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Including the excluded : A study of the impact of contract labour

Including the excluded : A study of the impact of contract labour






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    Including the excluded : A study of the impact of contract labour Including the excluded : A study of the impact of contract labour Document Transcript

    • Including the Excluded 
    • Members of the Study Team Adv. Shrikant Dharap Senior Advocate, Bombay High Court, Senior functionary of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) for the last over three decades Tel. 91 22 26478754 Mobile 9821471767 Adv. Vinay Menon Advocate, Bombay High Court Yashwant ThakarAdvisor, RMP’s Centre for Development, Planning and Research Suryakant Paranjape Senior Functionary, BMS and Bharatiya Shramshodh Mandal Documentation Consultants Pulind Samant, Mumbai Niranjan Welankar, Vasai Project Coordination Mrudul Bapat, Project Officer, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, Mumbai
    • Including the Excluded A Study of the Impact of Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 S M Dharap Advocate, Bombay High Court Mumbai Office: 17, Chanchal Smurti, G.D. Ambekar Road, Opp. Shriram Industrial Estate, Wadala, Mumbai - 400 031. Tel: 022 - 2416 6966 / 2418 5502, Fax: 022 - 2415 6725. RMP - KEC:Keshav Srushti, Essel World Road, Uttan Village, Bhayander (West), Thane - 401 106. Tel: 022 - 2845 0101, Fax: 022 - 2845 0106 Website: http://www.rmponweb.org Including the Excluded 
    • Including the ExcludedA study of the Impact of Contract Labour(Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970© Rambhau Mhalgi PrabodhiniAll Rights reserved.By: S. M. Dharap, Advocate, Bombay High CourtPrice : Rs. 150/-Publication No.: Gen./ B / Eng. /71 / 2012-13(1)ISBN 978-81-903837-5-2Date of Publication: April 30, 2012Publisher:Anand ShidhayeRambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini17, Chanchal Smruti, G. D. Ambekar Marg,Opp. Shriram Industrial Estate, Wadala, Mumbai- 400031Tel. + 91 22 2413 6966, 2418 5502 Fax: + 91 22 2415 6725E-mail: publications@rmponweb.orgWebsite: http://www.rmponweb.orgPrinted at:Rachana MudranDadar, Mumbai.Tel. +91 22 24124410Designed by:Reflections,Mumbai.Tel. 9820130094 Including the Excluded
    • ContentsS. No. Topic Page No. 1. List of Tables 4 2. Preface 5 3. Background 7 4. Chapter I: Research Design 9 5. Chapter II: Literature Review 12 6. Chapter III: Case Law and the Role of Judiciary 23 7. Chapter IV: Data Analysis 34 8. Chapter V: Views of Trade Unions 62 Chapter VI: Views of Law Practitioners, Consultants & 9. 70 Educationists 10. Chapter VII: Conclusions 73 11. Chapter VIII: Recommendations 76 Annexure I: Contract Labour 12. 78 (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 Annexure II: Conclusions of Workers Symposium 13. on Policies and Regulations to Combat Precarious 91 Employment (Geneva, 4 – 7 October 2011) 14. Annexure III: Interview Schedules 96 Including the Excluded 
    • List of Tables Sr. No. Title 1. City- wise distribution of respondents 2. Type of Units 3. Types of Management or Ownership 4. Age Wise Distribution of contract workers 5. Education of Contract Workers 6. Number of Dependents 7. Ownership Pattern of Residence 8. Number of Migrants. 9. Periods of Work Distribution of contract workers According to Companies 10. Where They Have Worked 11. Number of Years Working with the current Contractor 12. Nature of Work 13. Engagement in Any Productive/ Main Work 14. Average Wages 15. Wages According to Type of Unit 16. Place Wise Wages 17. Salary Received in Last 3 Years 18. Facilities. (Only Positive Responses) 19. Awareness About the Act 20. Available Staff in the Offices of the Assistant Labour Commissioners 21. Details of Licenses Issued and Number of contract workers 22. Details of Inspections Carried Out 23. Enforcement of Contract Labour (R and A) Act, 1970 (96-00) No. Of Cases Received / Disposed of During the Last Five Years under Rule 25 (2) (v) (a) and (b) 24. of the Contract Labour (R and A) Central Rules, 1971 Relating to Payment of Wages (96-00) 25. Enforcement of Contract Labour (R and A) Act, 1970 (04- 08) No. Of Cases Received / Disposed of During the Last Five Years under Rule 25 (2) (v) (a) and (b) 26. of the Contract Labour (R and A) Central Rules, 1971 Relating to Payment of Wages (03-06) 27. National figures about cases Including the Excluded
    • PrefaceThe Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 (hereinafter referred toas the Act) has been in force for last 42 years. During these 42 long years severalchanges have occurred in the industrial sector. Especially after opening the economyin the early nineties and globalisation, the industrial picture of India has changedcompletely. Adoption of high-tech methods for the production and the quality of theproducts has assumed an exceptional importance, primarily because of the marketoriented business and industrial policies adopted by the Government as well as by thepractices of industrialists/businessmen. It has also extremely affected the employer- employee relations. Output and profitability have assumed greater importance,encouraging some employers to bypass or find loopholes, in the laws enacted forprotection of the interests of the workers, with the sole objective of achieving higherproductivity, which in turn has affected this relationship. One of such laws whichwas passed for the protection of the contract labour was the Act, Contract Labour(Regulation and Abolition) (CLRA) 1970. The decisions by the Courts, in respect ofthis law, are now being used for the purposes contrary to the purpose for which theAct was enacted.Our Constitution, enjoins the responsibility on each of the four factors of production,which should consider each other’s interest in this era of cooperation. However thisshared responsibility has been largely ignored.We met several Trade unionists, lawyers and such other persons who have workedin the field for long time. We tried to analyse and find out as to what is the reason forthis Act becoming impracticable and redundant and whether it should be repealedor amended and if amendment is to be carried out, what can be the basis on whichwe can arrive at relevant conclusions for suggesting amendments or whether afresh legislation should be enacted by incorporating such provisions which can beexpected to fulfil the objects of the Act and also remove its shortcomings.It was thus necessary to approach some leaders of the labour unions, employers’associations, and lawyers appearing on both sides, contractors and contract workersto gather impartial and unbiased information to arrive at relevant conclusions.An approach under Right To Information Act was required to be made whereverinformation from the Government machinery was not readily available.The project was conceived by Adv. Shrikant M. Dharap, a senior lawyer specialising inlabour law, practising in Bombay High Court. He is also one of the senior national levelfunctionaries of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (B.M.S.), a leading labour organisationin India for the last over three decades. He was duly assisted by a team comprisingAdv. Vinay Menon, Yashwant Thakar and Suryakant Paranjape.We must say that our endeavour was not easy one as we found a lot of psychologicalresistance on the part of employers and surprisingly even some unions, in furnishing Including the Excluded 
    • the information sought. Certain employers went to the extent of prohibiting the entryof the researchers of Rambhau Mhalagi Prabodhini.The work was carried out in spite of all such difficulties. Accordingly, a report wasprepared and the conclusions drawn, which are being presented in this report. Wealso would like to make certain recommendations, which are stated separately.The exercise was not undertaken with an objective of finding fault or assigning blame,but only with an earnest desire to ascertain, as to whether, the present Act, with theinterpretations placed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and High Courts have helpedin achieving the objectives of the Act for which it was enacted and if it is so, what arethe other factors responsible for that. While researching the topic from various angles,we did come across a few other similar studies undertaken in the past by differentinstitutions and organisations, which we have taken due cognisance of in the body ofthe report, wherever appropriate.We hope this report serves the cause of the most under previliged and highly neglectedclass of unorganised labour in our country. To that end this report very clearly tries topoint out the gaping inadequacies in the whole system including the Act itself and itspresent day administration.Last but not the least, it is only necessary to thank some people and appreciatetheir effort in making this project a meaningful one. As aforesaid, Adv. Dharap hasbeen the initiator and the leading light throughout. He successfully solicited strongcontributions to the body of the project, through all his team members. Adv. Dharapwas so very keen about the success of this project that he voluntarily took painsto organise some financial support through his personal friends. Some valuableassistance was rendered by some other of his such as members of Labour LawPractitioners’ Association, Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and Pune trade unionists andrepresentatives of employers’ associations and that too at their own costs. We aregrateful to all of them.Vinay SahasrabuddheDirector GeneralRambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini April 30, 2012 Including the Excluded
    • BackgroundThe triggering point of this project was the judgment of the Supreme Court in SteelAuthority of India Case which caused us to refer back to the history, the purpose andthe object of the legislation known as Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act.1970. When we refer to the background of the legislation, which is almost fully coveredin the case of Standard Vacuum Company Vs. Its workmen, 1960 (Supreme Court),which emphasised on the condition then prevailing that in absence of any legislationor rules dealing with the conditions of service of the contract labour, the workers werebeing exploited by the Industrialists.We presume that the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the said judgment, had rightlygiven the guideline to the Government and as a matter of necessity, the Bill cameto be placed in July 1967 before the parliament, which resulted the Contract Labour(Regulation and Abolition) Act of 1970. All the judgments delivered by the SupremeCourt thereafter, right up to the 2001 Case of Steel Authority of India Ltd., werestudied and pondered over, resulting in a disturbed state of mind about not so positiveresults of the decisions reached in respect of this Act. The 1st Case of the SupremeCourt, in 1971, separated the cases under this Act from the coverage of IndustrialDisputes Act 1947, on the ground that the new legislation was a special legislationdealing with the subject matter under the Act and therefore, ousted the jurisdiction ofthe forum under the I. D. Act 1947.Alternative to this machinery was the creation and the formation of the State andCentral Advisory boards which was in the nature of an administrative body which wasmade the sole alternative to the I.D. Act expecting that the machinery of the boardswould resolve all the issues. Strangely, these boards were not given any judicialpowers with a binding effect. This resulted in taking away the rights of the concernedworkmen to approach the Court under any law and who could not knock the doorsof any judicial forum having powers to deal with various aspects arising out of thedispute. The Act more relies on the Government machinery functioning under theDepartment of the Labour which in fact, as our experience goes, is totally inefficient,inadequate and in some cases corrupt.Another case in point and that too of recent origin is that of Jupiter Life Line Hospital,Thane (Arbiter, Jan.’11) had engaged over 500 contract labour in various jobs, 77of whom were engaged through one agency viz. ‘Rare Hospitality Services’ forhousekeeping work, which they had been doing continuously for 5 years, ever since thesaid hospital was established. In March 2009, the said contract labour was transferredarbitrarily to distant places in and around Mumbai. As they were earning betweenRs. 3000 and Rs. 4000 a month, they couldn’t manage the conveyance expenses,consequent to said transfers. They complained to the State Labour Ministry, whoafter going through the facts of the case, abolished the said contract work, but thecomplainant workers lost their jobs, as there was no provision in law, for prohibiting Including the Excluded 
    • the practice as an interim relief on receipt of the complaint or/and for regularisation oftheir services post abolition and. Thus it was a victory in principle for them, but whichbrought along the ‘gift’ of job-loss.All these and such other shortcomings resulted in denial of justice to the workers, uponthe abolition of contract and the regularisation of their employment with the principalemployer and in fact prolonged the dispute where approach was only to the High Court.In the intervening period several judgments show that technicalities crept in, as a resultof which, instead of dealing with the main issue, the Courts got involved in dealingwith the technical issues. This resulted, unfortunately, in keeping aside the main issueof abolition of the employment of contract labour and regularisation with the principalemployer or regulating their conditions of service to a possible extent, whereversuch regularisation was not possible. The classic example is of the judgement of theSteel Authority of India Ltd., where the main issue was as to the definition of theterm “Appropriate Government”. All these exercises undertaken by the SC resultedin the continuance of Contract labour in the same status in which they were placedand denying all hopes of contract workers in getting the status of permanency withthe principal employer. The study of cases also shows that the Courts have deviatedthemselves from the earlier principles laid down by them while interpreting theprovisions of law. The glaring example is of statutory and non-statutory canteens. Thevariation in various pronouncements and the approach of the Courts has, accordingto us, resulted in making the Act redundant or inapplicable. We also thought that theinterpretations made by the Hon’ble Courts, have deviated from the philosophy oflabour jurisprudence, as espoused by the earlier decisions of the Hon’ble SupremeCourt. Including the Excluded
    • Chapter I Research Design1. Objectives of the StudyIn this study efforts are made to find out whether any improvement or changes haveoccurred in the conditions of the contract labour by the implementation of the Actand whether the purposes for which this law was enacted have been fulfilled. Keepingin mind this main objective, following points were proposed to be studied in details,during this survey: 1.1 To find out the present conditions of the contract workers in the context of the Act by visiting and interviewing them and to find out the conveniences and facilities available at their work places. 1.2 To understand the mechanism and methodology of the implementation of the Act. 1.3 To carry out comparative study of the various cases and decisions of the courts thereon in respect of the implementation of the provisions of the Act. 1.4 To examine the roles of the various players in the effective implementation of the Act. 1.5 To study and discuss the deficiencies and shortcomings in the provisions of the Act. 1.6 To consider the utility of the Act and also suggest the improvements required to be made in the Act.2. Scope of the StudyIt covers a limited industrial zone of the Maharashtra state. Industrial areas viz.Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nashik and Aurangabad were selected for this study.Some Government establishments have been included in this study because there isa good proportion of the contract labour in such Government establishments. Thusthis survey is restricted to the workers appointed as contract workers and for whomthe Act is applicable.3. Research Questions and Items of InformationA questionnaire was prepared for interviewing them and was tested prior to actualstart of the survey. The questionnaire was finalised on the basis of the findings of thepre-testing. These contract workers were contacted at the following places: Including the Excluded 
    •  Their actual places of work.  In or out of the premises of work, but at the time of their lunch break or after their work hours were over.  Offices of the trade unions.  Offices of the Assistant Labour Commissioners.  Their residences.The work of contacting these labourers and eliciting information from them was the mostdifficult task of this study. These labourers were afraid that if they provide the informationasked for, they may lose their jobs. They were afraid of the intimidation by the contractors.Hence they were required to be contacted in a number of ways. The method of directinterviews was adopted for collecting necessary information for this survey. The workersfrom large, medium and small scale private industries as well as those from Governmentor Semi-Government establishments were selected for this study. The other constituents related to the Act were also contacted and interviewed withthe help of different FGD checklists designed for the purpose and the data wascollected from them. These constituents include:  Contractors supplying labour.  Industrialists or owners of the businesses.  Officer in charge of administration and welfare in industry / business.  Labour advisors / consultants.  Trade union officials.  Association of employers.In addition, the officials of the Labour Commissioner who are entrusted with the taskof implementation of the Act were also contacted. Discussions were held with theAssistant Commissioners, Government Labour Officers and the Inspectors workingunder them.It was also necessary to obtain authentic information in this context from theGovernment authorities. Offices of the Assistant Labour Commissioners were visiteda number of times and efforts were made to obtain the necessary information. Butwe could not get any response from them. The required information was thereforeobtained by resorting to the Right To Information Act (RTI).In this entire study, the Library Research was also equally important. The literatureavailable in respect of the Act was carefully gone through. Similarly the reports ofthe discussions in the Loksabha in this regard, were also studied. This pilot studybeing related to the Maharashtra State, Labour Policy of the state was also studied.As a part of this study, members of the study team also participated in seminars,symposia, and workshops pertaining to the topic under study.10 Including the Excluded
    • Efforts were also made to collect information about the case studies related to thissubject. For this purpose the offices of the trade unions as well as the AssistantLabour Commissioners and other such authorities were contacted. But except forone case of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) establishment, in no other case-information could be collected for the detailed study. The detailed information of thatcase (PMC) has however been collected.Information about the movements organised by various trade unions in this contextof laws concerning contract labour, the resolutions passed, efforts made for theregulations and various cases raised by them has also been collected for this study.This is because the role of the trade unions was very important for the successfulimplementation of the Act and as such it was obligatory to take a note of the samefor this study.It was also absolutely essential to obtain the details of the decisions of the variouscourts in this regard, for this study. Effort is made for carrying out comparative studyof the main judicial decisions in this matter, during this survey.Besides the above a number of focussed group discussions were also arrangedindependently, with the concerned players.4. Sampling UniverseSampling universe for this study was the contract labours in industrial areas of Thane,Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad cities in Maharashtra.5. Sample Size and MethodIt included views of 571 contract labours from industrial areas of the cities along witha few FGDs of contractors and other key- persons related to labours. For this projectrandom sampling method was used.6. Tools and sources of Data CollectionMajor tool of data collection was the interview schedules for the contract labourrespondents. Mostly primary sources of data were used. Also, to complement theinterview schedules, Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with somecontractors and key persons in order to understand their perspectives.7. Data AnalysisTabular and descriptive analysis of data was conducted. Including the Excluded 11
    • Chapter II Literature Review In order to have a comprehensive approach towards the subject of research areview of the past work in this regard is essential. The past work majorly consists ofwork done at the government level and initiatives of non-government agencies.Firstly let us review the documents produced by the government and alliedorganisations.I. Review of Government DocumentsIt is seen that there are 17 different forms required to be filled in as per the Act. Detailsof the same are given in the Annexure I. It is difficult to scrutinise these large numberof duly filled in forms. The facilities of computerisation available in the offices of thelabour commissioners are greatly insufficient. This is a matter of grave concern.These inadequacies are visible even to any casual visitor to the offices of the labourcommissioners, who are entrusted with the task of implementation of the Act. Thecases for regulation and abolition under this Act are received by the offices of theState and Central Advisory Boards. But owing to the delay in these cases being sentto these boards the contract workers whose cases are referred do not get justice asthey are no longer in the employment of the same contractor. When asked about thenumbers of meetings held by these boards, it was stated that only 74 meetings ofthe Central Advisory Board are held so far. The information about the State Boardmeetings was not available.A special group was appointed in accordance with the recommendations of theIndian Labour Conference (ILC) held on 20-21 February 2009 for the protection of theinterests of the contract workers under the Act. So far 4 meetings of this group havebeen held. The report of this group was expected to be received by 31st December2009. However the report is not readily available.Similarly a Central Industrial Relations Machinery (CIRM) has also been appointedunder the chairmanship of the Chief Central Labour Commissioner. The work ofimplementation of the provisions of the Act has been entrusted to this machinery.But all these arrangements are found to be severely wanting in protection of theinterests of the contract workers.There are a number of provisions in the Act, from registration to issuance of thelicense, after issuance of the license inspection of the industries, to take cognizanceof the complaints when received and cancellation of licenses etc. But becauseof the insufficiency of the implementing machinery, and basically because of the12 Including the Excluded
    • unwillingness on the part of the existing machinery, enforcement of the provisions ofthe Act is not effective, and now that the provision for approaching the courts of lawfor removing the injustice done to the contract workers has not been for in this Act,this machinery has become absolutely toothless.Standing Labour Committee SessionIn the 44 th session of the Standing Labour Committee (2011), the following wasmentioned:As far as the issue of amendments in the Act and its Rules are concerned, a proposalfor the amendments was prepared. However, it was found desirable to have an impactstudy of the proposal on the economy and financial implications for the Central andthe State Governments, including different sectors of production and employmentwhich depend on labour as one of the important input. The V.V. Giri National LabourInstitute, NOIDA was entrusted with the task and they have submitted their studyreport. The report is now being examined by the GovernmentApart from the above, the following resolutions were passed unanimously in the saidsession: i) All efforts should be made to ensure that the existing provisions of the Act and the Rules made there under are implemente in letter and spirit. ii) The labour enforcement machinery in the Centre and the State should be strengthened by providing requisite manpower and other logistic facilities so as to ensure effective implementation of labour related legislations. iii) States are mandated to constitute Tripartite State Advisory Boards under the Act. However, it was pointed out that a number of states do not have such Boards constituted. It was unanimously resolved that such states should be asked to constitute such Boards at the earliest. iv) Payments should be made to the contract workers through banks. Necessary amendments should be made in the Act/Rules.It would be pertinent to take a quick stock of the happenings at the Government levelas regards the subject.Government of Maharashtra Labour PolicyGovernment of Maharashtra came out for the first time, with a proposal (draft) ofits labour policy on 06/11/10. It invited suggestions and objections on the same,from interested parties, whom they addressed as ‘social partners’. The said exercisewas preceded by State level conferences involving all interested parties, under the Including the Excluded 13
