The court of the Additional Labour Commissioner (ALC) rejected an application by Bellsonica Auto Component India Pvt Ltd, an automobile parts and components manufacturer, which had dismissed 40 workers for registering a union in October last year.
The company had filed an application to seek approval for the dismissal of these workers, which was rejected by the court on the grounds that it had failed to comply with the law.
The dismissed workers had submitted a demand notice to the company and, therefore, the company was required to take the approval of the competent authority, the additional labour commissioner (ALC) in this case, for their dismissal.
The ALC, in his order, said the company had failed to comply with the provisions of Section 33 (2) (b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 which is mandatory for the approval of the dismissal. Failure to comply with any provision would, by itself, amount to the order of dismissal being void and inoperative, stated the order.
The ALC also said the company’s approval application did not contain the mandatory domestic inquiry report and that it chose to file the application at the labour commissioner’s office in Chandigarh despite the office of the authority concerned being in Gurgaon.
In his recent order, the ALC also noted that the workers were dismissed the very day they registered the union and how this fact “cannot be accepted as mere coincidence”.
On October 10 last year, the company had suspended nearly 45 workers and finally dismissed 40 of them in February. Monu Kohar, legal advisor to the workers, said, “The workers did not do anything illegal and only applied to form a union. They were dismissed without valid reasons.”
In November last year, the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Circle-II, Gurgaon, had also written to the Labour Commissioner stating that the company’s senior management had not attended any mediation meetings or produced any evidence in support of the charges against the suspended workers.