The department of Labour and Employment has strongly refuted the CPM allegations, in which they have blamed that employees would be registered only after approval from CEO of the concerned establishment.

Department termed allegations completely false, baseless and contrary to the factual reality and clarified that the Labour Commissioner had never suggested approval of any CEO because the trade unions are registered only under the provisions of Trade Unions Act, 1926, which was the statutory requirement.

Spokesperson on department said a total of 19 unions were registered during 2012-13 whereas 17 unions had already been registered in two quarters of year 2013-14. As regards registration of workers union of J.P Cement Plant, he said that registration of Unions was done on the basis of verification conducted by the respective Labour Officer/Labour Inspector in the field on record basis. Hence, verification was not done by the Labour Commissioner directly.

Department also refuted allegation that the Labour Commissioner had challenged the authority of the High Court by not acting on decision taken allegedly during Lok Adalat in December last. He clarified that no such decisions of the Court or of the Lok Adalat had ever been brought on record either by CPM or the applicants for workers union or any other person/organization. The issue was raised with regard to certain industrial disputes between workers and the management of the Dharam Pal Satya Pal (manufacturers of catch water) at Kullu.

The Labour Officer, Kullu held several conciliations on the issue and at no point was any decision taken during the Lok Adalat or by the High Court brought to the notice of the officers of the department. In fact, the Labour Officer, Kullu had written a letter to CITU office bearers asking to give a copy of decision taken by Lok Adalat.

He said that it was also not true that the Labour Commissioner was refusing the registration of union of workers though eight months had passed. He said an objection was submitted by the management of JPC cement Plant which was properly investigated and after legal opinion from the Labour Department; the issue had been forwarded to the Principal Secretary (L&E) on 20th Sep.2013 to take legal advice from the Law Department.

Regarding Catch Workers Union, he said there was an issue whether workers engaged through third party contractors could be defined as workers of the establishment. With the general consent of the General Secretary of CITU, the issue had been referred to the Law department.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.