    • Chairmanship of Mr. Arun Maira, Member – Planning Commission, Government ofIndia, on 26/08/10 and 27/10/10.It would be interesting to go through some excerpts from the background noteprepared by the Government of Maharashtra, for the purpose of the conference dated27/10/10, which are as below:  Employers favour contract labour as a means to give them flexibility they require in that they do not have to commit to permanent employees and the associated higher non-wage costs, for efficiency, competitiveness, lower wage cost, lack of employer-employee relations. It is argued that lack of any relation between productivity and wages, higher labour cost due to job security, pressure of trade unions to adjust workforce discouraged organised sector to expand employment. These factors are responsible for modernisation, substitution of capital for labour and tendency to employ contract labour to achieve productivity. It is also argued that due to rigid provisions in the Industrial Disputes Act, employers are unable to reduce workforce and hence reluctant to increase strength of permanent employees. Contract labour is one of the principal methods used by employers to gain flexibility in the labour market.  Currently contract labour are being liberally employed to perform even task which are regular, perennial and permanent in nature though the law prohibits employment of contract labour in such activities.A few relevant salient features of the 1st draft policy of the Government of Maharashtra,in the context of contract labour are as follows:  It has acknowledged contract labour as one of the vulnerable groups (page 6) as, “there is a need for targeted protection and assistance to some of the State’s most vulnerable groups including contract workers in both organised and unorganised sectors”.  It has also acknowledged the need for ‘capacity building for dept. of labour’ (page 36) as, “this will require the dept. to be strengthened, revitalised and probably restructured to give full effect to policy intentions and ensure adherence to the principles of good governance”.  It further acknowledges “the need to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the labour inspection services”. (page 37)Based on the suggestions / objections that may have been received in the meantime,the Government came out with the revised draft in 2011, which is yet to be made apolicy. Its salient features in the context, are as follows:  Paragraph 4.1.2 talks about its intention to enforce effectively its earlier mandate under various labour laws about payments to labour through cheque/ bank account only, both in organised and unorganised sectors.14 Including the Excluded
    •  Paragraph 5.1 acknowledges the need for protection to contract labour as, “with more than 93% o Maharashtra’s workers engaged in the unorganised sector and a substantial number working as contract workers, extending protection to these workers poses a major challenge for the Labour Dept. since such workers would be numbering more than 40 million. For these workers, protection is virtually non-existent and the workers are caught in the low wage, low productivity trap where they have no voice, their safety an health considerations are largely ignored and other social security is non- existent”. Paragraph 5.2.1 acknowledges specifically the inadequacy of the Act as, “due to lacuna in the Act, which does not mandate regularising contract workers in case of abolition of contract, the abolition may not necessarily go in favour of the contract workers”. Paragraph 5.2.3 promises to address the issue as, “the Dept. of Labour will facilitate discussions with the social partners with a view to deciding on a model/s that ensure/s both fairness and productivity. It would also work on amendments or legislations that will enable the implementation of the said model/s after being found suitable”. The same paragraph, while discussing the proposed issue of incentivising flexibility by providing a loading factor to compensate contract workers against their loss of certain benefits, also doubts the fundamentals that may have formed the basis of said ‘flexibility’ as, “it is nonetheless necessary to re-examine whether flexibility necessarily results in enhanced productivity and competitiveness. This is because the employers are not incentivised to provide skill-upgrading, training and adequate safety and health provisions to contract workers, which may result in their lower productivity levels”. The same paragraph also comments on the issue of the nature of contract work (under section 10 of the Act) as, “the State would also examine whether it would be appropriate to demarcate activities into core and non-core and limit contract. If however the core and non-core activity demarcation is worked upon, the State shall define the core activity and would prepare a list of no-core activities. Generally, contract labour would not be permitted to be engaged in core activities. However, for sporadic seasonal demand, such employment would be permitted. The non-core services like sanitation, housekeeping, canteen and eatery services, courier services, transport services etc. which are in the nature of support services like running of hospitals, clubs, educational or training institutions, guest houses etc. to be provided by other agencies would be permitted on the following conditions.....”. The same paragraph also proposes as, “the Act should be amended to place the responsibility of payment of all non-wage benefits like bonus, gratuity, provident fund, earned leave encashment benefit, maternity benefit and all other such legal benefits, on the principal employer”. Including the Excluded 15
    •  Paragraph 5.4.2 mentions that the Government is considering amendment to chapter VB of the Industrial Disputes Act, changing its applicability to establishments employing 300 workmen, in place of current 100.  Paragraph 5.4.5 talks about a proposed amendment to Trade Unions Act, by introducing provisions to enable unorganised sector workers to form trade unions, where “the employer-employee relationship does not exist or is difficult to establish”.  Paragraph 5.13.2 acknowledges “the need to prepare a staffing plan (for Labour Dept.) with reference to numbers, levels and deployment to ensure the fullest possible implementation of the labour policy”.  The same paragraph also acknowledges “the need to adopt a systematic and co-ordinated approach to staff training and development, to cater for induction, refresher and upgrading training and preparation of training material for labour officials as well as for the benefit of employers and workers, including establishment of a dedicated training cell within the dept.”.  Paragraph 6.2 comments on the dept.’s proposed computerised Labour Management System viz. ‘Mahashramm’ as, “it would have significant impact on inspections, considerably reducing the requirement of inspections since it will be possible to monitor compliance on on-line basis. Only in case that compliance does not happen, inspection would be required”.Planning Commission Directives The planning Commission also constituted a pan-India working group fordeliberating on future policy directives on the subject of ‘Labour Laws and OtherLabour Regulations, consisting of representatives of all interest groups, in April 2011.The points as regards the topic of contract labour, that figured in the agenda for themeeting of the said working group on 20/05/11, were as under:  Point no. 10 consisted of the matters that can be considered for suitable amendments in concerned statutes. The 3rd bullet point under the same mentioned, “Contract labour shouldn’t be engaged for core production/service activities”.  Point no. 28 mentions, “Regular workers are getting substituted by contract labour, in the on-going process of liberalisation/ privatisation/globalisation. Various studies show differences in wage rates, work hours, holidays, social security applicable to permanent and contract workers. There is a need to have a law to prevent exploitation of contract labour.  Point no. 31 enumerates the matters proposed to be considered for amendment to the Act as, “give effect of same wage rate, working hours, holidays and social security to the contract labour (to be mentioned in the agreement between principal employer and contractor), as available to the16 Including the Excluded
    • regular workers, if the work performed is same or similar. The Act may be made applicable to establishments where the number of contract labour is 10 or more”.Moreover, a private member’s bill (no. XI of 2002) was moved by one Shri RamchandraKhuntia (MP) in the Rajya Sabha where inter alia several proposals for amendmentswere made. It was proposed that the section 10 of the Act should be amended so asto ensure regularisation of the contract workers’ services in a particular establishmentwhere they were found to have been engaged in the tasks/processes/operations thatcould be termed as of perennial nature. Although the said proposal was importantand so much necessary, it has yet to see the light of the day. It appears that this billnow lapsed.CommentsThe readers, after going through the whole quoted text above, can easily noticepractical acceptance by the Central as well as State Governments of the failure oftheir policies as incorporated in the Act and enforcement thereof for last over 40years, with an expression of their intentions to handle things appropriately in future.II. Review of Studies through private initiatives and Other PublicationsWe believed that a study of this volume would attain the state of comprehensivecoverage, by going through similar studies or research papers, articles and otherpublications on the subject, that may have taken place in the past, and acknowledgenotable contributions from there. The relevant excerpts from among the same, arepresented below: i. Study Report by Bharatiya Sharmshodh Mandal, Pune (1996):  It was a peripheral study of contract workers and their socio-economic conditions. It was taken up in Jan-Feb.,’96 in four districts of western Maharashtra viz. Pune, Ahmednagar, Sangli and Solapur. Their observations are reproduced in the following bullet points.  Contract labour which accounts for a significant proportion of the total labour force in the large scale industries, is also the most disgruntled and depressed as well as exploited segment of the workforce.  After independence, the Central as well as State Governments Enacted different legislations and consequent rules and regulations, to safeguard welfare and interests of the labour class. However, the machinery to implement the said legislations and rules thereunder was neither adequate nor vigilant enough to do the same. Including the Excluded 17
    •  Earlier, the operators (permanent workers) used to do the work of cleaning and repairs on their own, but now they refuse to do the same, under the plea of extra effort needed to be put in for increased productivity. Sometimes such jobs involve difficult or extremely unhealthy conditions and grave danger. In order to avoid confrontation with such organised permanent workers, the management, instead of improving the working conditions, resort to engagement of insecure contract labour.  One can understand employers’ interest in creating a rift between the permanent and contract workers or discouraging unionisation of the latter; but it is difficult to understand the reluctance on the part of trade unions to enrol the contract workers in their fold and make a common cause with them.  Under the new economic policy of liberalisation, the employers’ lobby always insists on reduction of costs of their production and services, because they have to sustain themselves in internal/external competition. An employer of a paper manufacturing factory located on the border of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, has been engaging contract labour in the regular production process. He says that if the contract labour system is abolished in Maharashtra and they are made permanent, his costs will increase and then he will not be able to compete with his competitors having their factories across the border, in A.P. Many industries even threaten the respective State Governments to close down their operations if the Act is enforced diligently and go to neighbouring States. Under such circumstances, many State Governments are reluctant to strictly implement the Act. ii. Study Report by Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Navjeevan Samiti on ‘Wages and Work Conditions of Contractual Conservancy Workers’ (April, 2008):  Conducted in two phases. Phase 1 – Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation., Navi Mumbai Mun. Corp. (both Maharashtra); Hubli Dharwad Mun. Corp., Mysore Mun. Corp., Bangalore Mun. Corp., Tumkur, Mandya (all Karnataka); Chennai, Chandigarh, Surat, Udaipur AND Phase 2 – Workers in solid waste management, situation at a glance in 27 urban centres in Maharashtra. Their observations are reproduced in the following bullet points.  Conservancy work is statutory and perennial in nature; contract labour should not be employed for performing the same.  Conservancy work has been taken out of the purview of the Act, in Tamilnadu through an amendment.  Except in Chandigarh, the contract workers are nowhere paid minimum wages. They do not get a single day of leave with pay. In some cases, there is deduction in wages for provident fund, but the proof of the same is not given to them.18 Including the Excluded
    •  In all the urban centres, contract workers are engaged alongside the permanent workers in the same tasks, where the issue of ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ emerges as significant and needs to be addressed. Working conditions are very difficult and compounded by the fact that work with waste is itself hazardous to heath and increases proneness to skin and respiratory infections. Contract workers are not provided any safety gear. There are different patterns of employment. For instance, in one of the corporations, each worker has been treated as a contractor and has to sign an independent contract, evidently in order to circumvent the Act.iii. Contract Labour Act in India – A Pragmatic View, (research paper) by Meenakshi Rajeev (Faculty, Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru): (2009) A primary survey carried out in Karnataka, an industrially developed state, reveals that many of the stipulations made in the Act to safeguard contract labour are not followed in practice. It has been felt by the workers that collusive agreement between the Labour Inspector, the protector of law, and the principal employer and the contractor has aided the violation of law. Among different kinds of employment that have been created in various economies to circumvent labour laws, contract labour is becoming one of the prominent forms. It is revealed through survey that some of the companies maintain more than one register, one for the scrutiny of the labour inspector and other contains the actual figures. Collection of data regarding contract labour is extremely difficult and managements of the firms were often secretive about the number of contract workers employed and the benefits provided to them. Knowledge of high level of corruption in connection with violation of the Act has been reported by 90% of the agencies. It has been reported that government officers have been neglecting their duties towards compliance of the Act for extraneous reasons. There are number of unregistered contract agencies that deduct P.F. contribution from the workers but never deposit the same in P.F. office and after few years change the location and start the same business with different name. There are obvious advantages of being unregistered to its owner as it enables agency to evade taxes, paying P.F., E.S.I. benefits etc. to a worker and thereby increase one’s profit margin. It is the overtime payment through which contractors usually try to generate additional income for themselves by taking advantage of the vulnerability of contract employees. The contract workers interviewed were not very sure of the wage rate for the overtime work. Including the Excluded 19
    •  In Indian case, blame is on the fact that for a contract worker it is not only hard to prove his/her identity as worker under the relevant labour law, but employer- employee relationship is also not easy to establish. iv. Contract Labour in South Asia, (book) by D.P.A. Naidu, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Geneva: (1999)  Employment of contract labour is a long established practice in virtually the entire public sector. Now it is becoming more extensive. Due to the ban on new recruitment by Government, large number of regular posts lie vacant and establishments are rather forced to engage contract labour. Low labour costs, flexibility in the size of labour force and ease of maintaining discipline and extracting work are strong incentives for them to engage contract labour.  In almost all units work done through contract labour includes essential and perennial jobs in the unit. Though law clearly prohibits it, the practice persists and even grows. In majority organizations proportion of contract labour is up to 40% of the work force.  In the name of introducing greater flexibility in the labour market, Government has for the past five years tilted in favour of non-regular modes of employment rather than job security for workers which earlier used to be public policy.  Industrial society has undergone a drastic change over the years in terms of technology, work organization, and human resources. These developments during recent past have posed serious challenge to trade unions. Trade unions are faced with threats of survival in the new economic environment. In this situation, non-governmental and unorganized sector including industries and services engaging large proportion of contract labour need to be focussed upon and their needs to be identified. Where contract labour are unionised, they have been able to make significant gains in respect of prohibiting the contract labour system on essential and perennial jobs, improving wages and securing fringe benefits and a modicum of job security. The gap between wages of contract employees and regular employees is also narrowed to some extent. v. Contract Labour and Judicial Interventions, (book) by Sanjay Upadhyaya, V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, New Delhi. (2009)  Process of globalization, liberalization has resulted in the increase in the trend towards substitution of regular employment by contract employment and this trend is going to continue and grow in future.  One of the major factors responsible for preferring contract labour against the regular employees is the temptation to lower overall wage cost for similar quality and quantity of work.20 Including the Excluded
    •  Poor conditions of work; excessively long hours and very low wages as compared to workers with permanent status doing similar work. Many of the benefits, even the statutory ones, like provident fund, sickness insurance, gratuity, and privilege leave with pay and so on are usually not available to contract workers. Indian state has made different enactments for labour at different points of time to cover various categories of workers including contract labour. However the limitations and constraints of most of these enactments are that majority of these enactments put one kind of ceiling or the other either in terms of number of workers engaged or wages or duration of employment for the purpose of coverage under these enactments. As a result large section of vulnerable group of workers including those working as contract labour is left out of the legislative coverage and protection. Another limitation of these legislative measures is that the various kinds of penalties provided under most of these enactments are quite meagre in nature and the procedures prescribed under most of these enactments for realising various kinds of dues and benefits are quite cumbersome which defeats the very purpose of making elaborate legislative provisions.vi. Contract Labour in India, (book) by Dr. D.C. Mathur: (1989) It is opined that the factors like uncertainly of work-orders, difficulty in ensuring closer supervision by employer, higher output by workers cost effectiveness, flexibility in manpower deployment, concentration in core competencies etc/., justify the system of contract labour. In the name of employment through contractors many employers have tried to evade their responsibilities towards a section of labour which is connected with the manufacturing process and resultant overall development of the industry as well as of the country but the contract worker is an exploited section of Indian working class.vii. Indian Industry Dependent on a Forgotten Workforce by Dibyendu Maiti, Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi: (20/07/2009) In India we observe an increasing use of casual, contract or other such non- regular labour over a time-period. In India’s manufacturing sector surprisingly high levels of contract workers are being used, in some cases, as many as three times the regular workers. The official estimate however, states that, some of India’s key industries such as cement, iron and steel, cotton textile and jute, rely on contract labour. As many as four out of every five workers are contract workers. The official record of industrial statistics puts the share of Including the Excluded 21
    • contract labour in organised manufacturing sector at 15% to 26% across West Bengal and Gujarat states; but research found the share to be much higher, up to 60% to 70% across these states.  But, India’s economic success is not improving the lives of contract and informal workers who form the largest section of the economy and make a major contribution to the country’s global success. viii. No End in Sight to Contract Labour Debate, by Maitreyee Handique (Mon. 3, August 2009; livemint.com/Articles):  At Indian labour conference, employers pointed out that in order to remain competitive firms must be allowed greater flexibility to outsource workers. Employers also said that in changing environment of business a separation of core and non-core activities in not possible and pointed out that China’s contract law does not make such distinction.  In Bharat Aluminium Co. Ltd. (a public sector unit), contract labour has increased from 1500 to 15000 and regular employment decreased from 7000 to 5400. However, the wages of contract labour were Rs. 3000/- to Rs. 5000/- p.m. and regular workers Rs. 12000/- to Rs. 19000/- p.m. Contract workers are also often deprived of benefits such as medical facilities. ix. Impact of Liberalisation on Employment in India, by R.K. Shastry, Ravindra Tripathi and Anushree Singh (International Journal of Technical and Vocational Education, Vol. 2(3) pp33-35: (July 2010)  In Urban India, contract and sub-contract as well as migratory agricultural labours make up the most of the unorganised labour force 90% of this labour force do not have social security and other benefits of employment as in the organized sector.  Harmonisation of labour welfare with the privatisation process is really desirable in the present scheme of things, so as to strike the right balance between economic exigencies and social justice.22 Including the Excluded
