaliation are possible, by the employer against the employee including getting demoted, fired, or given a less desirable job.

Practices Which are Recognized as Unfair

Labour laws and regulations have reduced unfair labour practises and protected employees from them, such as the Trade Union Act of 1926, the Factories Act of 1948, and the Minimum Wage Act of 1948.

The Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1982’s Fifth(V) Schedule, Section 2(r), defines unfair labour practises. Unfair labour practises were included in the Fifth Schedule of the Act, and Sections 25-T and 25-U provided remedies. Section 25-T addresses illegal unfair labour practises. It indicates that an employer or worker may not participate in actions that are detrimental to the welfare and tranquilly of the employers and workers. This Section also covers the registration and deregistration of labour unions. Unfair trade practises are punishable by jail, fine, or both under Section 25-U.

Practices Adopted by Both the Employer and Trade Union

The Industrial Dispute Act of 1947 forbids unfair labor practices by both employers and trade unions. Employers are not allowed to forbid workers from forming or joining unions, to harass or control them, to refuse to promote them, to assign work to contractors, to maliciously transfer workers, to refuse collective bargaining, to discriminate against an employee who reports a false or illegal practice, to pay less in wages, or to fire workers who belong to any union.

The trade unions are also forbidden from instigating and supporting unlawful strikes, employing criminal force, not caring about the welfare of its members, denying collective bargaining, breaking into the homes of employers, urging members to destroy industrial property, and enforcing illegal strikes.

Action and Mechanism to Stop Unfair Labour Practices

Legal action, advocacy, and education can all be used to put an end to unfair labor practices. And the mechanisms are used by Industries and employees for dealing with and preventing unfair labor practices:

Legal Recourse: Labor rules and regulations are frequently violated by unfair labor practices. Employers who engage in these tactics may face legal repercussions. This can involve submitting a complaint with the appropriate government agency or going to court.

Collective Bargaining: This procedure is more favorable since legal action may be time-consuming and expensive. Collective bargaining aids in the discussion of problems such as pay, benefits, and working conditions between an employer and a group of employees. Employees have higher negotiating power and can prevent unfair labor practices when they operate as a group.

Education and Awareness: Educating employees on their rights, as well as the laws and regulations that safeguard those rights, can aid in the prevention of unfair labor practices. Employers that know their employees are aware of their rights and alert about them are less likely to participate in unfair actions.

Landmark Judgment

In a significant decision known as Devendra Kumar C. Solanki v. State of Gujarat and Others, the Gujarat High Court declared that non-permanent employees doing the same tasks as permanent employees need to be paid equally. According to the court, the pay disparity between permanent and non-permanent employees constituted an unfair labor practice under section 2(ra) of the Act. The court looked at the workers’ hourly rates and determined that both permanent and temporary employees worked the same number of hours. However, the court determined that this was discriminatory because of the large income disparity.

In Regional Manager, SBI v. Mahatma Mishra, 2006, the respondent had been hired on a temporary basis for 88 days, although his employment had already been terminated. The Labor Court determined that this dismissal qualified as unfair labor practices. Although the respondent was hired on a temporary basis, the court determined that because he was let go before serving out his whole term, his termination was permanent rather than casual. It was determined that the management’s decision to terminate the respondent’s employment early constituted unfair labor practices.

Conclusion

To put it briefly, unfair labor practices are a major issue in workplaces across the globe, with many workers enduring pay theft, discrimination, harassment, and retribution. These practices may have a substantial influence on the lives of workers, resulting in poorer job satisfaction, lower salaries, and even termination. Employers are responsible for providing a safe and fair workplace for their employees, and it is critical for workers to understand their rights and speak up when they are being treated unfairly. It is impossible to establish a complete or conclusive test of Unfair Labor actions, but any actions that contravene the directive principles of state policy stated in Article 43 of the constitution, as well as other laws imposed under delegated legislation, are considered unfair labor practices. An industrial disagreement must be resolved via cooperation, compromise, and a willingness to come to an amicable agreement. Both parties can strive toward a solution that is advantageous to everyone concerned by developing open communication, recognizing the concerns, engaging in good faith negotiation, seeking mediation, and, if required, arbitration or adjudication.

References

C.B. Mamoria, Satish Mamoria & P. Subba Rao, Dynamics of Industrial Relations (16th ed., Himalaya Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai, 2021)

O.P. Malhotra, The Law of Industrial Disputes – Vols. I & II (7th ed., LexisNexis, New Delhi 2015).

Unfair labour practices, What is human resource, (April 14, 2023)

https://www.whatishumanresource.com/unfair-labor-practices.

C.B. Mamoria, Satish Mamoria & P. Subba Rao, Dynamics of Industrial Relations (16th ed., Himalaya Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai, 2021)

O.P. Malhotra, The Law of Industrial Disputes – Vols. I & II (7th ed., LexisNexis, New Delhi 2015).

Regional Manager, Sbi V. Mahatma Mishra, [2006] (11) SCALE 258

Devendra Kumar C. Solanki v. State of Gujarat & ORS. [2015] III LLJ 493 (GUJ)

Author Bio

Qualification: Student- Others
Company: N/A
Location: Ahemdabad, Gujarat, India
Member Since: 23 Apr 2023 | Total Posts: 1

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