*Strike declared illegal by Central Regional Labour Commissioner
*Employees participating in strike liable to face disciplinary action
*Plant management issues Circular not to go on strike
Bhilai, Nov 24: Some of the trade unions have given a notice of strike on 26 November. 2020. According to the memorandum sent by the Unions, majority of the issues/demands are related to Central/State Government policies and Corporate Office, SAIL New Delhi on which no decision can be taken at Bhilai Steel Plant level. Bhilai Steel Plant has a long and glorious tradition of industrial peace and harmony. The BSP collective is destined to attain greater heights and all as such all employees are expected to put in optimum efforts for attainment of the same. All efforts must be directed towards achieving higher production/productivity during the present critical period of financial crunch. The call for ‘Strike’ is thus, against the interest of the plant and its employees. It may be noted that RLC (C), Raipur, has seized the issues of strike call in conciliation under ID Act 1947. Government of India has declared Iron & Steel Industry as ‘Public Utility Service.’ Therefore under the provisions of ID Act 1947, during pendency at conciliation proceeding, going on strike is illegal. Plant management has apprised employees that absence from duty on 26th, November, 2020, will be deemed to be participating in the strike and for such unauthorized absence, in addition to deduction of wages, the employees would be liable for disciplinary action under the provisions of Standing Orders (Plant/Mines), HSL Discipline & Appeal rules and other applicable rules of the Company. Further, employees are advised not to hinder or forcefully stop/obstruct any employee from entering the plant premises. Such activities will be viewed as indiscipline and necessary disciplinary action will be taken. Plant management has appealed to all employees to maintain the work culture in Bhilai, and attend to their duties on 26th November, 2020 while contributing effectively towards production and productivity. Plant management has issued Circular vide Rules – 97/2020 which states that Employees are advised not to participate in any non-official meeting within the Works premises without prior written permission of the management or paste posters etc. in the company’s Works and Estate. Further, employees are appealed not to hinder or forcefully stop/obstruct any employee from entering the plant premises. Such activities will be viewed as indiscipline and necessary disciplinary action will be taken. All leave sanctioning authorities have been informed that leave to employees working under them may not be sanctioned for 26th November, 2020 (for that date only) and if already sanctioned for that date only, leave may be cancelled. Further, sanction of any leave later for 26th November, 2020, on medical grounds, is to be done only on production of medical certificate from Competent Authority and not on self-certification basis.
Any court has not declared the strike illegal: TUs
The strike has not been declared illegal by any court, asserted the leaders of Trade Unions participating in the strike. The union leaders have stated that there is no need for the workers to panic. CITU leaders said that there is no need to panic from the circular issued by the management as the management in the circular has only informed that being absent on the 26th would be considered to be participation in the strike. It cannot be considered as indiscipline till any court declares this strike as illegal. Since no court has declared the strike on 26th November as illegal, therefore participation in this strike will not come under the purview of indiscipline under the standing order.
Union leaders stated that the workers are firm on their decision of participating in the strike. CITU leaders stated that the employees of Bhilai Steel Plant, especially the young workers, are adamant for the strike. The prime reason behind the anger of workers is the arbitrary working of the management. The workers are also realizing when the laws are in place, the management is working in arbitrary manner, then what will happen the after the implementation of anti-labour provisions of Labour Codes.