    • Chapter III Case Law and the Role of JudiciaryStatement of Object and Reasons of the Contract Labour (R&A) Act 1970.“The system of employment of contract labour lends itself to various abuses, Thequestion of its abolition has been under the consideration of Government for along time. In the Second Five Year Plan, the Planning Commission made certainrecommendations, namely, undertaking of studies to ascertain progressive abolitionof system and improvement of service conditions of contract labour where theabolition was not possible. The matter was discussed at various meetings of TripartiteCommittees at which the State Government were also represented and the generalconsensus of opinion was that the system should be abolished wherever possible orpracticable and that in cases where this system could not be abolished altogether, theworking conditions of contract labour should be regulated so as to ensure payment ofwages and provision of essential amenities.The bill aims at abolition of contract labour in respect of such categories as may benotified by appropriate Government in the light of certain criteria that have been laiddown, and at regulating the service conditions of contract labour where abolition isnot possible. The Bill provides for the setting up of Advisory Boards of a tripartitecharacter, representing various interests, to advise Central and State Governmentsin administering the legislation and registration of establishments and contractors.Under the Scheme of the Bill, the provision and maintenance of certain basic welfareamenities for contract labour, like drinking water and first- aid facilities, and in certaincases rest room and canteens, have been made obligatory. Provisions have beenmade to guard against delays in the matter of wage payment.”Preamble:An act to regulate the employment of contract labour in certain establishments and toprovide for its abolition in certain circumstances and for matter connected therewith.Though the preamble of the Act speaks of abolition in certain cases, the whole of theAct is silent about any reference to abolition, but talks of prohibition of contract labourin certain cases on issuance of notification under S. 10 of the Act. The legal punditsinfer that following the principles of statutory interpretation, the act does not spell outany provision of abolition and absorption of workers but of regulation. This and suchother interpretation makes the whole or major part of the Act redundant and nugatoryin nature. Though the interpretative law says that the statement of object and reasonsas well as the preamble of the Act are not binding while deciding the object of theAct which can be inferred from the actual provisions of the Act, it is suggested that Including the Excluded 23
    • the Courts should also give importance to the history of legislation and the purposefor which the Act is enacted; if not done, the legislation will make the act redundant,useless and  the utility of the rest of the provisions of the Act will be only restrictedto implementation of the Act, which will be entirely in the hands of administrativemachinery.It is clear that the mischief sought to be corrected by the act was that the systemof employment of contract labour lends itself to various abuses and hence workingconditions of contract labour should be regulated so as to ensure payment of wagesand provision of essential amenities, ultimately aiming at, ascertaining progressiveabolition of system of contract labour.If we apply the principles of mischief rule, purposive interpretation and interpretationof a beneficent piece of legislation are applied, the act should be interpreted in sucha manner which will be beneficial to the weaker section which in the present case iscontract labour.Article. 38, 39, 40 and 43(a) Constitution of India, may be useful for interpretation ofthe provisions of the act in favour of contract labour.For the sake of convenience we quote herein below some of the observations on theconstruction of Statue with reference to purpose and object of the Act, reproducedfrom the Book “Principles of Statutory interpretation’ 1“The duty of judicature is to act upon the true intention of the legislature – Mens orsententia legis” 2“If a statutory provision is open to more than one interpretation the court has tochoose that interpretation which represents the true intention of the legislature” 3“Legislation in the modern state is actuated with some policy to curb some public evilor to effectuate some public benefits” 4“The legislation is primarily directed to the problems before the legislature based oninformation derived from past and present experience. It may also be designed by useof general words to cover similar problems arising in future” 5“The intention of the legislature thus assimilates two aspects; in one aspect it carriesthe concept of ‘meaning’ i.e. what the word means and in another aspect it conveysthe concept of purpose and object or reason and spirit prevailing in the statute. Theprocess of construction therefore combines both literal and purposive approach.”1. by Justice G.P. Singh, (Former Chief Justice Madhya Pradesh High Court) (11th Edition 2008)2. J. P. Bansal vs. State of Rajasthan, (A.I.R. 2003 SC 1405)3. Bhatia International vs. Bulk Trading S.A. (A.I.R. 2002 SC. 1432)4. United Bank of India Calcutta vs. Abhijit Tea Company Pvt. Ltd. (A.I.R. 2000 SC. 29575. American Cynamid Co. vs. Upjohn Co. (1970 ) 3 All. E. R. pg 7856. Land acquisition officer and Mandal Revenue Officer vs. Narsaiah (A.I.R. 2001 SC, pg. 1117)24 Including the Excluded
    • “Court should adopt an object oriented approach keeping in mind the principal thatlegislative futility is to be ruled out so long as interpretative possibilities permit” 7Foundation of the Act The judicial world woke up to the plight of such workmen in the case of StandardVacuum Refinery Company Private Limited Versus Their Workmen Standard VacuumRefinery Company Private Limited Versus Their Workmen(1960 LLJ II 233, SC)‘It was concerned with an Award of the Industrial Tribunal, which considered thedemand made by the Union for abolition of contract system of work, where the natureof work was of cleaning and maintenance of machinery. The award was in favour ofworkmen. The said award was challenged by the employer in special leave petitionbefore the Apex Court wherein two issues were raised as to whether such disputeconstitutes an Industrial Dispute under (Sec.2-K) of the Industrial Disputes Act andjustifiability of the tribunal in interfering with the Managements right.The Supreme Court observed that “there was a community of interest betweenthe concerned workers and the workers of employer, who had a substantialinterest in the contractors’ labour. In this Judgment, Supreme Court referred to theobservation of the Royal Commission of the Labour and observed that the complexresponsibility lay down upon it by law and by equity, that the manager should have fullcontrol over the selection, hours of work, and payment of workers”.The Supreme Court observed the system to be primitive and baneful. A reference wasalso made to a discussion of Indian Labour Conference. The other issue regardingjustifiability of the tribunal in interfering with the Managements right was also negatedby the Supreme Court.The Supreme Court observed “so far as this work is concerned it is incidental to themanufacturing process and is necessary for it and of a nature which must be doneevery day. Such work is generally done by workmen in the regular employee of theemployer and there should be no difficulty in having regular workmen for this kind ofwork”.Thus it is clear that the Supreme Court has simply upheld the order of the IndustrialCourt which directed the company to discontinue the practice of getting workdone through contractor’s and to have it done through workmen engaged by itself.Surprisingly there was no justification given by the Industrial Court in holding that theworkman of the contractor could not claim any relief in respect of their past services7. Nathdevi vs. Radha Devi (2005, 2SCC pg. 271) Including the Excluded 25
    • rendered to the company. All that was said was that the company was free to givepreference to the workmen engaged by the contractor.Pursuant thereto a Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 31.7.1967 for regulation andabolition of employment of contact labour. The said bill aimed at abolition of contractlabour in respect of such categories as may be notified by the appropriate governmentin the light of certain criteria that had to be laid down and at regulating the serviceconditions of contract labour where abolition is not possible. The Bill also provided forvarious other things such as establishment of Central and State Advisory boards, onthe basis of whose report, the appropriate government may take a decision of abolitionor regulation of contract labour. The Bill provided for coverage of establishments,employing 20 or more persons. It provided for registration of the principal employerand license for the contractor and also for certain welfare measures.Since then there have been a cartload of Judgements which have reiterated the needof abolishing contract labour but has however not granted any practical relief to thecontract workers. As such, despite the passing of 40 years, after the implementationof the act the plight of the workers continues to be the same. While analysing thecase law, we have referred only to the Supreme Court judgements and not HighCourt judgements, though the latter have also dealt with the issue appropriately, asthe finality rests with the Hon’ble Supreme Court. We also make it clear that in thisanalysis, we have not intended to show any disrespect to it nor is there an intentionto criticise its hon’ble judges or the judiciary in general. This exercise is intended tofind out the reasons for ineffectiveness of the Act in doing justice to the subject viz.Contract labour.Analysis of the Supreme Court Judgements: Post Enactment of the Law:Supreme Court Judgments on the provisions of the Act especially withreference to Section 10 (2) of the Act:1) Vegoils Pvt. Ltd. vs. Its workmen,1971 II LLJ 567. AIR Supreme Court 1972, pg. 1942In this case a reference was made under Section 10 of the I.D. Act for adjudication todecide whether contract labour system should be abolished and whether the workmenengaged by the contractor should be treated as principal employer’s regular employees.The Industrial Tribunal, Maharashtra delivered an award directing the employer, not toengage any labour through a contractor. The claim for abolition was rejected by theTribunal in respect of Canteen Section and directed not to engage contract labour forwork of loading and unloading.The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that “the abolition of contract labour in respect offeeding the hoppers, for the requirements of the solvent extraction plant, is quitecorrect in accordance with the various decisions.26 Including the Excluded
    • The issue whether the Act, which is the Central legislation or the State legislation viz.Maharashtra Mathadi, Hamal and Other Manual Workers (Regulation of Employmentand Welfare) Act would prevail and also the one about the jurisdiction of the Tribunalfor its direction not to engage contract labour, was set aside.Under Section 10 of the Act, the jurisdiction to decide matters connected withprohibition of contract labour is now vested in Appropriate Government.On facts of the case, the Supreme Court directed the enquiry about the regularisation.At that time the Act had received assent on 05/09/1970, which eventually came intoforce from 10/02/1971 and the Mathadi Act was in force from 13/06/1969 at the timeof passing award, by the Industrial Tribunal. The said award by thus set aside bythe Apex Court, in view of the later day development of the Act coming into being(paragraph 44).2) Denanath vs. National Fertilizers(1992 1 CLR 1, 1992 LIC 75, 1992 I LLJ 289)This is a case of non-compliance of section 7 and section 12 by the principalemployer and contractor and the issue involved was whether due to non- compliance,the employees of the contractor are deemed to be the employees of the principalemployer.Paragraph 22 of the Judgment states “it is not for the High Court to enquire into thequestion and decide whether the employment of the contract labour in any process,operation or any other work should be abolished or not. It is entirely in the hands ofthe Government. Therefore under Article 226 of the Constitution the Court cannotissue a writ of mandamus or any writ for deeming the contract as having become theemployees of the principal employer.”In view of the difference of opinion of the various High Courts, after consideration ofthose judgments, the Supreme Court upheld the view that Non Compliance of Section7 of the Act would result only in prosecution.3) Gujarat Electricity Board vs. Hind Mazdoor Sabha and others 1995 1 CLR967.In spite of there being an agreement between the company and the contract labourers’union as regards the service conditions of the members of the latter under section2P read with section 18 of the ID Act and award being declared the Supreme Courtconsidered to give importance to the point of jurisdiction and held that the issue ofjurisdiction of court under ID Act is ousted and a reading section 10 of the Act, it isonly the appropriate Government to decide whether the system of contract labourshould be abolished. Including the Excluded 27
    • The Apex Court for the first time however, observed that the Act was silent on thequestion of status of the workmen of the erstwhile contractor once the contract isabolished by the appropriate government. It also expressed its dismay over the factthat even the public sector undertakings were indulging in unfair labour contractsby engaging contract labour when the workmen can be employed directly. It furtherobserved that economic growth is not to be in terms of production and profits alonebut to be gauged primarily in terms of employment and earnings of the people.4) Air India Statutory Corporation vs. United Labour Union 1997 I CLR 292,1997 I LLJ 113, 1997 (1) LLN 75, 1997 LLR 305It is held that the notification dated 9/12/1976 prohibiting employment of contractlabour was valid in law.Here, the Supreme Court provided clear and specific relief, holding that on abolitionof contract labour system, by necessary implication, the principal employer is understatutory obligation to absorb the contract labour. The linkage between the contractorand the employer stood snapped and direct relationship stood restored betweenprincipal employer and the contract labour as its employees.The Supreme Court further upheld that the High Court under Article 226 of theConstitution can direct the principal employer to absorb the contract labour after itsabolition.There are instances where statutes provide for some welfare measures such ascanteen, etc. Section 46 of the Factories Act, provides that in case where the factoryengages 100 or more workers, the principal employer must make a provision forcanteen. Provisions of Section 46 of the Factories Act came to be considered invarious judgments and ultimately it was held that though the factories Act providesfor a canteen in the factory engaging more than 100 workers it cannot be said to bea regular activity of the principal employer. The employer therefore can give contractof the canteen to the contractor and make a provision of canteen as provided forunder section 46 of the Factories Act. There are cases where contractor continues tobe same for years together but workers are changed or where the workers continuedto be same for years together but the contractors are changed and the third case isthat the contractor and workers continued to be same for years together. The issuewhether the activity is of perennial nature came to be considered for various courts andit was held that since it’s a statutory liability therefore the nature of work is perennial.As regards the status of workmen of contractor it is held that the workmen of thecontractor do not automatically become direct employees of the principal employereven where the registration/licence is cancelled or the contract is abolished.5) In Steel Authority of India Ltd. vs. National Union Waterfront Workers,2001 III CLR 349, 2001 II LLJ 108728 Including the Excluded
    • Though the main issue for consideration was whether for Steel Authority of India,whether the Appropriate Government is the State or the Central Government and eventhough the issue of interpretation of section 10 of the Act was not there, the SupremeCourt while holding that for Steel Authority Of India the Appropriate Government wasthe State Government went ahead and thought of deciding the issue of section 10 ofthe Act.In this case though the issue in respect of contract labour did not directly arise,as there was no specific prayer, the Hon’ble Supreme Court took a stock of variousjudgments on the Act, and in paragraphgraph l04 and 105 considered the previousdecisions. The Supreme Court summarised the decision in various cases in the saidparagraphgraphs. In paragraph 122 of the said Judgment the Supreme Court dealt withthe powers of the appropriate Government u/s 10 of the Act. By this paragraphgraphthe Supreme Court overruled the judgment in Air India’s case prospectively holdingthat there cannot be absorption of the workmen of the contractor even if the contractis abolished or it is held to be sham and/or bogus.Though the said issue was incidental one, the Supreme Court went on to decide it asa main issue.The net result of the above mentioned judgement is that the door which was open forthe workers to ventilate their grievance before the adjudicating authority is closed butthe same is available only in the cases of sham, bogus contract or a contract whichwas not genuine. The issue of contract being bogus, sham or not genuine mainlydepends upon facts, the knowledge of which is with the employer and the contractorand therefore, in fact, the door for adjudication was completely closed. Indirectly italso resulted in denial of opportunity to the workers to ventilate their grievances asthe power of deciding the issue is exclusively in the hands of the Government whoseorder is an administrative order and the issue is not decided there by any judicial orquasi-judicial process.6) Cipla Ltd. Vs. Maharashtra General KamgarUnion and others (2001 CLR I 754, SC)The case put forth by the workers was that they had been directly employed bythe company and the contract was a camouflage. Their union considered the saidmatter as one of unfair labour practice (ULP) by the company and approached theCourt under the concerned law viz. Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions andPrevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act. When the matter reached the SupremeCourt, it observed that for any practice to be considered as an ULP, there had be aclear employer-employee relationship between the parties to the case. Since such arelationship didn’t exist between the appellant and the respondents, the Court underMRTU and PULP Act can’t adjudicate the said case. Including the Excluded 29
    • Thus, although the company had truly been committing an unfair practice, (thoughnot defined so under the concerned law as an ULP), the Apex Court dismissed thecase by taking a very technical view as regards the employer-employee relationship,which was actually the bone of contention.7) Vividh Kamgar Sabha vs. Kalyani Steels Ltd. and Anr. (2001 I CLR 532,SC)The context of this case was exactly the same, only the parties to the case beingdifferent. The Supreme Court held exactly the same view as, “The provisions of MRTUand PULP Act can only be enforced by persons who admittedly are workmen. If thereis a dispute whether the employees are employees of the company, then that disputemust first be got resolved by raising a dispute before the appropriate forum. It is onlyafter the status as a workman is established at the said forum, that a complaint couldbe made under the provisions of MRTU and PULP Act”.After considering these judgments, one can see that instead of providing solutions,these judgments have multiplied the problems of the contract labours.Prior to the enactment of the Act, the remedy of adjudication was available to theaggrieved workers. Considering the history prior to the said enactment, the intentionwas to give powers to the Government to abolish the contract labour, whereverthe nature of work was found to be permanent or incidental thereto. Due to theinterpretations of the highest Court of the land, the available remedy at times is takenaway and the fate of the aggrieved workers is placed entirely in the hands of theGovernment. The interpretative process may be within four corners of the law, butthe results do not afford any substantive relief to the contract labours. The Act hasnot provided for any separate adjudicating machinery to resolve the grievances ofthe aggrieved workers resulting into denial of fundamental rights of the workers toventilate their grievances before the adjudicating authority.The advisory board can only recommend and final decision remains in the hands ofthe appropriate Government, which is only on the basis of the material collected bythe Government machinery.Comparing this Act with other statutes, viz. I.D. Act, BIR Act, MRTU and PULP Act, itdoes not provide for any judicial or quasi-judicial forum for determination of disputes.This has resulted either in perpetuation or prolongation of the issue of the contractlabour and their employment.Today we are placed in a situation that grievance of contract labour continues to existin spite of perennial nature of work and there is no machinery for redressing thesegrievances. Unfortunately therefore, we come to the conclusion that this act has notserved the object and purpose for which it was enacted.30 Including the Excluded
    • A ray of hope is created by the recent Supreme Court judgment reported by anobservations in paragraph 23 in the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in thecase of Harjinder Singh versus Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, reportedin Manu /SC/0060/2010, without any further commentQuote: - Of late, there has been a visible shift in the court’s approach in dealing withthe cases involving the interpretation of social welfare legislations. The attractivemantras of globalization and liberalization are fast becoming the Raison D’ etre ofjudicial process and an impression has been created that the constitutional courts areno longer sympathetic towards the plight of industrial and unorganized workers”.Quote:- “The courts have readily accepted such plea unmindful of the accountability ofthe wrong doer and indirectly punished the tiny beneficiary of the wrong ignoring thefact that he may have continued in the employment for years together and that microwages earned by him may be the only source of his livelihood. It needs no emphasisthat if a man is deprived of his livelihood, he is deprived of all his fundamental andconstitutional rights and for him the goal of social and economic justice equality ofstatus and of opportunity the freedom enshrined in the constitution remained illusory.Therefore the approach of the courts must be compatible with the constitutionalphilosophy of which the directive principles of state policy constitute an integral partof justice due to the workmen should not be denied by entertaining the spacious anduntenable grounds put forward by the employer/ public or private”.Similarly, in the past too, there were a few such Court verdicts, though more asexception, but nevertheless provided the much needed ray of hope. They are asfollows:National Federation of Railway Porters, Vendors and bearers vs. Union ofIndia (1995 II CLR 214, SC)In this case the Supreme Court granted regularisation to the railway parcel porters,provided by societies or private contractors as contract labour, at the backdrop ofthose porters having worked so continuously for a number of years and also that thework of parcel-handling was perennial in nature.Indian Airports Employees’ Union vs. International Airports Authority ofIndia (1996(1) Mah. LJ, SC)The Central Government had issued a notification dated 09/12/1976, prohibitingengagement of contract labour in sweeping, cleaning, dusting work with effect from01/03/77 in respect of establishments for which the appropriate Government was theCentral Government The respondent company fitted squarely under the purview ofthe said notification. Despite the same, it continued its practice of engaging contractlabour in the said work. The supreme Court in this case, provided the expected reliefof absorption of the concerned contract labour. Including the Excluded 31
    • Secretary, Haryana State Electricity Board vs. Suresh and Ors. etc. etc.(1999 I CLR 959, SC)Safai karmacharis were engaged as contract labour for cleaning/sweeping work. Aftertheir services were terminated, they claimed permanency. The Supreme Court in thiscase called the said contract system a mere camouflage, smokescreen and disguisedin a veil, which could easily be pierced and the real relationship between the Board onone hand and the employees on the other hand, could clearly be visualised. The factsof the case that supported the said conclusion of the Court was notably the absenceof due registration of the Board as well as that of a licence, as required under the Act,in the hands of the person who posed as contractor.Hindalco Industries Ltd. Vs. Association of Engineering Workers (2008 ICLR 1023, SC)Here, the contract labour working in the canteen of the company had continuedworking so despite a change in the contractor in the meantime. Secondly, evidenceon record established the ultimate control of the company management on the saidworkers. The respondent union had approached the Industrial Court by filing a caseof ULP under the Industrial Disputes Act, who in view of the facts and circumstancesof the case, that the canteen contract was merely a paper agreement. In the appeal,the High Court had endorsed the view of the Industrial Court. In the subsequentappeal, the Supreme Court also upheld the same.Sarva Shramik Sangh vs. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and Ors. (AIR 20092355, SC)Here, relief was sought under the Act, for abolition of contract labour system inthe canteen of the marketing establishment of the principal employer. The StateGovernment examined the merits of the dispute and refused to make reference onthe ground that the workers were not the employees of the company, where the verydispute that required reference was whether the workers should be considered asthe employees of the company. In this case, the Supreme Court directed the CentralGovernment to reconsider the matter and take an appropriate decision on the requestfor reference of the dispute to the industrial adjudicator (paragraphs13, 15).Bhilwara Dugdh Utpadak Sahakari Sangh Ltd. V. Vinod Kumar Sharma Deadby LRS and Ors. (SC, Sept., 2011)The Labour Court had held that the workmen were the employees of the appellantand not the employees of the contractor. The High Court too had upheld the saidposition. In the appeal to the Supreme Court, it not only upheld the said finding butalso observed, “This appeal reveals the unfortunate state of affairs prevailing in the32 Including the Excluded
