In case a contract workman is paid less than the wages payable to a similarly placed workman by the principal employer, the TN Contract Labor Rules, 1975, has a remedy under Rule 25(v)(a). Quoting the rules, the Madras High Court held that in such circumstances, it was for the registering authority to go into the question as to whether the workman employed by the contractor performed the same or similar kind of work, as the workman directly employed by the principal employer.
The case :- In the present case before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, the writ petitioner, Mr A. Victor, prayed for the issuance of writ of mandamus directing the respondents (Executive Director, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Tiruchi; General Manager, Human Resources, BHEL, Tiruchi; and Special Officer, BHEL Complex, Co-op Labor Contractor’s Society), to implement the circular dated July 28, 2005, issued by R-1 (BHEL, Corporate Office, New Delhi 110 049) and to revise the wages to employees who were working as contract labor through the labor contract society.
Mr Justice K. Chandru, who heard the petition, noted that the petitioner was working on contract and his service had been lent by the society. It was the contention of the petitioner that equal pay for equal work would apply and persons doing similar work must get the same wages.
In the counter-affidavit of R-3 (GM, Human Resources, BHEL) the locus standi of petitioner from claiming any amount more than what was fixed by the BHEL head quarters was disputed.
It was also stated that the petitioner was not directly employed by them, and the impugned circular was the internal circular between the headquarters and the unit. In any event, in case where a contract workman was paid less than the wages payable to a similarly placed workman by the principal employer, the Act itself had provided for a remedy.
In the light of the same, the writ petition was clearly not maintainable and hence, it stood dismissed.
The dismissal of the petition would not dis-entitle the petitioner from approaching the appropriate forum under law.