Coop factory worker who was sacked due to political leanings gets his job back

Eight years ago,Ravindra Taware,a cooperative sugar factory employee,paid with his job for having differing political leanings from his boss.

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published: March 11, 2009 1:58 am

Eight years ago,Ravindra Taware,a cooperative sugar factory employee,paid with his job for having differing political leanings from his boss. He was fired despite putting in over 20 years of service for the cooperative because he had supported and worked for Ajit Pawar,against the candidature of factory chairperson Chanderrao Taware in the assembly election of 1999 in Baramati.

The decision has been overturned and the city labour court recently re-instated Ravindra Taware along with back wages,bonus and other allowances. According to his lawyer,Santosh Mhaske,the money owed to Taware is between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.

It was in 2001 when things took an unfortunate turn for Taware after he was appointed by the workers’ union as the director to represent them on the factory board. But Taware’s political leanings did not inspire confidence with the management.

A few days after he approached the management to join the board of directors,he was served with a suspension notice on the grounds of dereliction of duty and disobedience. On January 23,2001,when Taware approached the management with a union letter supporting his nomination as the worker’s director,the management first ignored his petition. Soon after his supervisor filed a report saying that he had neglected his duties. On January 27,Taware was suspended from work.

“Chanderrao Taware,chairman of the respondent sugar factory contested the assembly election in 1999 as an independent candidate and as contended by the complainant (Ravindra Taware) he worked for his rival Ajit Pwar. Subsequently both leaders also contested the gram panchayat elections and the complainant was on the side of Ajit Pawar. That may be why Chanderrao Taware did not allow the complainant to sit with the board of directors as workers’ director,” said the labour court ruling.

Citing reasons for calling the suspension of the complainant (Taware) suspect,the court has observed that the cooperative did not call for Taware’s response. “Even otherwise the misconduct mentioned in the report of the overseer was not so serious in nature to suspend complainant immediately,that too without calling for his explanation. It appears that the entire episode was created by the respondent (the sugar cooperative) when the complainant (Taware) was appointed/nominated as a workers’ director,” the court said in its ruling. It has called the company’s decision “shockingly disproportionate.”

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