    • field of labour relations in our country. In order to avoid their liabilities under variouslabour statutes, employers are very often resorting to subterfuge, by trying to showthat their employees are in fact the employees of their contractors. It’s high time thatsuch subterfuge must come to an end. Globalisation / liberalisation in the name ofgrowth, can not be at the cost of exploitation of workers”.Ironically, every judgment stated above has very broadly reiterated the principlesand foundations on which the Act was based, that are to prevent the exploitation ofcontract labour and also to introduce better conditions of work.We feel that the Hon’ble Supreme Court did not give due importance to the object ofproviding for job security for such of those employees who have been engaged ascontract labour and bring them at par with the permanent employees. Except for a fewJudgements passed by the very same Supreme Court that have boldly pointed outthat there is a gross lacuna in the Act itself which required a very strong amendment,none of the Judgements have in fact, set out any path nor shown the way to helpthese contract employees. Including the Excluded 33
    • Chapter IV Data AnalysisField research was carried out as mentioned earlier. Relevant data was gatheredduring the same, the analysis of which has been presented with the help of thefollowing tables. Table No. 1 A. Type of Contact Pune % Nasik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad Contract Labour 120 21 60 10.5 200 35 40 7.01 151 26.4 571 100 Contractor 8 33.3 3 12.5 4 16.7 2 8.33 7 29.2 24 100 Trade Union 6 25 4 16.7 5 20.8 3 12.5 6 25 24 100 Official Government 4 22.2 3 16.7 0 0 3 16.7 8 44.4 18 100 Officials Employers 8 23.5 3 8.82 5 14.7 2 5.88 16 47.1 34 100 Legal Advisors/ Labour 10 41.7 2 8.33 5 20.8 2 8.33 5 20.8 24 100 Consultants Employers 1 25 2 50 0 0 0 0 1 25 4 100 Association Coverage of the Pilot Study.The detailed observations pertaining to the field survey that covered people rangingfrom contract labour to the representatives of trade unions as well as employers andalso independent professionals, have been narrated.2.1 Survey of the contract workers: 2.1.1. The Number of the contract workers Selected for the Survey, according to the Categories of the Industries: During this study total 571 contract workers were interviewed . Among them 200 labourers i.e. about 35%, were from Thane Belapur Industrial area, while 26% are from Mumbai, industrial area, where as 21% from Pune industrial area and remaining 100 (18%) are from Nashik and Aurangabad industrial areas. While selecting the contract workers for the survey, all the three categories of industries viz. the large, medium and small scale inclusive of Government and semi Government establishments were taken into consideration.34 Including the Excluded
    • Break up of these labourers selected for the survey is as under: Table No. 2 Break-up According to Type of Units Type of Contact Pune % Nashik % Thane % A. bad % Mumbai % Total % Small Scale 12 30. 4 26.7 30 32.3 5 31.3 8 20.0 59 28.9 Medium Scale 8 20. 3 20.0 34 36.6 6 37.5 11 27.5 62 30.4 Large Scale 14 35. 8 53.3 29 31.2 5 31.3 8 20.0 64 31.4 Gov. and Semi 2 5. 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 5 12.5 7 3.4 Government Service Sector 4 10. 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 8 20.0 12 5.9 Total 40 100 15 100 93 100 16 100 40 100 204 100 Thus this pilot study has surveyed 571 contract workers from 204 units of different types of industries.Break-up of the units according to type of management is shown in the table below. Table No. 3 Break-up of Units According to Types of Management or Ownership Type of Pune % Nashik % Thane % A. bad % Mumbai % Total % Contact Government 1 2.5 1 6.7 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 2.5 3 1.5 Semi- 2 5.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 4 10.0 6 2.9 Government Private 37 92.5 14 93.3 93 100.0 16 100.0 32 80.0 192 94.1 Others 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 3 7.5 3 1.5 Total 40 100 15 100 93 100 16 100 40 100 204 100It will be evident from the above data that 94 % of the units were from the privatesector. As explained in the methodology, stress in this pilot study was laid mainlyon the contract workers from the industrial sector. Efforts were also made to contactthe semi-government agencies like, MMRDA, MSEDL and Municipal Corporationsetc., where there is a higher proportion of work being carried out through contractworkers, for this study. Comparatively, it was easier to contact the contractors or theirlabourers and collect the data for this survey from Government and Semi- Governmentestablishments than from Private agencies. Before contacting these units, the lists ofindustries from the office of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries or from theIndustrial Directories were obtained for collection of the information. However, actualselection of the units was made on the basis of availability of the concerned personsin these units. Including the Excluded 35
    • Personal Information of the contract workers Selected for the Survey:The detailed information of the contract workers selected for the survey viz. their agegroup, level of education, marital status and family background. has been collectedduring this survey for understanding their background. The information collected inrespect of each of these aspects is presented in the following paragraphgraphs:1. Age Group:Out of 571 contract workers surveyed, more than half i.e. 51.8% were found to be inthe age group of 26 to 35 years, while 26% were of the age less than 25 years of age.In short, more than three fourth of them belong to a young age group. The youthhave greater physical strength and therefore those establishments gave preferencefor employing this category of the workers. Their proportion is higher in small andmedium scale establishments as shown in the the following Table Table No. 4 Age Wise Distribution of contract workers. Age A. Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % Group bad 18 - 25 42 35 21 35 30 15 21 52.5 35 23.2 149 26.1 26 - 35 54 45 32 53.3 115 57.5 13 32.5 82 54.3 296 51.8 36 - 50 14 11.7 7 11.7 53 26.5 6 15 31 20.5 111 19.4 51 - 60 10 8.3 0 0 2 1 0 0 3 2 15 2.6 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 10036 Including the Excluded
    • 2. Educational Level:There were only four illiterate contract workers among those surveyed. About 25% ofthem had however, completed only Primary Level education i.e. up to 7th standard,while 44% contract workers had studied up to 10 th standard. Thus about 70% havehowever completed only mid-level education i.e. up to 10 th standard. Percentage ofthe contract workers who have studied up to 12 th standard works out to 23%. A few ofthem were observed to have been trained in technical subjects/crafts in the IndustrialTraining Institutes (ITIs). They appeared to be more interested in securing jobs fortheir livelihoods rather than those matching their education and training. Table No. 5 Educational Level of Contract Workers A. Education Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad Illiterate 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2.6 4 0.7Primary (Up to 7th) 26 21.7 1 1.67 70 35 13 32.5 34 22.5 144 25.2 Up to 10th 69 57.5 33 55 80 40 14 35 56 37.1 252 44.1 Up to 12th 20 16.7 18 30 40 20 10 25 42 27.8 130 22.8 Under Graduate 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 3 0.5 Graduate 5 4.2 0 0 5 2.5 3 7.5 7 4.6 20 3.5 ITI Trained 0 0 7 11.7 5 2.5 0 0 5 3.3 17 3 Engineering 0 0 1 1.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.2 Diploma Engineering 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Graduate Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 100 Including the Excluded 37
    • 3. Marital Status:As per the survey it was found that about 76.2% of the workers were married.4. Number of Dependents:Average number of dependents on 58.7% of those contract workers was found to be4 to 6, while that in case of 24% of them was 3, which indicates the significant numberdependents on the contract workers. The Chart below gives the relevant details. Table No. 6 Number of Dependents No. of A. Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total %Dependents bad Nil 0 0 2 3.3 0 0 0 0 20 13.2 22 3.9 One 0 0 2 3.3 0 0 0 0 17 11.3 19 3.3 Two 4 3.3 8 13.3 12 6 2 5 23 15.2 49 8.6 Three 12 10 26 43.3 50 25 11 27.5 38 25.2 137 24 4 to 6 104 86.7 22 36.7 138 69 24 60 47 31.1 335 58.7 7 and Above 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7.5 6 4 9 1.6 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 10038 Including the Excluded
    • Ownership of ResidencesThe data in respect of the ownership of the residences indicates their economicstatus. It is revealed from the survey that 45% of them have their own houses. The restof them are staying in the rented accommodations. It is also observed that out of thecontract workers surveyed, the number of those commuting daily from their residencesto the places of work, in the industrial estates is significant. Generally it is seen that,in the areas surrounding the industrial estates, chawl type structures are built on alarge scale which enables the workers to hire the accommodations in these chawls. Itis also observed that in some cases labour contractors do provide accommodationsto the workmen at their own cost. However barring a few cases, more often than not;this provision of accommodation benefits the contractor more as he thereby ensuresthat the labourers are available to him beyond the legally permissible hours. Besidesthereby these labourers are kept under obligations.Further it is seen that most of the workers who migrate for the employment, do sosingly. Rest of their family members stay back at their original places. It thereforebecomes possible to provide accommodations to these individual labourers easily. Table No. 7 Ownership Pattern of Residence A. Ownership Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad Own 65 54.2 25 41.7 94 47 18 45 54 35.8 256 44.8 Rented 55 45.8 35 58.3 106 53 22 55 97 64.2 315 55.2 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 1005. Places of Origin:It is noted that out of 571 contract workers surveyed, about 46% of them have migratedfrom their native place to the places of work. This factor is very important. Since thereare no means of earning livelihoods at their places of origin, they have migrated insearch of jobs after studying up to 10 th or 12 th standards out of sheer necessity andnot by their own choice, as stated by these labourers surveyed.The above personal information of the contract labour has been collected by adoptingmethodology of direct interviews. Some of the workers were required to be interviewedat their residences. This provided an opportunity for us for observing the livingconditions of these labourers. The conditions of the workers staying in the MIDC areasare found to be worse. The contract workers staying at Kurkumbh (Baramati), Waluj– Pandharpur (Aurangabad), Rajangaon (Pune) and Satpur (Nashik) are places wherethese contract workers have migrated solely for the purpose of earning livelihood andsending money back home for helping their family members. Their only aim in their Including the Excluded 39
    • life is to keep soul and body together, at whatever cost by forgoing other pleasures oflife. The conditions of the local contract workers are not much different from those ofthe migrated workers. Only qualitative differences between the two are that the localworkers are able to stay with their families. Because of the compulsion of earning thelivelihood, they had to forgo their education, especially the technical education, whichwould have enabled them to earn better remunerations. Table No. 8 Number of Migrants. A. Migration Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad Yes 54 45 27 45 100 50 16 40 64 42.4 261 45.7 No 66 55 33 55 100 50 24 60 87 57.6 310 54.3 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 100. 2.1.3 About the nature of Contract Work:During this survey, the labourers were asked to state as to how long they were carryingout that type of work, in how many companies they had worked so far, with how manycontractors they had worked and what type of work they had carried out.i) Periods of Work:The following table shows the period of their work as contract workers Table No. 9 Periods of Work A. Period of Work Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad Up to One Year 0 0 1 1.7 10 5 8 20 8 5.3 27 4.73 1 - 3 Years 32 26.7 21 35 40 20 13 32.5 31 20.5 137 24 3.1 - 5 Years 48 40 16 26.7 110 55 18 45 75 49.7 267 46.8 5.1 - 10 Years 30 25 16 26.7 30 15 1 2.5 29 19.2 106 18.6 More than 10 Years 10 8.3 6 10 10 5 0 0 8 5.3 34 5.95 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 100out of 571 contract workers surveyed nearly 46.8% are engaged in contract work forlast 3 to 5 years. This percentage is slightly higher in Mumbai and Thane Belapurindustrial area. About 25% of these workers have been working as such, for more than5 years, a few of whom are working for only last 1 to 3 years.40 Including the Excluded
    • Due to their working conditions they cannot enjoy any facilities which the regularworkers are entitled to. These workers continue with the fond hope that one day theywould be appointed as regular workers.It was further found that quite a few workers, when asked about the number ofplaces where they had worked in the past, revealed that they had worked in manyestablishments. About 34.6% of these contract workers were compelled to changetheir jobs three or more times, 33.8% have had to move from one establishment toanother for two or more times while the remaining 31.5% have done that only once.While discussing this subject further with those contract workers, following informationcame forth: a) In several cases was found that contract workers have continued working for more than five year with the sole hope that sooner or later they will be absorbed. It was also found that in some cases workers are offered training by the principle employers. It may be noted here that principle employers often preferred same set of workers without confirming or absorbing them. In many cases they have encouraged new contractors to take old contract workers and seek benefits of their continued service. b) Another main reason for the frequent changes of workers from one establishment to another is the contractors themselves. Sometimes the contractor is changed owing to the employers’ wishes and sometimes being dissatisfied with the employer, the contractor himself move on to another organisation /establishment. Net result being that the workers are shunted from one place to another. c) Another important factor is found to be that, service-breaks to contract workers are given every year, though the contract workers have worked for long periods, and this too only for the purpose of avoiding the legal liability that may be arising out of the uninterrupted service-tenure beyond a limit. After the said breaks, they are employed afresh. In all such cases these actions are taken in understanding and collaboration with the contractor. d) Some of these contract workers change the companies on their own accord, because of the lure of more wages and assurance of continuity in employment.ii) Changes of the Establishments:It is generally believed that the contract workers frequently change the companies orthe establishments. During this survey, this aspect was enquired into and data aboutthe number of companies/establishments where these contract workers have workedso far was collected. Findings of the same are shown in the table below. Including the Excluded 41
    • Table 10 Distribution of contract workers according to Companies Where They Have Worked No. of A. Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % Companies bad One 29 24.2 30 50 88 44 12 30 21 13.9 180 31.3 Two 45 37.5 26 43.3 76 38 20 50 26 17.2 193 33.8 4 Three 43 35.8 6.67 36 18 8 20 20 13.2 111 19.5 Four or More 3 2.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 34 55.6 87 15.2 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 100It is however predominantly observed that most of those contract workers had workedin one or two companies and their percentage works out to 65 %. Rest of them (35 %)had worked in three or more companies/establishments, which appears to be a caserestricted to Mumbai industrial zone as compared to other areas.One can clearly conclude that in spite of the fact the nature of work carried out is ofpermanent character, the labour force employed continues to be temporary. This isdone only with a view to deprived the contract workers from claiming the benefits ofa permanent worker with the principle employer.iii) Change of the Contractors:The proportion of the contract workers working with the same contractor is found out tobe much less over a period of time. While nearly 69.5% of those surveyed have workedwith the same contractors for periods less than 3 years, only 30% worked beyond that.The treatment given by the contractors, their indifference to the welfare of the labourersand the exploitation done by the contractors are the main reasons for reluctance on thepart of the workers to work with the same contractor for longer periods. Table No. 11 Number of Years Working with This Contractor No. of Yrs. A.working with this Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad Contractor Up to One Year 34 28.3 28 46.7 40 20 4 10 7 4.64 113 19.8 1 to 3 Years 65 54.2 25 41.7 80 40 12 30 102 67.5 284 49.7 3 to 5 Years 18 15 5 8.33 60 30 18 45 10 6.62 111 19.4More than 5 Years 3 2.5 2 3.33 20 10 6 15 32 21.2 63 11 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 10042 Including the Excluded
    • IV) Nature of Contract Work: The contract workers covered under the survey were of unskilled, semi-skilledand skilled nature. We didn’t have access to those contract workers who may beworking in clerical/supervisory capacity, though it is a common knowledge that thereis a growing trend, especially in service industry segment, to engage contract workersin the said capacity.Out of 571 contract workers surveyed about 72% of them are found to be deployedin such core activities related to manufacturing/production. This is the case observedprominently in all 3 types of establishments viz. the small, medium and large. It isrevealed from the discussions with these contract workers that, more than 70% of suchactivities/processes related to production are being done by those contract workers.From the survey it was found that in areas near Mumbai there was comparativelylesser number of workers who were performing perennial or incidental work of anestablishment whereas in other places the percentage was more than 80 % Workers.This is because of the simple fact that the ratio of regular workers to contract workersin establishments outside Mumbai was around 30:70. When the labour officers ofthese establishments were asked about this situation, they flatly denied the same andstated that no contract labourer was working in any manufacturing process in theirestablishments. Despite this flat denial, it was seen during the visits to those factoriesthat, the contract workers were actually working even on CNC machines and alsoworking in shifts, similar to their permanent counterparts.This clearly shows that there is a tendency on the part of the owners of theseestablishments/factories, to pay low wages and extract more work from these contractworkers. Table No. 12 Nature of Work A. Nature of Work Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad Supervisor 4 3.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2.6 8 1.4 Clerical 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 6 9 1.6 Unskilled 45 37.5 17 28.3 75 37.5 13 32.5 30 19.9 180 31.5 Semi-Skilled 41 34.2 22 36.7 65 32.5 12 30 65 43 205 35.9 Skilled 30 25 21 35 60 30 15 37.5 24 15.9 150 26.3 Security 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 6 9 1.6 Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 6.6 10 1.8 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 100 Including the Excluded 43
    • Table No. 13 Engaged in Any Productive Work? Are you doing A. any productive Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad or main work Yes 101 84.2 53 88.3 161 80.5 36 90 62 41.1 413 72.3 No 19 15.8 7 11.7 39 19.5 4 10 62 41.1 131 22.9 Don’t Know 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 17.9 27 4.73 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 100v) Remunerations for the work: In this survey, information about the wages earned by these contract workersduring last 3 years was also collected. It is revealed that they earned between Rs.3000/- to 5000/- per month on an average. In some cases it is found out that theywere paid even less than the minimum wages for the labourers. The average monthlywages paid to these contract workers during last 3 years are as under: Table No. 14 Average Wages Year Average Monthly Wages Rs. 2007-08 3960 2008-09 4600 2009-10 5530This data of average monthly wages according to the types of establishments is asunder:44 Including the Excluded
    • Table No. 15 Wages According to Type of Unit. Type of 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Establishments Rs. p. m. Rs. p. m. Rs. P. m. Small 4063 4059 4732 Medium 4604 5044 5271 Large 4214 4263 4350 Government/Semi-Government 3654 3846 4192This data according to places of work is as under: Table No. 16 Place Wise Wages. 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Centre Rs. p. m Rs. p. m Rs. p. m Pune 3958 4021 4787 Nashik 4458 4667 4991 Thane 3387 4750 5660 Aurangabad 4487 4637 4500 Mumbai 3847 4824 6444 All 3960 4600 5530It will be seen from the above that there are no large scale differences in the wagesearned by these contract workers . The wages of the contract workers in smallscale factories/establishments are somewhat less than their counterparts in otherestablishments. Including the Excluded 45
    • Table No. 17 Salary Received in Last 3 Years Salary Year Pune % Nashik % Thane % A. bad % Mumbai % Total % Amount Less Than 15 4.2 19 10.6 40 6.67 8 6.67 60 13.2 142 8.3 3000 3001 100 27.8 25 13.9 155 25.8 23 19.2 66 14.6 369 21.5 2007 – 5000 To 5001 5 1.4 16 8.9 5 0.83 9 7.5 16 3.5 51 3 2008 - 10000 10000 and 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.4 2 0.1 Above NR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1.5 7 0.4 Less Than 10 2.8 13 7.2 12 2 4 3.33 21 4.6 60 3.5 3000 3001 2008 105 29.2 30 16.7 140 23.3 27 22.5 89 19.6 391 22.8 - 5000 To 5001 2009 5 1.4 17 9.4 48 8 9 7.5 36 7.9 115 6.7 - 10000 10000 and 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1.1 5 0.3 Above Less Than 5 1.4 7 3.9 5 0.83 3 2.5 3 0.7 23 1.3 3000 3001 2009 88 24.4 33 18.3 98 16.3 30 25 51 11.3 300 17.5 - 5000 To 5001 2010 24 6.7 20 11.1 97 16.2 7 5.83 84 18.5 232 13.5 - 10000 10000 and 3 0.8 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 2.9 16 0.9 Above Total 360 100 180 100 600 100 120 100 453 100 1713 10046 Including the Excluded
    • V (i) Other Observations in respect of Wages:  It was seen that the payment of wages to the contract labour surveyed is done by the contractors invariably. No representative of the company is present at the time and place of payment, whereas as per the Rules under the Act, a representative of the Principal Employer must be present.  The payment was made mostly in cash. About 84% of the contract workers surveyed confirmed the same.  Payment for the overtime made by the contractor to the contract labour was not according to the rates applicable to the regular workers of the company.  The principle of equal pay for the equal work was not observed anywhere.  Annual increases in the wages at the year-ends are decided by the contractors arbitrarily. No criteria appeared to have been applied while determining these increases.  Barring a few large scale industries in most of the small and medium scale industries, the contract workers were not paid wages for the weekly holidays.  Majority of the labourers surveyed complained that they were not paid full wages for the work done by them.  They were not issued any pay-slips and as such they were unaware of the deductions made from their wages. It was also seen many a time that they were made to sign some papers on which some entries were made in pencil.  In many cases the contractors are found to be providing certain facilities like accommodation, food, uniforms to the contract workers, for which deductions are made from their wages. Some contractors were inclined to pay a part of wages in kind rather than in cash.Basically, there was no record maintained in many cases and if anybodycomplained, there was a threat of his being removed from work.This results into a situation of having no protection of any law for such contractworkers. Including the Excluded 47
