Analysis of the Industrial Dispute Cases in Manufacturing Industry

By Garima Saxena, 3EA
Analysis of the Industrial Dispute Cases in Manufacturing Industry

On January 22, 2014 a Judgement was passed on a case, which actually happened in 2009, in the High Court of Judicature for Maharashtra. The case was between Sandeep Mahajan and PARI Robotics Ltd. The case was presented by Mr. R.R. Deshmukh for the appellant and Mr. Rajesh Kulkarni for the respondents under the judgement of Chief Justice Mr. Amit Roy.

Sandeep Mahajan was a Senior Assistant in the Store Department and was placed in Shirwal Plant of PARI Robotics Ltd. The charges that were actually implied on Sandeep Mahajan was-
1. Use of abusive language for superior employees.
2. Disorderly behaviour with your colleagues in the office during office hours and thereby committing acts subversive of discipline.
3. Assaulting and threatening superior employee of the Company within the mine premises.
4. Wilful violation of Standing Orders.

The above charges are based on the following allegations-
It was reported in writing by the colleagues that Mr. Sandeep was in habit of exhibiting disorderly behaviour and using abusive language in the office during the office hours for superiors. He was also in the habit of castism and other unwanted affairs in the office and when the colleagues advised him to stop such actions he became angry and started threatening them.

One day, while on duty, he even abused General Manager of the location and when stopped by Sandeep Yagnik, Shyam Manohar and Dinesh Daglia (colleagues of the appellant) he became angrier and started abusing them. Thereafter, he took a paper weight in his one hand and single punch in the other hand and rushed to beat them. Thereafter, these employees submitted a written complaint against him for necessary action. Since, these allegations were of serious nature, the undersigned decided to meet with Mr. Sandeep and enquire about the incident.

After the incident the order of suspension was signed and handed over to Shri R. C. Rastogi, Manager (Materials) for serving the same to Mr Sandeep, but he refused to accept the order and when Mr Rastogi forced him to accept the order he attacked him and threatened him and his family members of dire consequences.

Thus, he was guilty of committing the acts of misconduct as mentioned above. This amounts to acts of misconduct in accordance with Certified Standing Orders under Clause No.(18), (22), (28) & (36). The Disciplinary Authority on a consideration of the materials on record available pertaining to the issue terminated his services. An industrial dispute was raised and eventually, the same was referred to the learned Labour Court.

The learned Labour Court held the domestic enquiry to be invalid. It, however, on a consideration of the fact that during the 12 years of his services, the appellant had been administered caution only once and that not even a minor penalty had been awarded to him and therefore interfered with the penalty of termination and supported the argument by saying that the termination of service would result in irreversible financial crisis for him. Further the order of the learned Labor Court is challenged in the High Court which passed the following order. All the witnesses produced by the prosecution in quite unambiguous terms stated that the workman used abusive language for higher officials and for his colleagues.

From reading of the statements which are part of the record, court satisfied that the workman used most abusive and derogative language for his senior officers and other colleagues. Court reached to conclusion that the workman was guilty of grave misconduct. The indiscipline to the extent for which the workman is found guilty deserves to be dealt with seriously. Under Section 11-A of the Act of 1947 a discretion is vested with Labour Court in interfering with quantum of punishment awarded by the disciplinary authority where the workman is found guilty of misconduct.

The High Court on the other hand supported the order by saying that they have duly considered the pleaded facts and other materials on record. A bare look into the charges levelled against the appellant and proved in a domestic enquiry, held to be fair and valid. He even threatened his superior employees in wilful violation of the standing orders.


Hindustan Zinc Ltd. is India's largest and world's second largest zinc miner. It is a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Pvt. Ltd. Company. Company operates through segments which includes mining and smelting of zinc, lead, silver. Its zinc-lead smelters include Dariba Smelting Complex, Chanderiya Lead-Zinc Smelting Complex. HZL has operations in over seven sulphuric acid plants, a silver refinery plant and five captive power plants in the state of Rajasthan, India. The Company also has wind power plants in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. It has workforce of 7000 employees in which 1700 are business professionals from different educational background.

Hindustan Zinc Limited was incorporated from the erstwhile Metal Corporation of India on 10 January 1966 as a Public Sector Undertaking. In April 2002, Sterlite Opportunities and Ventures Limited (SOVL) made an open offer for acquisition of shares of the company; consequent to the disinvestment of Government of India's (GOI) stake of 26% including management control to SOVL and acquired additional 20% of shares from public. It has 3 different operations division:

1) Mines: HZL has 5 zinc mines in Rajasthan. The ore is extracted then crushed and milled before undergoing a flotation process, to produce the concentrate. Zinc and lead concentrates produced are transferred to our smelters. The tailing generated due to beneficiation of ore are stored in specially constructed tailing dam which is considered as the most compatible on-site storage facility for long term disposal of tailings. 4 out of 5 mines are certified with various certifications like ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007, SA 8000:2008 & 5S.

2) Smelters: HZL has 3 working smelters each has capacity of 210,000 MT per annum. All these 3 smelters have certifications like ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 & 5S

3) Power: HZL have thermal captive power plants at Chanderiya, Dariba and Zawar, with power generation capacity of 474 MW. HZL also have 35.6 MW of diesel generation capacity and 35.4 MW of power generation capacity from waste heat recovered from roasters. All the waste heat projects are registered under the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation as a source of renewable energy.

Precision Automation and Robotics (PARI) Technologies is amongst the largest global automation companies with over 97+ employees and 8 facilities worldwide. Company began its operations in 1990's. PARI provides its services in 3 broad categories:

1) Business Offerings:
This division manufactures robotics machines according to the need of the User. This division is also responsible for capturing and understanding customer's needs, manufacture equipment's according to the requirement, testing and deployment of the equipment and also the post sales service support.

2) Application Expertise:
It deals with the automated manufacturing of the equipment's like automated machine tending, welding and assembly, automated thermal cutting, gauging and measurements, etc.

3) Standard Products:
This division manufactures products like Standard Articulated Robots, Gantry Robots, Portal Robots, design and build integration components like transporters, trunnions, auxiliary axis, robotic enclosures and end term tooling, etc.

There are four theoretical perspectives concerning industrial relations: a) unitary b) pluralist c) radical and d) trusteeship. These theoretical perspectives explain the attitude of employers towards conflict & trade unions and that of workers towards employers.

Unitary Perspective says that employers see conflicts and trade union formation as irrational. It is the responsibility of the employer solely to decide the operations of the company and ways to deal with employees. Pluralist perspective is based on the notion that a system is comprised of different individuals, each with its own interests, objectives and leadership. Radical Perspective views conflict as unavoidable in a capitalist system and those trade unions should not fall prey to the whims and demands of employers. As opposed to radical perspective, trusteeship perspective propagates that a company's responsibility is serve to its consumers, workers, shareholders and the community.

To this case, the theoretical perspective that largely applies is the pluralist perspective. Such a composition of individuals in a system leads to tensions and competing claims which should be tactfully handled to foster collaboration amongst all. In pluralism, the system is divided into management and workers. Conflicts between the two parties are considered unavoidable and necessary. Each party can exercise economic as well as political power influencing job control, rules and regulations governing the workplace. For instance, workers can organise themselves into unions to safeguard their interests like safe working conditions, minimum wages, etc and through mechanism of collective bargaining, the workers and management can resolve issues.

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Article by: Garima Saxena, 3EA