Chennai: In a May Day gift to the working class, the Madras High Court yesterday made it clear that denying any union member entry to the union office inside the workplace premises amounts to denial of Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) to (c) of the Constitution and statutory rights guaranteed under the Trade Unions Act.
Justice D Hariparanthaman stated this while rejecting the petition of the management of Tamil Nadu Petroproducts Limited Heavy Chemicals Division that allowing entry to P Anburajaaraman, vice-president of the employees union, facing suspension and departmental enquiry, would create disturbance to industrial peace.
“The action of the management would amount to unfair labour practice as defined under Section 2(ra) read with clause 1 and 9 of the Fifth Schedule of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947.
There is no statutory prohibition of commission of unfair labour practice under Section 25-T of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947,” the judge said.
The petitioner first filed a writ petition challenging the March 12, 2013 suspension order and sought to quash it.
Since a charge-sheet was issued and departmental enquiry was completed, he confined his prayer for a direction from the court to permit him to the union office to discharge his union activities.
The management, which refused him permission inside the premises, in its counter affidavit alleged that allowing him would cause disturbance to industrial peace.
The judge rejected this contention and pointed out that the charge-sheet did not mention riotous misbehaviour, but that he was practising siddha, Yoga and and Varmakala while in employment, which as per the standing orders of the company amounted to misconduct.
The judge directed the management to permit the petitioner to discharge his union activities.