    • Facilities/Services Made Available to the Contract Labour at the Places ofWork:The following table gives the details of the facilities or services made available to thecontract labour at their places of work. Table No. 18 Facilities (Only Positive Responses) A. Facility Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad Appointment 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 6.6 10 1.8 Letter I Card 86 71.7 57 95 198 99 38 95 86 57 465 81.4 Salary Slip 10 8.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 17.9 37 6.5 Pay Leave 0 0 2 3.3 10 5 0 0 21 13.9 33 5.8 PF 60 50 45 75 90 45 23 57.5 24 15.9 242 42.4 ESI 25 20.8 23 38.3 10 5 18 45 42 27.8 118 20.7 Bonus 40 33.3 40 66.7 155 77.5 15 37.5 45 29.8 295 51.7 Gratuity 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 4.6 7 1.2 Overtime 70 58.3 52 86.7 178 89 33 82.5 62 41.1 395 69.2 Weekly Off 0 0 12 20 53 26.5 12 30 64 42.4 141 24.7 Canteen 35 29.2 16 26.7 56 28 24 60 24 15.9 155 27.1 Security 68 56.7 42 70 125 62.5 35 87.5 9 6 279 48.9 Equipment Medical Facility 76 63.3 54 90 68 34 37 92.5 18 11.9 253 44.3 Other 0 0 0 0 1 0.5 1 2.5 2 1.3 4 0.7 Base 120 60 200 40 151 571The data presented above is analysed as under:Services: The proportion of the services like letters of appointments, pay-slips gratuityand paid holidays/leaves in case of these contract workers is quite insignificant.Identity Cards: Upon survey it was found that 81% of these contract workers areissued identity cards. This is because these identity cards are used mainly as gatepasses. The said identity cards however indicated only their names and the names ofthe contractors but not the other details like the names of the departments where theyworked or their dates of joining etc.48 Including the Excluded
    • Provident Fund: About 42% of the contract workers surveyed told that they wereinformed by their contractors that they were getting provident fund. But at the sametime they complained that they had not been given the numbers of their PF accounts.Hence, they do not know whether their contributions towards the PF are credited intheir accounts or otherwise.Bonus and Overtime: It is observed that in quite a few cases employers were alsogiving bonuses as well as overtime. However considering the limitations of the samplesize this fact cannot be generalised.Canteen: Only about 27% of the surveyed contract workers accepted that they ableto avail this facility of canteen, to the extent of using the place. But they did not getthe facility of the subsidised rates of the food articles served in the canteen, whichwas available only to the permanent workers. They were only allowed to eat theirown lunch in the canteens and get the food articles at normal unsubsidised prices,as stated by 25 % of them. At some places it was observed that the contract workerswere not allowed to avail the facility of the canteen or even to enter the canteen.Medical Facilities: Only 44% of the surveyed contract workers stated that the facilitiesof medical treatment and first aid were available in their establishments and that tooonly at the places of work.In general, there was a huge disparity in the availability of the facilities for the regularpermanent workers and the contract workers of these industrial establishments/factories/ companies. Including the Excluded 49
    • Awareness among the contract workers about the Act:When the contract workers surveyed were asked, whether they knew anything aboutthis Act, it was found that there was complete ignorance on their part. This is really aworrying situation. Only 3 out of the 571 contract workers surveyed stated that theyknew something about it.Similarly, only 29 out of 571 were found to have been enrolled as members of a tradeunion. It is more interesting that out of 204 contracted units only 13 units were havinga union for contract workers.Of the 571 contract workers surveyed it appeared that just five of them have taken thetrouble of registering a complaint with the concerned Labour Commissioner, againstthe injustice done to them.It can be seen from the above information that, there are a number of drawbacks ordeficiencies in the implementation of the Act, and the purpose behind making thisenactment has been served only marginally. The pathetic conditions of the contractworkers came to light during this survey. In general, the economic conditions beingnot good, so being the educational level, no means of livelihood being available attheir places of origin and the number of dependents on them also being large, theyhad no option but to migrate to cities and industrial areas in search of employment ofwhatever type available. Because of their extreme helplessness they were compelledto accept the jobs on contract basis for the sake of earning some income. Thecontractors as well as the employers take advantage of their helplessness. In thesecircumstances the Act would have proved to be helpful to them, provided it wasimplemented effectively by the concerned authorities. Presently its implementation istotally inept, as such they are deprived of the desired protection of this Act.50 Including the Excluded
    • Table No. 19 Awareness about the ActAware about contract A. Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % and contractor bad License under sec. 12 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 54 54 56 100 of CLRA 1970 Terms and Conditions 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 14 32 100 of Contract Do you know about A. Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % CLRA 1970 bad Yes 2 1.67 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.66 3 0.53 No 118 98.3 60 100 200 100 40 100 150 99.3 568 99.5 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 100No. of Workers made A.a compliant to labour Pune % Nashik % Thane % % Mumbai % Total % bad commissioner Yes 0 0 1 1.67 0 0 0 0 4 2.65 5 0.88 No 120 100 59 98.3 200 100 40 100 147 97.4 566 99.1 Total 120 100 60 100 200 100 40 100 151 100 571 100Focused Group Discussions in respect of ContractorsDuring this survey discussions were held with 24 contractors. At the outset, theystated that they are fully complying with all the relevant provisions of the Act. Thecompanies/owners do not award contracts to the contractors without meeting allthe requirements of the legal documents needed for the same. They are thereforecarrying out the contract work in accordance with Act.During these discussions, they explained how difficult it is to procure labour oncontract, and after procuring them, how difficult it is to retain them and then to getthe target oriented work done from them. In their opinion, they do not get the contractlabour to work at the wage rates paid by the owners/companies. At the local level it ispractically impossible and hence they are required to procure the migrated workers/labourers, by offering several special concessions and facilities to them. Sometimes ifpayments from the companies are delayed, they are required to make payments to thecontract workers from their own pockets. The labour is required to be supplied to thecompanies at any cost. At times, even by paying higher wages or by offering variousconcessions/facilities etc. to them, they have to fulfil their obligations. If proper care ofthe labour is not taken, there is a possibility of them abandoning the jobs.It is observed from the discussions held with the contractors that, they were not fullyaware of the provisions of the Act. They were simply concerned about the number Including the Excluded 51
    • of the labourers to be supplied. Many companies/owners however, appoint labouradvisors for examining and getting them fulfil the legal aspects of the contracts andthe contractors. It suits the contractors as well. Primarily, the contractors only supplythe labour to the companies, but the task of allotting work to them and getting thework done from them, is carried out by the companies in majority of the cases. Theresponsibility of getting the work done from the labour is not that of the contractors.In our survey it was observed that a sizeable number of contractors interviewedhappened to be the relatives of local politicians or enjoyed political support. Theirbehaviour with the labour was rude. They seem to have continued in this business,thanks to their ability to keep the company officials as well as influential persons inthe office of the respective labour commissioners in good humour.During this survey it was not possible to collect any detailed information from thecontractors. They did not show any record. Probably they did not maintain muchrecord. The large companies which hire the contract workers from these contractorsfulfil the legal requirements in respect of the contractors. In case of small andmedium companies the responsibility of the contractors was limited to supplyingthe contract workers. These contract workers were in gear of the contractor. Thecontractor employed a separate supervisor to keep an eye on those contract workers.It was observed that the contractors posed themselves as ‘Employment Bureaus’under fancy names, for their businesses. It was noticed that many such ‘EmploymentBureaus’ had cropped up near the industrial areas at Chakan, Ranjangaon andSanaswadi in Pune district.Most contractors expressed displeasure against the records to be maintained asrequired under the Act. They stated that the said requirement was very complicated.They also complained that they were harassed by the staff of the Labour Commissionerfor the inspection of the record. Similarly during this survey we heard a complaint thatthe office bearers of the big unions also threaten them, from time to time.In general the contractors raised various complaints rather a series of complaintsduring the discussions with them. They tried to make a point that they were the realprotectors of interest of the contract workers. They stated that the contract workerswere made to suffer the injustices because of the collusion between the Governmentofficers and the owners of the companies/establishments.FGDs with the Owners / Principal EmployersAs a part of this study Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) were also held, with theowners/employers who are important constituents in the implementation of the Act.They were asked with the help of the questionnaire, about the usefulness of the Actand also about its implementation. Outcome of those discussions are as under:52 Including the Excluded
    • The owners stated that they were following the Act in the letter and the spirit. Theyreplied to all the queries of the questionnaire and their response was positive. Theyinformed us that they were strictly observing the practices as prescribed under theAct in respect of all matters, especially the following: 1. Registration under section 7 and licences for the contractors under section 12. 2. Make payments to the contractors in accordance with conditions mentioned in the licence. 3. Ensure that the labour is paid, by the contractors, in accordance with the conditions stated in the licence. 4. Ensure that the minimum wages Act is followed by the contractors.The owners/employers readily provided the information about the number ofcontract workers and the contractors engaged by them. Similarly they provided theinformation about the type of work done by the contract workers. Some of themstated that the labourers carried out all types of work, while some others mentionedthe following types: 1. Packaging. 2. Housekeeping. 3. Cleaning. 4. Cutting, fabricating, finishing and polishing. 5. Machine Operating. 6. Loading-Unloading. 7. Sundry Help. 8. Washing/Steaming. 9. Sorting. 10. Checking. 11. Counting.It is noticed from the said list that the contract workers were used for getting doneeven the main works. They however stated that the principle of equal pay for the equalwork was not practised in their industries. Similarly for over last 5 years there was nota single case of Regulation in any of the establishments and the case of Abolition alsodid not arise.The main reasons for employing contract workers stated by them are as under:  Flexibility of the number of labourers.  No burden of ancillary/incidental wages  Relatively lower wages  No unwanted responsibility of dealing with periodical demands.  More efficiency. Including the Excluded 53
    • The owners/employers therefore preferred the system of employing contract workers.They also happened to share their point of view related to the issues faced by them,during the discussions. The contract workers reported for work only when they werein need of the same. They were prepared to work even in shifts. They were notorganised into a union nor were they able to complain to anybody in any matter.Even if they were removed from the work, there was nobody to fight for them. Thispractice of employing contract workers was therefore in their opinion, very convenientto them.In an ideal sense, for the production of the best quality, the continuity in the employmentof the skilled and loyal workers is highly desirable, but from practical considerationsin the context of rising labour costs and unreasonable demands of the permanentworkers, they were compelled to give up the concept of continuity of loyal workers, astold by them. Some of the employers however opined that, because of the system ofcontract workers, economic disparity is on the rise.They further stated that the contract workers were paid as per the market conditions.In good seasons they were paid higher wages. And in case of rush job orders theywere paid additional incentives according to the capabilities of the individual workers.Flexibility in the number of workers to be employed was the need of the hour, accordingto them. Therefore even though the Act was not very neat or convenient and eventhough they were facing some sort of trouble from the inspecting authorities, theyconsidered that the Act was necessary in the present circumstances. However, theymaintained that the amendments, if any, were to be made to the Act; they should bemade after detailed discussions and open debate with all the stake holders.Apart from the summary of views presented above, it would be worthwhile to reproducethe gist of responses from a sampling of the representatives of the industry owners /principal employers, gathered during the said survey, as below:Krishna Gawde, Head – Personnel and Industrial Relations, Exide Industries(Mumbai)The provisions under the Act are sufficient to take care of the contract labour.Manoj Gurkhe, Asst. Manager – HR/IR/Admn., Kaycee Industries (Mumbai)The Act is adequate to protect the contract labour but an amendment is needed forestablishing machinery for redressing the grievances.Sanjay Jadhav, General Manager – H.R., IPCA Laboratories Ltd. (Mumbai)Contract labour system is welcome, as it generates employment opportunities. Asregards protection and welfare of the contract labour, it is the contractor who needsto be held responsible.54 Including the Excluded
    • Madhav Sawargaonkar, Director – Human Resources, Pfizer Ltd. (Navi Mumbai)The Act is being misused across the country. A railway, the single largest employerin the public sector, has maximum number of contract labour. The Act is not beingadministered effectively, because of the corrupt bureaucracy. Where particularprincipal employers who base their business practices on value systems, not onlycomply with the Act but also follow certain good practices that benefit their contractlabour. Trade unionism has become more of a business than a cause; you will findvery few committed to the same which explains as to why they are not taking up thecontract labour’s issues as they should be.Sharad Patil, Secretary General – Employers’ Federation of IndiaThe provisions under the Act are quite sufficient to take care of the concerned issues.But, the key lies in its proper implementation.FGDs with the Government MachineryThis FGD session for observing the effective implementation of the Act by theGovernment machinery was restricted to the offices of the Labour Dept. Accordingly,offices of the Assistant Labour Commissioners were visited and discussions were heldwith the Assistant Labour Commissioners and Labour Inspectors and other varioussuch officials about the Act. Efforts were made for obtaining statistical informationin respect of Act. Despite frequent visits to these offices, the requested statisticalinformation was not made available officially to us. On the contrary, those officials toldus that it was very difficult to supply the said data directly and advised us to approachthem for the same under Right to Information Act (RTI). Finally we did approach themunder the RTI and tried to obtain the required data for this study. The informationreceived from them is presented in the following paragraphs:1. Staff Availability for the Implementation:Firstly information about the strength of the staff available in the offices of the AssistantLabour Commissioners for the implementation of the Act was obtained, because it isone of their duties to oversee the implementation of the Act. They were asked asto whether the available staff was adequate to fulfil that task. Out of the 5 districtssurveyed for this study, we did not get the necessary information from the office of theAssistant Labour Commissioner of Mumbai district. The information obtained from theremaining officers is presented is as under: Including the Excluded 55
    • Table No. 20 Available Staff in the Offices of the Assistant Labour Commissioners Designation Pune Nashik Thane A. bad Assistant Commissioner 1 1 1 1 Labour Inspectors 14 (3) 4 (1) 16 (4) 16 (2) Registration Officers 7 (3) 3 6 (4) 3 (3) License Officers 7 (3) 3 6 (4) 3 (3) Clerical 3 (3) 2 (2) 8 (4) 14 (12) Others 3 1 0 6 (The figures in the brackets show the vacancies)It is seen from the above as well as from the discussions held with the AssistantLabour Commissioners that the available staff is quite inadequate for the effectiveimplementation of the Act. According to them, this is the main reason for the lacunain this respect.Licenses Issued to the Contractors:The data in respect of licenses issued to the contractors by the offices of the AssistantLabour Commissioners during last 5 years, together with the number of contractworkers covered under these licenses, was also obtained through the RTI and thesame is presented in the following table: Table No. 21 Details of Licenses Issued and Number of contract workers Item /Year 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 Pune No. of Units 348 816 962 924 1140 No. of Registered Contractors 348 816 962 924 1140 No. of Contract Workers 21153 45981 63784 65473 46561 Nasik No. of Units 20 46 33 48 28 No. of Registered Contractors 38 85 46 95 59 No. of Contract Workers 1049 3637 2899 3602 1842 Thane No. of Units       1100 1500 No. of Registered Contractors       1600 2000 No. of Contract Workers           Aurangabad No. of Units 50 81 132 38 57 No. of Registered Contractors 195 190 425 226 259 No. of Contract Workers 63466 69557 66611   11830056 Including the Excluded
    • It is seen from the above that there is no uniformity in the issue of licenses. In Punedistrict it appears that only one contractor is registered per unit. This, however, doesnot appear to be true as generally separate contractors are appointed in differentdepartments of the units. The information obtained from Thane district is quitedisappointingly vague and incomplete. Same appears to be a case in respect ofinformation of Nasik district especially the number of registered units and the numberof contractors shown appear to be doubtful. These numbers appear to be much lessthan the actual as compared to the present number of units working in the district.If the number of registered contractors is so small, then there is certainly a room forbelieving that there are a large number of unregistered contractors working illegallyin this district. Generally it can be concluded that the data furnished is far from realityand it appears that there is a lack of sincerity in providing information even to thequeries of RTI.2. About Inspections:Attempt was also made for collecting the data about the actual number of unitsinspected by the offices of the Assistant Labour Commissioners. The data obtainedis shown in the table below: Table No. 22 Details of Inspections Carried Out District/Year 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 Units Inspected No. of Prosecutions Launched Pune   2143 1360     16 45 Nasik 1262 891 469   2 6 1 Thane   1800 1750     0 0 Aurangabad 414 116 240   50 57 57The data presented above is self-explanatory. Firstly the information for 5 years askedfor was not made available. The deficiencies in the implementation of the Act becomeevident from the data pertaining to actions taken after inspections, made availableeven for 3 years.Further these offices were asked about the number of cases finally taken to the StateAdvisory Board, out of the cases in which prosecutions were launched. The replyreceived was quite disturbing. Out of 4 districts only 4 cases that too from only fromNasik district were taken to the Board. Including the Excluded 57
    • It is clearly seen from the above data of 4 districts that the offices of the LabourCommissioners were unable to provide justice to the contract labours. The inspectionscarried out were more of eyewash.When the issue was discussed with the Assistant Labour Commissioners andLabour Inspectors, they frankly admitted that on many occasions, when they wentfor inspections, the owners of the units did not provide correct information and theyhid the contract workers. The contract workers themselves also do not come forwardto complain because of the pressure from the owners and they found themselveshelpless in the matter. This sort of helplessness was expressed by all the officersof the Assistant Labour Commissioners contacted for the survey. They carry outthe inspections, when they receive complaints about payment of lesser wages, thenumber of hours of work being more and allotment of type of work to the contractworkers which is supposed to be carried out by the regular/permanent workers etc.Such inspections are also carried out on regular basis. But because of the absence ofthe factual information, they say, they are unable to take any action in the matter.It was however stated that, during these inspections if they notice that these contractworkers are not provided the required facilities, these units are penalised. But sinceamounts of penalty are so ridiculously low (Rs. 500/-), there is no effect or pressureon either the contractor or the owner of the unit.Prima-facie it is shown that these contract workers are not allotted the work of theregular/permanent workers. It therefore becomes practically impossible for convertingthese contract workers into regular/permanent workers. Again the procedure of theState Advisory Board is so lengthy and complicated that the contract workers arenot in a position to receive justice from the Board. Hence, these officers opined that,despite the inspections the contract workers remain deprived of their legal rights.3. Central Advisory Board.In this context, the information provided by the Central Advisory Board on all Indiabasis, is given below for ready reference.58 Including the Excluded
    • Table No. 23 Enforcement of Contract Labour (R and A) Act, 1970 Sr. Year Item No. 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 No. of Registration Certificates Issued to 1 375 425 639 670 658 Principal Employers 2 No. of Licenses Issued to Contractors 3613 4660 5471 6632 7734 3 No. of Inspections Conducted 4653 3956 4263 5281 5479 4 No. of Irregularities Detected 72541 70709 65509 58936 83414 5 No. of Prosecutions Launched 3705 3330 3147 3805 3857 6 No. of Convictions 2770 2240 2060 2019 2126 No. of Contract Labourers Covered by 7 489776 588678 664216 762425 773849 Licenses 8 No. of Licenses Revoked/Cancelled 757 1371 1669 1099 3562 9 No. of Registration Certificates Revoked 23 0 0 0 2 * Total no. of licensed contractors at the end of the year 2000: 24208. Table No. 24 No. of Cases Received / Disposed of During the Last Five Years underRule 25 (2) (v) (a) and (b) of the Contract Labour (R and A) Central Rules, 1971 Relating to Payment of Wages. No. of Cases Received During the Last Four Years Year Order Issued Under Rules 25 (2) (v) (a) and (b) 1996 4 1 1997 6 4 1998 15 3 1999 35 5 2000 23 20** Rules 25 (2) (v) (a) of Contract Labour (R and A) Central Rules, 1971 has beenamended vide notification No. GSR 41 (E) dated 21st January, 1999 delegatingpowers to the Deputy Labour Commissioners (Central) instead of the Chief LabourCommissioner (Central).It is seen from the above during 1996-2000 only 25 registration certificates have beenrevoked in the entire country on account of irregularities committed by the contractors/ establishments.The same data presented for the latest period i.e. 2003-2004 to 2008 – 2009. Including the Excluded 59
    • Table No. 25 Enforcement of Contract Labour (R and A) Act, 1970. Sr. Item 03-04 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 No. No. of Registration Certificates 1 720 590 675 752 819 930 Issued to Principal Employers No. of Licenses Issued to 2 6788 7277 6973 9280 9587 10389 Contractors 3 No. of Inspections Conducted 4991 4540 5663 5365 6843 6925 4 No. of Irregularities Detected 71632 59301 59298 77422 104401 94162 5 No. of Prosecutions Launched 3896 3356 2914 2648 3675 3573 6 No. of Convictions 2072 2018 1000 887 1228 733 No. Of Contract Labourers 7 853690 968792 971570 1001947 1313742 1377610 Covered by Licenses No. of Licenses Revoked/ 8 4014 6601 7578 8186 5657 7419 Cancelled No. of Registration Certificates 9 52 8 211 51 14 35 Revoked Table No. 26 No. Of Cases Received/Disposed of During the Last Five Years underRule 25 (2) (v) (a) and (b) of the Contract Labour (R and A) Central Rules, 1971 Relating to Payment of Wages. No. of Cases Received During the Last Three Year Years Under Rules 25 (2) (v) (a) and 7 (b) Order Issued B/F Received Total 2003-2004 33 1 34 18 16 2004-2005 16 2 18 12 6 2005-2006 6 0 6 4 2This can be considered as a great defeat of the implementation of the Act. The sameis the case in respect of cancellations of the licenses. The year 2006-07, is the year inwhich the maximum number (8186) of licenses were cancelled or revoked in the entirecountry in a single year. If we assume that at least 200 districts are connected withthis cancellation, the average number of cancellations per district works out to 26.In the Parliament the Union Minister of Labour and Employment Mr. Mallikarjun Khargegave the following information regarding action taken for violation of various labourlaws and details of inspection conducted and prosecutions launched under variouslabour laws are as under.60 Including the Excluded
    • Table No. 27 Sr. No. Activity 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 (Prov) 1 No. of Inspections 31265 44713 40725 35824 2 No. of Irregularities 366326 358116 347875 320128 3 No. of Prosecutions 13049 10647 12565 11968 4 No. of Convictions 4446 6409 7289 7540These figures are sufficiently eloquent of the state of implementation of the Act, in theentire country. In general the Government machinery is found to be greatly wantingin this matter and therefore enforcement of law has generally be suffering. Thus it willbe seen from the above information that it is self-evident and it is not necessary to godeeply in the matter of inefficiency of the Government machinery. Including the Excluded 61
    • Chapter V Views of Trade UnionsThere are many organisations of the workers which are engaged in protecting theinterests of the workers. The contract workers are also part of the worker communityand as such they are important for the trade unions. It was therefore decided to holddiscussions with them in connection with the implementation of the Act. Accordinglydiscussions were carried out with the representatives of the following trade unions: 1) Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) 2) The Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC) 3) All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) 4) Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) 5) Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) 6) Sarva Shramik Sangh 7) Bharatiya Kamgar Sena 8) Maharashtra Trade Union (Pune) 9) Transport and Dock Workers Union, (Mumbai) 10) Mumbai Port Trust, Dock and General Employees Union. 11) Mumbai Mazdoor Sangh.Following points were kept in mind while carrying out these discussions: a) Efficacy of the Act b) Status of implementation of the Act c) The advantages derived if any of this Act, by the contract labour d) Improvements needed to be made in the ActSimilarly information about the role played by these trade unions for the protection of theinterests of the contract workers was also collected during this interaction with them.It was seen that in most of the major trade unions there were separate independent‘wings’ for the contract workers, but as stated above independent trade unions ofthe contract workers were not found during the survey. Even the ‘Sarva ShramikSanghatana’ which is an organisation mainly working in the unorganised sector andwhich has organised workers of the fourth class, have not entered the field of thecontract workers.Contract workers are not accepted as members of the unions of the permanentemployees.62 Including the Excluded
    • At some places where efforts were made for organising the unions of these contractworkers, the owners of the establishments threatened to close the units or to terminatethe services while some others actually closed them. As a result, the contract workersthemselves are/ were reluctant to form the unions, due to fear of termination of job;despite the constitutional grantDuring the discussions with these trade unions and other existing organisations,it was stated by them that it was extremely difficult to organise independent tradeunions of these contract workers. The reasons put forth by them were as under: 1) These contract workers feared that if they joined a Union, or complain in any way or opposed the employer, they would be removed from the work and thus would lose the jobs. Since they were living in a hand to mouth situation, there were limitations for being mentally prepared to fight against the injustice done to them. Hence, they cannot be persuaded to come together and be prepared to join the Trade Union movement. The helplessness of the contract workers was the main obstacle in organising them into a trade union. 2) Even if they are organised, it becomes a futile exercise because of the absence of strict implementation of the Act, and due to same reason these workers’ unions fail to provide necessary protection to these contract workers against the injustice done to them.However, though there are no independent unions of these contract workers, theorganised unions of the permanent employees try to help and solve whenever someproblems of the contract workers arise. In fact the unions of the permanent employeeshelp to bring to the surface the problems of these contract workers. It also certainlyremains a fact that these unions of the permanent employees are not in a position togive priority to solving the problems of the contract workers in the same proportion,in comparison with those of the permanent employees.The existing trade unions however, are trying to solve the problems of the contractworkers in their associated industries/companies wherever possible. The first importantmatter which came to be noticed during this survey was that, there was only oneindependent union of the contract workers named ‘Mahindra Hitoday’ in existencein MIDC area in Pune district at Bhosari, which was working for the interest of thosecontract workers. Efforts were being made by BMS, for organising the contract workersof a private factory, into a union at Ranjangaon MIDC area. Similarly efforts are onby the same BMS for organising a union of the contract workers working for PuneMunicipal Corporation, through a company called ‘Vidya Online’ on contract basis.Here BMS had successfully fought against the injustice done to contract workersemployed by the contractor company ‘Vidya Online’ in 2005. This has further boostedthe idea of organising contract workers. Including the Excluded 63
    • The BMS has also taken in hand the problems of the contract workers working inprivate companies in MIDC areas, and public companies like Maharashtra StateElectricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL), and the transport wing of the PMCetc. The HMS has successfully stopped the practice of ‘out sourcing’ by the companiesin Nashik. The Sarva Shramik Sanghatana has undertaken the programme of creatingawareness among the contract workers in the PMC about their problems and possiblesolutions for them and also implementation of a plan for their welfare, their medicalcheck-up etc. Similarly the INTUC and CITU have given emphasis on organisingworkshops and dissemination of information.Basically, these trade unions are first committed to and hence are engaged in carryingout various activities for the benefit of only the permanent workers of the industrialestablishments. Their fields are also quite large and as such they are naturally obligedto give emphasis on restricting their activities related to the permanent workers.However, while discharging their duties to their members, if they come across anyproblems of the contract workers, they do try to help these contract workers andprovide the needed assistance to overcome their problems wherever possible. But theyare not found to be taking up any independent activities for the contract workers.In this context, it has come to notice during this survey that there is a new trend of‘labour aristocracy’ which has started taking roots in this field. Owing to which a newproblem has arisen wherein the organised unions are not inclined to take up thecause of the Contract workers as taking up their cause for absorption may adverselyaffect the existing service conditions and benefits of the permanent workers.When the above issues were discussed with the above unions of the permanentemployees, they clearly accepted that they had not succeeded in giving justice tothe contract workers. There is no new recruitment of the permanent workers and theirwages are also comparatively much higher and because of this there is a growingtendency of employing contract workers on a larger scale. The contractors do providethe needed contract workers as required by the companies/establishments. Theowners of these companies/establishments have practically no responsibilities/obligations towards these contract workers. Hence this system of engaging contractworkers is on the rise everywhere. These contract workers can’t go to the courts forthe redressing instances of injustice done to them. Similarly they do not get adequateand necessary response from the offices of the Labour Commissioners. It, thereforebecomes very difficult to solve the problems of the contract workers. Further thesecontract workers cannot be relied upon, as they rarely participate in the strikes andpeaceful demonstrations organised by the unions of the permanent employees. Thereare difficulties faced by the unions in respect of raising demands and espousingthe cause of the contract workers Further, owing to the nexus amongst the principalemployer, contractor and politicians, the contract workers are not regularised butare continued in the status of Contract workers even there is an existence of regularwork. In some cases it is found that the politicians head the trade unions and use64 Including the Excluded
    • their influence over the employers to continue contract workers in place of necessityof regular workers. This also becomes a stumbling block for the contract workersfor fighting against the injustices. The experiences of the unions of the permanentemployees generally appeared to be as under: Equal wages for equal work Little success in implementing the principle Adopting the principle of ‘Abolition’ for absorbing the Near failure contract workers as permanent workers Going to Courts for redressing the injustices Nil Attempt to take the cases to the State Machinery Little success Organising the contract workers Little successIn short, the unions of the permanent employees are not much successful in solvingthe problems of the contract workers. Similarly, according to these unions, the inactionon the part of the offices of the Labour Commissioners as well as the deficienciesin the implementing agencies of the Act contributes to the failure to achieve theexpected success in the matter.To some extent however, these unions have succeeded in some instances in givingrelief to these contract workers. For example they were instrumental in causingincrease in wages, assurance of regular payment of wages, reducing the hoursof work and making available the medical and canteen facilities while they wereemployed, to these contract workers.Similarly, they fully supported the cause of safety of contract workers working inestablishments involved in activities which were hazardous to health, in respectof their demands. For example they discussed the issue of injuries caused whilehandling hot iron during summer, with the management. They also helped in issuingsafety tools and uniforms to these contract workers in such establishments.They also mentioned the help given to the contract workers who were working fornearly 20 years in organising the struggle in ONGC and raising the issue of the safetyof the contract workers working in MSEB etc.The important achievements of the trade unions in this regard are: 1. They have pointed out the drawbacks/ deficiencies in the Act. 2. They have demanded in a number of ways, even up to Central Government level, for the amendments/improvements in the Act. 3. They have submitted several proposals to the labour commissioner regarding the regulation and abolition etc. and have followed them up. 4. They have held a number of seminars and workshops for enlightening these contract workers in respect of their rights and obligations. Including the Excluded 65
    • 5. They have tried to solve the disputes between the contract workers /contractors and the employers through informal discussions. 6. They have also tried to make available the facilities to the contract workers to which they are entitled to, in the industries or factories/establishments with whom they are associated.Despite the above efforts on their parts, it can be stated that the said unions are rathersceptical about the implementation the provisions of the Act. They are of the opinionthat the administration existing on ground for the implementation of the same is weakand totally ineffectual as well as partisan in favour of the owners. According to themthe State Advisory Board is a pure and complete eye-wash, inasmuch as, it is verydifficult for Contract workers to approach the Advisory Board for relief. Therefore theprovision about regulation and abolition has remained in the law book. Further mostof the contractors are from the political field. They themselves or their relatives are theworkers of the political parties. This makes it practically impossible to get problems ofthe contract workers solved through the offices of the labour commissioners, whichare not amenable to the idea, due to the political clout or patronage enjoyed by thesaid contractors.The opinions of the trade unions in respect of the changes needed in the Act, appearedto be as under: 1. The principle of equal pay for the equal work should be made obligatory on the part of the contractor under section 25(1) of the Act, while granting permission to the contractor. 2. Under the provisions of Chapter V B of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, workmen cannot be retrenched from the work without the permission of the Government, if the workmen’s strength in the unit exceeds 100. Unscrupulous employers bypass that provision by employing contract workers through a contractor, while keeping the permanent workmen’s strength below 100. In the opinion of the trade unions, the Act has been enacted solely for the purpose of nurturing the institution of contractors in the industrial field. Some of them are of a firm opinion that it should be repealed. There are some trade unionists who want the Act to be amended suitably for effective implementation. 3. The existing provisions of the Act, as per the Unions, are such that a contract worker, though he is carrying out the work of ‘permanent’ nature, will remain a contract labourer for ever. This is because the Act does not elaborate as to what types of works should be given and should not be given on contract. So also there is no mechanism available with the Government for collecting and verifying the information about the types of work carried out by both the type of workers.66 Including the Excluded
    • 4. The process of abolition is a very long drawn one. It goes on for years together but no decision is arrived at. The concerned players in this matter also are not fully aware as to when the meetings of the Advisory Board Members are held. The contract workers also do not know of such meetings. In these circumstances, implementation of provisions regarding the abolition can never take place. 5. In the opinion of the Hamal Panchayat, this Act should not be made applicable to ware-houses, where the work of loading and unloading is done on a large scale. 6. This Act has become totally ineffective, because there is no provisions under which the labourers could have approached the courts for the justice, directly. 7. The provision under Rule 25 of the Act that, if the minimum wages are not paid to the contract workers, the contractors should be prosecuted under criminal laws should be implemented very strictly and exemplary punishment both to contractors and the Principle Employers, by way of imprisonment and penalty should be awarded. 8. The contract workers should be brought under the ambit of the Industrial Dispute Act by repealing the Act. 9. An independent board should be established exclusively for the contract workers as on the lines of Mathadi Board.Apart from the range of opinions of the trade unionists as gathered and presentedabove, it would be worthwhile to reproduce below a sampling of a few of theirprominent representations, as below:I. R.V. Subba Rao, Member – National Executive committee (BMS) andMember – Central Advisory Board (Contract Labour), New Delhi Indian judiciary was the first to realise the extent of exploitation of labourby the contract system. The Act was brought on the statute book due to judicialpronouncement of as early as 1962. The provisions of the Act are inadequate to reflectthe objective, indicative of the indifferent attitude of the people’s representatives whilemaking law. Status of contract labour in the event of prohibition under section 10 ofthe Act, was left to the vagaries of the employer. It was the judiciary that interpretedand tried to bridge the lacunae by ordering regularisation of the services of contractlabour. The Supreme Court judgement of 1995 in the Gujarat Electricity Board caseis a landmark. Here the executive failed to take note of and review the contract casesas per the parameters of section 10 of the Act. Of late, the judiciary has becomeindifferent to the social objective and justice, as could be seen from the judgement of2001 in the SAIL case. The fragmented and political trade unions failed to rescue thecontract labour. Including the Excluded 67
    • II. Suryakant Mahadik, President – Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, Mumbai. He had looked forward to better handling of contract labour issues after theenactment of the Act in 1971. But, looking back he feels that it has not delivered what itpromised to, till date. Large-scale engagement of contract labour in the manufacturingprocess activities and in perennial jobs, which is actually prohibited by the Act, canbe seen everywhere. Even in the banking sector, one would notice contract labourengagement in various forms, for doing perennial jobs. In the eventuality of abolitionof contract labour in any establishment, the displaced labour of the old contractorshould be hired by the new contractor. His other demands / recommendations includestandardisation of an acceptable ratio between the permanent and contract labour inany establishment across industries, equal pay for equal work, inclusion of contractlabour under the Standing Orders Act, 1946, creation of machinery for redressingtheir grievances. He also talks about the need to permit the principal employer to hirecontract labour directly, coupled with an inbuilt flexibility to reduce their numbers onneed basis. However, such breaks in their service should be treated as no break, forfuture opportunities for permanency, if any, that may be based on seniority.III. P.N. (Dada) Samant, President – Maharashtra General Kamgar Union,Mumbai. He recommends amendments to the Act, for extension of its applicability toestablishments engaging 10 contract labour instead of current 20 numbers. Secondly,he recommends substitution of the word ‘any’ by ‘non-core’ under section 2(1)(c) andaddition of a provision for a hearing for an existing union before registration of theestablishment under the Act, to resist engagement of contract labour in perennialjobs. He quotes an example of a reputed MNC viz. Fiat India Ltd. Who took overPremier Automobiles Ltd., eventually moved its Mumbai manufacturing facility toRanjangaon near Pune. While Premier had all permanent workers on its pay-rollearlier, the new site of Fiat has practically engaged mostly contract labour for itsoperations, supplied by locally influential political leaders. He is quite blunt in callingthe Government officials as the main culprits for the situation, as they have failed intheir duty of implementing the Act.IV. Suryakant Bagal, General Secretary – Hind Mazdoor Sabha(Maharashtra), Mumbai.The concept of social justice, which had always been the guiding principle for theadministration and the judiciary, started losing ground post 1991 when India embarkedon liberalisation and globalisation. The unholy alliance of powerful capitalists andGovernment Machinery serving only their interests, came into being. It causedbottlenecks in delivering justice to the contract labour, where they were fightingagainst injustice. Even when a favourable verdict was delivered by a lower Court,the industry establishments always appealed against it, as a rule, to make thingsunviable and more difficult for the concerned contract labour. ONGC, a renowned68 Including the Excluded
    • profit-making public sector company is a prominent case in point. It has been fightingseveral court cases in the context, since 1991, four of which pertain to contemptof Court, for having failed in complying with the Courts’ orders. In one of the caseinvolving 76 contract labour, it worked out an out of court settlement scheme thatwas accepted by 71 workers, who withdrew from the case. Out of remaining 5, onedied in due course and one went missing. ONGC is still bent upon fighting the caseagainst the remaining 3 workers who have withstood the pressure for relenting, butwouldn’t consider regularising their services, thus squandering crores of the publicmoney. Mr. Bagal recommends amendments to the Act for absorbing contract labouras permanent workers post abolition of contract system and also under section 5(2),where no concerned contract labour should be removed from work, till the AdvisoryBoard delivers its decision in the case pending before them.V. Govind Balkrushna Sawant, Secretary – Kamgar Aghadi, Mumbai.Mere capital does not make an industry. It has to collaborate with labour to generatewealth. Due to large-scale unemployment in the country, you can buy labour verycheaply. The most exploited labour in this context is the contract labour. Industrystarted exploiting this factor indiscriminately post 1995, under the garb of reducingcosts and increasing productivity. The breed of the middlemen called contractors, haslargely emerged from among the political parties’ workers associated with influentialpoliticians in the respective areas, which deters the Govt. officials from initiatingappropriate enforcement of the Act. If and when the appropriate Government abolishescontract labour, all concerned labourers are thrown out of jobs. When they want toappeal against such arbitrary action, the principal employer denies any relationshipwith them. The contractor raises his hands by blaming it on his contract having beenabolished. Thus, the provision under section 10 of the Act that provides for abolitionof contract labour, is like throwing baby out along with the bath water.VI. Vasudevan Nambiath, General Secretary – CITU, Mumbai.He acknowledges the contract labour system as a severe challenge to the Indianlabour movement and has formed ‘Forum Against Contract Work’ (Thekedari PrathaVirodhi Manch) to deal with it. He condemns the lack of political will and capacityof the Govt. to enforce the legal rights of contract labour, even after 40 years ofenactment of the Act. He also laments the fact that the contract labour movementhas not emerged as an autonomous struggle, which should broaden and deepen theIndian trade union movement. He acknowledges the importance of moving beyondall political divisions and coming together and build an organisational process &capacity to shape an independent strategy, programme and mobilisation. He evenpromotes the idea that the struggle of contract labour has to move beyond legalbattles and mobilise militancy to eliminate it. He, inter alia, recommends amendmentto the Act, as regards the composition of the Advisory Boards, where the Chairmanshould be a person of eminence in public life such as retired High Court judge. Including the Excluded 69
    • Chapter VI Views of Labour Law Practitioners, Consultants and Educationists At the backdrop of the survey that covered the elements who have direct stakesin the subject matter, it was also important to obtain the opinions of independentprofessionals, who possessed knowledge on the subject. A few prominentrepresentations of the said lot have been presented below:I. Adv. Sanjay Singhvi (Lawyer for employees), Mumbai.He feels that Contract labour today is more widespread and more abused andexploited than when the Act came into being. According to him, the main lacuna inthe Act, is the absence of any forum for redressing the contract labour’s grievances.He also points at the provision under section 12 of the Act, for investigation beforeissuance of licence to a contractor, which can be used to examine whether the saidcontract pertains to the type of work prohibited under section 10 of the Act, which isnot happening. He also points at Government records, showing only 150 cases from1970 till date, where the wages of contract labour were fixed as per Rule 25 under theAct, as a sign of abuse. As regards functioning of the Advisory Boards under the Act,he says that some are diligent but some are callous too and it depends completely onhow they are constituted.II. Adv. R.D. Bhatt (Lawyer for employees), Mumbai.The Government machinery doesn’t fulfil its obligations under the Act, beyond issuingregistration certificates and licences. The advisory Boards are ineffective. He, likeAdv. Singhvi, points at the constitution of the Boards, where the Labour Minister is theChairman, whereas such Boards are expected to function independently. He lamentsthat judicial pronouncements of the Apex Court have made it more difficult for thecontract labour to get security of tenure and fair wages. He is also critical of tradeunions, some of whom acquiesce with the employer in engaging contract labour incertain jobs.III. Adv. K.M. Naik (Lawyer for employers), Mumbai.The Act takes care of contract labour’s interests fully, who are benefited by it morethat the employers. Hence no amendment to the Act needed, not even for agitatinggrievances.70 Including the Excluded
    • IV. Late Adv. C.V. Pawaskar (Lawyer for employers), Mumbai.The very nature of contract work means it is for a limited duration. Therefore, there isno question of claiming permanency. Secondly, the Act has made adequate provisionsfor the protection of contract labour and also the machinery to ensure it. However, aboard akin to that under the Mathadi Act can be set up to address their issues.V. P.M. Mantri, Labour Advisor, Mumbai.While it was not intended by the Act to provide permanent employment, it is a commonknowledge that success of any law depends on its enforcement, which has failed inthe case of the Act. It certainly needs amendment, to provide for the right to thecontract labour to agitate their grievances before a judicial or quasi-judicial authority.He agrees that the percentage of pragmatic employers is small, who comply with theAct in letter and spirit.VI. Dr. Krishna Murthy, Industrial Relations Consultant and Editor of‘Arbiter’ journal, Mumbai.The Act is an anachronistic piece of legislation that seeks to deal with an economythat has transformed drastically, at it came into being in an environment that was theanti-thesis to the present day highly competitive and dynamic world. He substantiateshis comment by pointing at the prevalent practices of outsourcing functions likepayroll, maintenance and using the temporary staffing services run by domestic aswell as multinational firms, adopted in the corporate world, apart from the commonlyknown jobs like security and housekeeping, which according to him, is the directoutcome of certain provisions under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 that prohibitflexibility in manufacturing operations. It is also the cause behind principal employerskeeping away from providing common benefits even training to contract labour, forfear of future claims of permanency. As regards the Act, he feels that it is not toothlessper se but the flip side of corruption within the enforcement machinery is the causeof its ineffectiveness, who according to him use the Act to threaten non-complyingemployers and extort money from them, especially before elections.VII. V.S. Rajan (Advocate, Notary & Legal Consultant), ChennaiIt is important to distinguish between engaging contract labour and outsourcingi.e. commercial contracts for service, which are between user and service-provider.He feels that amendment to the Act is needed to prevent employers from using lowcost contract labour as substitute to permanent workers; it should also provide for aloading for compensating the contract labour for loss of benefits as compared to thepermanent workers, as a premium payable by the employers, for enjoying the benefitof flexibility. Including the Excluded 71
    • VIII. Dr. Sharad Sawant, Ex-Director, Maharashtra Institute of LabourStudies (MILS), and Honorary Professor, TISCO Chair of Tata Institute ofSocial Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.Research has shown that contract labour is a phenomenon widely seen in mofussilareas which is a practice followed by big industries when they shift out of metrocities. One way of managing contract labour would be to ensure that core labourbe permanent, while non-core industries/occupations can be with contract labour.And in such cases of flexible labour model, a cost tag be attached- double or suchrate of the nominal wages, as is practiced in countries like USA. The Act should seethat the contract labour get benefits similar to permanent workers; they are paidthrough cheques, and provided with I-cards. If we wish for abolition of contractlabour, we must insist on permanency instead. Without employment security therewill not be any compliances with the statute, no provision of good working conditions.Just de-regulation will not serve any purpose. Improvements have to be effected inthe present legislation; there is no need for a fresh legislation. The Act need to beamended-e.g the composition of the advisory board. Boards like the Dock LabourBoard can be set up to regulate contract labour. Section 10 need to be amended inthe light of the structural transformation in the industrial sector in India. Outsourcingof labour, by definition, be included as being in the purview of the Act. Ambiguity is aloophole that creates exploitation of workers, and is taken advantage of by employers.Various terms have to be made clear in the context of clarity when seeking justice forcontract labour, such as-‘perennial work’, ‘core work’ and ‘regular work’ in the presentcontext. In the provision of basic amenities like water, sanitation, training for healthand safety, there should be no difference between regular and contract workers.Employer needs flexibility in the deployment of people, to meet the peaks and lows ofthe supply cycle. Some anomalies that take place in the process need to be correctedso as to ensure fair treatment to labour in the process. Contract labour will continueto be exploited as long as trade unions are not strong. On the other hand it is difficultfor trade unions to deal with the contract labour which is dispersed all over industriesand occupations. One can refer to an experience of the textile industry -that to thedecasualization scheme- every worker at the time of leaving used to register in thedecasualization scheme-this was officially valid procedure, though not a legal one.Similarly an agency can be created by trade union/NGO which will create a pool ofworkers (industry wise), functioning like an employment exchange for the contractlabour market.72 Including the Excluded
    • Chapter VII ConclusionsAnalysing the matter presented in the foregoing chapters, the following conclusionscan be presented.1. The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 was enacted with a viewto “the regulate the employment of contract labour the certain establishment and toprovide its abolition in certain circumstances and for matters connected therewith.”However it is observed that this objective has not been fully achieved.2. The object with which the Act was enacted, it is observed that, the same is not fullyachieved.3. Insufficiency of provisions of law has resulted in non delivering the intended justiceto the contract labour.4. Interpretations placed by the judiciary have added to the failure of achieving thedesired results.5. The machinery created by the government is hopelessly inadequate, not to mentioninefficient, to execute the provisions of the Act and rules.6. Apart from inefficiency there is an element of corruption which has been eatingaway at the system for the past several years, thus resulting in the failure of the Act.7. It is observed that in several cases there is a large scale exploitation of the needyworkers who have no alternative but to accept the terms offered by the Contractors/principal employers, in order to made two ends meet.8. The contract workers in most of the cases are a floating community who have noalternative but to leave their places of residence and go wherever they find employmentin whatever possible manner.9. This situation is exploited by the persons whose main business is to providesupplying labour/ manpower, as per demand of the principal employers thus treatingthe workers as one of the commodities.10. These workers lack basic adequate education to aspire for better employment orto qualify themselves for it.11. In this field for more than a decade and half there is great political interferenceand in many cases, the politicians act as contractors, which ultimately results in theseworkers becoming a gang of bonded labourers. Including the Excluded 73
    • 12. It has been found that in some cases the contract workers are provided with basicamenities such as residence and other material requirement, under one roof, so as toensure that they remain within the vicinity, entirely under the control of the contractor.In such cases they are not permitted to enjoy their leave as per the law.13. In order to avoid the clutches of law the principal employer prefers to engageworkers on contract and not on his rolls, to show the workers’ strength to be less than100. This is only to avoid the application of the provisions of the Sec. 25(o) and (n)chapter VB of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947.14. The above position is also to be found not only in the private sector but also inthe public sectors. Apart from this the contract workers many times suffer from eitherlesser payment and / or delayed payment of wages than that statutorily fixed by law.15. The Trade Unions of the organised workers do not and in many cases cannot takethe cudgels on behalf of the contract workers, their main interest being protecting theinterests of the permanent workers in the concerned unit. There is an exception to thisin some cases, however, which are rare.16. The contract workers, though have a right of association under the Constitutioncannot in fact, join a general union or form their own union as they are likely to losethe employment itself which worries them.17. The Boards created by the statute have been found to be totally useless as theyhave no powers to pass an order which is quasi- judicial in nature.18. The Court decisions given from 1960 till date have been inconsistent with the aimsand objectives of the Act.19. From the promulgation of the act till the SAIL judgement there appears to be graveconsistency in view and interpretation.Road to Potential Anarchy:An important aspect of this whole issue is that the contract workers themselves aretoo scared to fight their own cases. They do not dare to complain against anybodybecause of the dread of the intimidation by the owners/employers and the contractors.If anybody dares, he loses his job. They have therefore accepted this as their faitaccompli. Even though a few trade unions try to take up their cause, they do notrespond wholeheartedly, due to such fears. The instances of their success are far andfew between.As aforesaid, they belong to the weaker section of societ y from underdevelopedregions in India and are most likely to be coming from the socially less privilegedor deprived class of society, typically ridden by the age old Indian caste system.74 Including the Excluded
    • Their manual labour is the only thing they can offer to the outside world, for a living.They hope to rid themselves off the sufferings of poverty and a caste-ridden societyand approach industry which they see as a manifestation of modernity as well asprosperity. Unfortunately, they end up working there as modern day traditional downtrodden (read contract labour) who have only a hopeless future. Such frustratedpeople, alien to the insensitive administration and the rest of the society in general,can be a ready fuel to the already restive India, struggling to deal with movementslike naxalism, which have roots essentially in a large-scale social unrest, arising outof feelings of injustice and hopelessness.In the final analysis, if India Inc. wants not just faster growth but sustainable andinclusive growth, it will have to convert contract labour not only into a productiveand workforce but also a happy part of society. If done earlier, it will be better forthe overall progress of the economy and the nation. However, sadly enough, thepresent day Union Government including its top-most representative viz. The PrimeMinister does not seem to think so. It appears from the speech of our beloved PrimeMinister Dr. Man Mohan Singh as appeared in the Times of India, dt.20/02/12, thatthe government in not inclined to take in to consideration the exploitative situationbut only considers that if the contract labour offers ‘flexibility’ to the industry it wouldresult in the growth of the economy in general. It is unfortunate that he did not uttera word recognising the need for the protection and welfare of the contract labourers,who possibly did not figure in his image of India. Including the Excluded 75
    • Chapter VIII Recommendations1. As per the Economic Survey of 2007- 08 and subsequent Economic Surveysthereafter over 90 % of India’s workforce include the self employed and employedin unorganised sector. The Ministry of Labour, Govt. Of India has a category theunorganised labour force under four groups in terms of occupation, nature ofemployment, especially distress category and service categories. Considering the factthat a large number of our workforce has been continuously marginalised we stronglyrecommend establishment of a National Commission for Unorganised Labourers onthe lines of National Commissions for Schedule Tribes and Schedule Caste.2. Certain organisations of employers, in the past have recommended distinctionbetween “core” and “noncore” activities to be carried out by contract workers. On thebasis of this suggestion the Andhra Pradesh and Goa governments have introducedan amendment to Sec. 10 of the act. We strongly recommend that emulating what theAndhra Pradesh and Goa governments have done should suitably amend the centralact.3. The Act should be amended to provide for; 3.1 Absorption of employees performing the work of perennial or incidental nature where the government issues notification abolishing the contract. 3.2 Creation of the machinery for adjudication of disputes, as regards contract labour. 3.3 Section 10 of this act provided for Prohibition of Employment of Contract Labour. This section should be suitably amended to provide for an alternative avenue of approach for the aggrieved workers to ventilate the grievances through quasi-judicial machiner y instead to adhering administrative machinery. 3.4 The provision with regard to the Advisory Board under the Act should be repealed and the jurisdiction in deciding such matter should be referred to the machinery under the Labour laws having powers to impart t judicial decision. 3.5 Definition of the terms worker / workman should be suitably amended on the lines of those provided under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, so as to include contract labour under it. 3.6 “employee” means any person employed in or in connection with the work of any establishment to do any skilled, semi- skilled or unskilled manual,76 Including the Excluded
    • supervisory, technical or clerical work for hire or reward in any industry, and includes-(a) A person employed by a contractor to do any work for him in the execution of a contract with an employerBut does not include any such person(A) …..(B) ……(C)…3.7 Equal wages for equal work, to “strictly” be the responsibility of the principal employer, failure of which shall result in severe punishment, to the Principal employer and his agents.3.8 A Method and procedure for regularization of the employment of contract labour or their absorption, post abolition of a contract work, should be provided for.3.9 The term “Sham and Bogus contracts/ contractors” should be defined and included in the Act.3.10 Powers to the Inspectors under the Act, to inspect relevant records pertaining to the implementation of social security statutes viz. Provident Fund Act and Employee State Insurance Act, in addition to those available to the Inspectors under the said statutes.3.11 The number of forms to be filled in by the employers (Principal/Contractors) should be minimized. Including the Excluded 77
    • Annexure I Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970Brief Description of the Act.SECTION CONTENT CHAPTER I: PRELIMINARY 1. Short title, extent, commencement and application 2. Definitions CHAPTER II: THE ADVISORY BOARDS 3. Central Advisory Board 4. State Advisory Board 5. Power to constitute committees CHAPTER III: REGISTRATION OF ESTABLISHMENTS EMPLOYING CONTRACT LABOUR 6. Appointment of registering officers 7. Registration of certain establishments 8. Revocation of registration in certain cases 9. Effect of non-registration 10. Prohibition of employment of contract labour CHAPTER IV: LICENSING OF CONTRACTORS 11. Appointment of licensing officers 12. Licensing of contractors 13. Grant of licences 14. Revocation, suspension and amendment of licences 15. Appeal CHAPTER V: WELFARE AND HEALTH OF CONTRACT LABOUR 16. Canteens 17. Rest-rooms 18. Other facilities 19. First-aid facilities 20. Liability of principal employer in certain cases 21. Responsibility for payment of wages CHAPTER VI: PENALTIES AND PROCEDURE 22. Obstructions 23. Contravention of provisions regarding employment of contract labour 24. Other offences 25. Offences by companies 26. Cognizance of offences 27. Limitation of prosecutions78 Including the Excluded
    • CHAPTER VII: MISCELLANEOUS 28. Inspecting staff 29. Registers and other records to be maintained 30. Effect of laws and agreements inconsistent with this Act 31. Power to exempt in special cases 32. Protection of action taken under this Act 33. Power to give directions 34. Power to remove difficulties 35. Power to make rulesContract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970CHAPTER I: PRELIMINARYSection 1:Short title, extent, commencement and application 1. (1) This Act may be called the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970. (2) It extends to the whole of India. (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for difference provisions of this Act. (4) It applies – a) To ever y establishment in which t went y or more workmen are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months as contract labour; b) To ever y c ontrac tor who employs or who employe d on any day of the preceding twelve months twenty or more workmen:Provided that the appropriate Government may, after, giving not less than two months’ noticeof its intention so to do, by notification in the Official Gazette, apply the provisions of this Act toany establishment or contractor employing such number of workmen less than twenty as may bespecified in the notification. 2. (a) It shall not apply to establishments in which work only of an intermittent or casual nature is performed. (b) If a question arises whether work performed in an establishment is of an intermittent or casual nature, the appropriate Government shall decide that question after consultation with the Central Board or, as the case may be, a State Board, and its decision shall be final. Explanation - For the purpose of this sub-section, work performed in an establishment shall not be deemed to be of an intermittent nature – i. If it was performed for more than one hundred and twenty days in the preceding twelve months, or ii. If it is of a seasonal character and is performed for more than sixty days in a year.Section 2:Definitions (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,- (a) “appropriate government” means- (i) in relation to an establishment in respect of which the appropriate government under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947), is the Central Government, the Central Government; Including the Excluded 79
    • (ii) in relation to any other establishment, the Government of the State in which that other establishment is situates; (b) a workman shall be deemed to be employed as “contract labour” in or in connection with the work of an establishment when he is hired in or in connection with such work by or through a contractor, with or without the knowledge of the principal employer; (c) “contractor”, in relation to an establishment, means a person who undertakes to produce a given result for the establishment, other than a mere supply of goods or articles of manufacture to such establishment, through contract labour or who supplies contract labour for any work of the establishment and includes a sub-contractor; (d) “controlled industry” means any industry the control of which by the Union has been declared by any Central Act to be expedient in the public interest; (e) “establishment” means- (i) any office or department of the government or a local authority, or (ii) any place where any industry, trade, business, manufacture or occupation is carried on; (f) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act; (g) “principal employer” means- (i) in relation to any office or department of the government or a local authority, the head of that office or department or such other officer as the government or the local authority; as the case may be, may specify in this behalf, (ii) in a factory, the owner or occupier of the factory and where a person has been named as the manager of the factory under the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948), the person so named. (iii) in a mine, the owner or agent of the mine and where a person has been named as the manager of the mine, the person so named, (iv) in any other establishment, any person responsible for the supervision and control of the establishment.Explanation : For the purpose of sub-clause (iii) of this clause, the expressions “mine”, “owner” and“agent” shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in clause (j) clause (l) and clause (c)of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Mine Act, 1952 (35 of 1952); (h) “Wages” shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (vi) of section 2 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (4 of 1936); (i) “workman” means any person employed in or in connection with the work of any establishment to do any skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled manual, supervisory, technical or clerical work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be express or implied, but does not include any such person- (A) Who is employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity; or (B) who, being employed in a supervisory capacity draws wages exceeding five hundred rupees per mensem or exercises, either by the nature of the duties attached to the office or by reason of the powers vested in him, functions mainly of a managerial nature; or (C) who is an out-worker, that is to say, a person to whom any article and materials are given out by or on behalf of the principal employer to be made up, cleaned, washed, altered, ornamented, finished, repaired, adapted or otherwise processed for sale for the purposes of the trade or business of the principal employer and the process is to be carried out either in the home of the out-worker or in some other premises, not being premises under the control and management of the principal employer. (2) Any reference in this Act to a law which is not in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall, in relation to that State, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law, if any, in force in that State.80 Including the Excluded
    • Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970CHAPTER II: THE ADVISORY BOARDSSection 3:Central Advisory Board (1) The Central Government shall, as soon as may be, constitute a Board to be called the Central Advisory Contract Labour Board (hereinafter referred to as the Central Board) to advise the Central Government on such matter arising out of the administration of this Act as may be referred to it and to carry out other functions assigned to it under this Act. (2) The Central Board shall consist of- (a) a Chairman to be appointed by the Central Government; (b) the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), ex officio; (c) such number of members, not exceeding seventeen but not less than eleven, as the Central Government may nominate to represent that government, the Railways, the coal industry, the mining industry, the contractors, the workmen and any other interests which, in the opinion of the Central Government, ought to be represented on the Central Board. (3) The number of persons to be appointed as members from each of the categories specified in sub-section (2), the term of office and other conditions of service of, the procedure to be followed in the discharge of their functions by, and the manner of filling vacancies among, the members of the Central Board shall be such as may be prescribed:PROVIDED that the number of members nominated to represent the workmen shall not be less thanthe number of members nominated to represent the principal employers and the contractors.Section 4:State Advisory Board (1) The State Government may constitute a Board to be called the State Advisory Contract Labour Board (hereinafter referred to as the State Board) to advise the State Government on such matters arising out of the administration of this Act as may be referred to it and to carry out other functions assigned to it under this Act. (2) The State board shall consist of- (a) a Chairman to be appointed by the State Government; (b) the Labour Commissioner, ex officio, or in his absence any other officer nominated by the State Government in that behalf; (c) such number of members, not exceeding eleven but not less than nine, as the State Government may nominate to represent that government, the industry, the contractors, the workmen and any other interests which, in the opinion of the State Government, ought to be represented on the State Board. (3) The number of persons to be appointed as members from each of the categories specified in sub-section (2), the term of office and other conditions of service of, the procedure to be followed in the discharge of their functions by, and the manner of filling vacancies, among, the members of the State Board shall be such as may be prescribed:PROVIDED that the number of members nominated to represent the workmen shall not be less thanthe number of members nominated to represent the principal employers and the contractors.Section 5:Power to constitute committees (1) The Central Board or the State Board, as the case may be, may constitute such committees and for such purpose or purposes as it may think fit. (2) The committee constituted under sub-section (1) shall meet at such time and places and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings as may be prescribed. Including the Excluded 81
    • (3) The members of a committee shall be paid such fees and allowances for attending its meetings as may be prescribed:PROVIDED that no fees shall be payable to a member who is an officer of government or of anycorporation established by any law for the time being in force.Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970CHAPTER III: REGISTRATION OF ESTABLISHMENTS EMPLOYING CONTRACT LABOURSection 6:Appointment of registering officersThe appropriate government may, by an order notified in the Official Gazette- (a) appoint such persons, being Gazetted Officers of government, as it thinks fit to be registering officers for the purpose of this chapter; and (b) define the limits, with in which a registering officer shall exercise the powers conferred on him by or under this Act.Section 7:Registration of certain establishments(1) Every principal employer of an establishment to which this Act applies shall, within such periodas the appropriate government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, fix in this behalf withrespect to establishment generally or with respect to any class of them, make an application to theregistering officer in the prescribed manner for registration of the establishment:PROVIDED that the registering officer may entertain any such application for registration after expiryof the period fixed in this behalf, if the registering officer is satisfied that the applicant was preventedby sufficient cause from making the application in time.(2) If the application for registration is complete in all respects, the registering officer shall registerthe establishment and issue to the principal employer of the establishment a certificate of registrationcontaining such particulars as may be prescribed.Section 8:Revocation of registration in certain casesIf the registering officer is satisfied, either on a reference made to him in this behalf or otherwise,that the registration of any establishment has been obtained by misrepresentation or suppressionof any material fact, or that for any other reason the registration has become useless or ineffectiveand, therefore requires to be revoked, the registering officer may, after giving an opportunity to theprincipal employer of the establishment to be heard and with the previous approval of the appropriategovernment, revoke the registration.Section 9:Effect of non-registrationNo principal employer of an establishment, to which this Act applies, shall- (a) in the case of an establishment required to be registered under section 7, but which has not been registered within the time fixed for the purpose under that section; (b) in the case of an establishment the registration in respect of which has been revoked under section 8,employ contract labour in the establishment after the expiry of the period referred to in clause (a) orafter the revocation of registration referred to in clause (b), as the case may be.82 Including the Excluded
    • Section 10:Prohibition of employment of contract labour(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the appropriate government may, af terconsultation with the Central Board or, as the case may be, a State Board, prohibit, by notification inthe Official Gazette, employment of contract labour in any process, operation or other work in anyestablishment.(2) Before issuing any notification under sub-section (1) in relation to an establishment, the appropriategovernment shall have regard to the conditions of work and benefits provided for the contract labourin that establishment and other relevant factors, such as- (a) whether the process, operation or other work is incidental to, or necessary for the industry, trade, business, manufacture or occupation that is carried on in the establishment; (b) whether it is of perennial nature, that is to say, it is of sufficient duration having regard to the nature of industry, trade, business, manufacture or occupation carried on in that establishment; (c) whether it is done ordinarily through regular workmen in that establishment or an establishment similar thereto; (d) whether it is sufficient to employ considerable number of whole-time workmen.Explanation : If a question arises whether any process or operation or other work is of perennialnature, the decision of the appropriate government thereon shall be final.Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970CHAPTER IV: LICENSING OF CONTRACTORSSection 11:Appointment of licensing officersThe appropriate government may, by an order notified in the Official Gazette- (a) appoint such person, being Gazetted Officers of government, as it thinks fit to be licensing officers for the purposes of this chapter; and (b) define the limits, within which a licensing officer shall exercise the powers conferred on licensing officers by or under this Act.Section 12:Licensing of contractors(1) With effect from such date as the appropriate government may, by notification in the OfficialGazette, appoint no contractor to whom this Act applies, shall undertake or execute any workthrough contract labour except under and in accordance with a license issued in that behalf by thelicensing officer.(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a license under sub-section (1) may contain such conditionsincluding, in particular, conditions as to hours of work, fixation of wages and other essential amenitiesin respect of contract labour as the appropriate government may deem fit to impose in accordancewith the rules, if any, made under section 35 and shall be issued on payment of such fees and onthe deposit of such sum, if any, as security for the due performance of the conditions as may beprescribed.Section 13:Grant of licences(1) Every application for the grant of licence under sub-section (1) of section 12 shall be made in theprescribed form and shall contain the particulars regarding the location of the establishment, thenature of process, operation or work for which contract labour is to be employed and such otherparticulars as may be prescribed. Including the Excluded 83
    • (2) The licensing officer may make such investigation in respect of the application received undersub-section (1) and in making any such investigation the licensing officer shall follow such procedureas may be prescribed.(3) A license granted under this chapter shall be valid for the period specified therein and may berenewed from time to time for such period and on payment of such fees and on such conditions asmay be prescribed.Section 14:Revocation, suspension and amendment of licences(1) If the licensing officer is satisfied, either on a reference made to him in this behalf or otherwise,that- (a) a license granted under section 12 has been obtained by misrepresentation or suppression of any material fact, or (b) the holder of a license has, without reasonable cause, failed to comply with the conditions subject to which the license has been granted or has contravened any of the provisions of this Act or the rules made hereunder,then without prejudice to any other penalty to which the holder of the license may be liable under thisAct, the licensing officer may, after giving the holder of the license an opportunity of showing cause,revoke or suspend the license or forfeit the sum, if any, or any portion thereof deposited as securityfor the due performance of the conditions subject to which the license has been granted.(2) Subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, the licensing officer may vary or amend alicense granted under section 12.Section 15:Appeal(1) Any person aggrieved by an order made under section 7, section 8, section 12 or section 14 may,within thirty days from the date on which the order is communicated to him, prefer an appeal to anappellate officer who shall be a person nominated in this behalf by the appropriate government:PROVIDED that the appellate officer may entertain the appeal after the expiry of the said periodof thirty days, if he is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing theappeal in time.(2) On receipt of an appeal under sub-section (1), the appellate officer shall, after giving the appellantan opportunity of being heard dispose of the appeal as expeditiously as possible.Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970CHAPTER V: WELFARE AND HEALTH OF CONTRACT LABOURSection 16:Canteens(1) The appropriate government may make rules requiring that in every establishment- (a) to which this Act applies, (b) wherein work requiring employment of contract labour is likely to continue for such period as may be prescribed, and (c) wherein contract labour numbering one hundred or more is ordinarily employed by a contractor, one or more canteens shall be provided and maintained by the contractor for the use of such contract labour.(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules, may provide for-84 Including the Excluded
    • (a) the date by which the canteens shall be provided; (b) the number of canteens that shall be provided, and the standards in respect of construction, accommodation, furniture and other equipment of the canteens; and (c) the foodstuffs which may be served therein and the charges which may be made therefore.Section 17:Rest-rooms(1) In every place where in contract labour is required to halt at night in connection within the workof an establishment- (a) to which this Act applies, and (b) in which work requiring employment of contract labour is likely to continue for such period as may be prescribed,there shall be provided and maintained by the contractor for the use of the contract labour suchnumber of rest-rooms or such other suitable alternative accommodation with such time as may beprescribed.(2) The rest-rooms or the alternative accommodation to be provided under subsection (1) shall besufficiently lighted and ventilated and shall be maintained in clean and comfortable condition.Section 18:Other facilitiesIt shall be the duty of every contractor employing contract labour in connection with the work of anestablishment to which this Act applies, to provide and maintain- (a) a sufficient supply of wholesome drinking-water for the contract labour at convenient places; (b) a sufficient number of latrines and urinals of the prescribed types so situated as to be convenient and accessible to the contract labour in the establishment; and (c) washing facilities.Section 19:First-aid facilitiesThere shall be provided and maintained by the contractor so as to be readily accessible during allworking hours a first-aid box equipped with the prescribed contents at every place where contractlabour is employed by him.Section 20:Liability of principal employer in certain cases(1) If any amenity required to be provided under section 16, section 17, section 18, or section 19 forthe benefit of the contract labour employed in an establishment is not provided by the contractorwithin the time prescribed therefor, such amenity shall be provided by the principal employer withinsuch time as may be prescribed.(2) All expenses incurred by the principal employer in providing the amenity may be recovered bythe principal employer from the contractor either by deduction from any amount payable to thecontractor under any contract or as a debt payable by the contractor.Section 21:Responsibility for payment of wages(1) A contractor shall be responsible for payment of wages to each worker employed by him as contractlabour and such wages shall be paid before the expiry of such period as may be prescribed.(2) Every principal employer shall nominate a representative duly authorised by him to be present at Including the Excluded 85
    • the time of disbursement of wages by the contractor and it shall be the duty of such representativeto certify the amounts paid as wages in such manner as may be prescribed.(3) It shall be the duty of the contractor or ensure the disbursement of wages in the presence of theauthorised representative of the principal employer.(4) In case the contractor fails to make payment of wages within the prescribed period or makesshort payment, then the principal employer shall be liable to make payment of wages in full or theunpaid balance due, as the case may be, to the contract labour employed by the contractor andrecover the amount so paid from the contractor either by deduction from any amount payable to thecontractor under any contract or as a debt payable by the contractorContract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970CHAPTER VI: PENALTIES AND PROCEDURESection 22:Obstructions(1) Whoever obstructs an inspector in the discharge of his duties under this Act or refuses or willfullyneglects to afford the inspector any reasonable facility for making any inspection, examination,inquiry or investigation authorised by or under this Act in relation to an establishment to which, ora contractor to whom, this Act applies, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which mayextend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.(2) Whoever willfully refuses to produce on the demand of an inspector any register or otherdocument kept in pursuance of this Act or prevents or attempts to prevent or does anything whichhe has reason to believe is likely to prevent any person from appearing before or being examined byan inspector acting in pursuance of his duties under this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonmentfor a term which may extend to three months, or with a fine which may extend to five hundred rupees,or with both.Section 23:Contravention of provisions regarding employment of contract labourWhoever contravenes any provision of this Act or of any rules made there under prohibiting, restrictingor regulating the employment of contract labour, or contravenes any condition of a license grantedunder this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months,or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both, and in the case of a continuingcontravention with an additional fine which may extend to one hundred rupees for every day duringwhich such contravention continues after conviction for the first such contravention.Section 24:Other offencesIf any person contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or of any rules made thereunder for whichno other penalty is elsewhere provided, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term whichmay extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.Section 25:Offences by companies(1) If the person committing an offence under this Act is a company, the company as well as everyperson in charge of, and responsible to, the company for the conduct of its business at the timeof commission of the offence shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to beproceeded against and punished accordingly:PROVIDED that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to anypunishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercisedall due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.86 Including the Excluded
    • (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has beencommitted by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consentor connivance of, or that the commission of the offence is attributable to any neglect on the part ofany director, manager, managing agent or any other officer of the company, such director, manager,managing agent or such other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall beliable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.Explanation : For the purpose of this section- (a) “company” means anybody corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and (b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.Section 26:Cognizance of offencesNo court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act except on a complaint made by, orwith the previous sanction in writing of, the inspector and no court inferior to that of a PresidencyMagistrate or a Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.Section 27:Limitation of prosecutionsNo court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Act unless the complaint thereofis made within three months from the date on which the alleged commission of the offence came tothe knowledge of an inspector:PROVIDED that where the offence consists of disobeying a written order made by an inspector,complaint thereof may be made within six months of the date on which the offence is alleged to havebeen committed.Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970CHAPTER VII: MISCELLANEOUSSection 28:Inspecting staff(1) The appropriate government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint such persons asit thinks fit to be inspectors for the purposes of this Act, and define the local limits within which theyshall exercise their powers under this Act.(2) Subject to any rules made in this behalf, an inspector may, within the local limits for which he isappointed- (a) enter, at all reasonable hours, with such assistance (if any), being persons in the service of the government or any local or other public authority as he thinks fit, any premises or place where contract labour is employed, for the purpose of examining any register or record or notice required to be kept or exhibited by or under this Act or rules made there under, and require the production thereof for inspection: (b) examine any person whom he finds in any such premises or place and who, he has reasonable cause to believe, is a workman employed therein; (c) require any person giving out work and any workman, to give any information, which is in his power to give with respect to the names and addresses of the person to, for and from whom the work is given out or received, and with respect to the payments to be made for the work; (d) seize or take copies of such register, record of wages or notices or portions thereof as he may consider relevant in respect of an offence under this Act which he has reason to believe has been committed by the principal employer or contractor; and Including the Excluded 87
    • (e) exercise such other powers as may be prescribed.(3) Any information required to produce any document or thing or to give any information required byan inspector under sub-section (2) shall be deemed to be legally bound to do so within the meaningof section 175 and section 176 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).(4) The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), shall, so far as may be, applyto any search or seizure under sub-section (2) as they apply to any search or seizure made under theauthority of a warrant issued under section 98 of the said Code. 2Section 29:Registers and other records to be maintained(1) Every principal employer and every contractor shall maintain such register and records givingsuch particulars of contract labour employed, the nature of work performed by the contract labour,the rate of wages paid to the contract labour and such other particulars in such form as may beprescribed.(2) Every principal employer and every contractor shall keep exhibited in such manner as may beprescribed within the premises of the establishment where the contract labour is employed, noticesin the prescribed form containing particulars about the hours of work, nature of duty and such otherinformation as may be prescribed.Section 30:Effect of laws and agreements inconsistent with this Act(1) The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewithcontained in any other law or in the terms of any agreement or contract of service, or in any standingorders applicable to the establishment whether made before or after the commencement of the Act:PROVIDED that where under any such agreement, contract of service or standing orders the contractlabour employed, in the establishment are entitled to benefits in respect of any matter which are morefavourable to them than those to which they would be entitled under this Act, the contract labourshall continue to be entitled to the more favourable benefits in respect of that matter, notwithstandingthat they received benefits in respect of other matters under this Act.(2) Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed as precluding any such contract labour fromentering into an agreement with the principal employer or the contractor, as the case may be, forgranting them rights or privileges in respect of any matter which are more favourable to them thanthose to which they would be entitled under this Act.Section 31:Power to exempt in special casesThe appropriate government may, in the case of an emergency, direct, by notification in the OfficialGazette, that subject to such conditions and restrictions, if any, and for such period or periods, as maybe specified in the notification, all or any of the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereundershall not apply to any establishment or class of establishments or any class of contractors.Section 32:Protection of action taken under this Act(1) No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against any registering officer, licensingofficer or any other government servant or against any member of the Central Board or the StateBoard, as the case may be, for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done inpursuance of this Act or any rule or order made thereunder.(2) No suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against the government for any damage caused or likelyto be caused by anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Actor any rule or order made there under.88 Including the Excluded
    • Section 33:Power to give directionsThe Central Government may give directions to the Government of any State as to the carrying intoexecution in the State of the provisions contained in this Act.Section 34:Power to remove difficultiesIf any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, byorder published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions ofthis Act, as appears to it to be necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty.Section 35:Power to make rules(1) The appropriate government may, subject to the condition of previous publication, make rules forcarrying out the purposes of this Act.(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules mayprovide for all or any of the following matters, namely- (a) the number of persons to be appointed members representing various interests on the Central Board and the State Board, the term of their office and other conditions of service, the procedure to be followed in the discharge of their functions and the manner of filling vacancies; (b) the times and places of the meetings of any committee constituted under that Act, the procedure to be followed at such meeting including the quorum necessary for the transaction of business, and the fees and allowances that may be paid to the members of a committee; (c) the manner in which establishments may be registered under section 7, the levy of a fee therefor and the form of certificate of registration; (d) the form of application of the grant or renewal of a licence under section 13 and the particulars it may contains; (e) the manner in which an investigation is to be made in respect of an application for the grant of a licence and the matters to be taken into account in granting or refusing a licence; (f) the form of a licence which may be granted or renewed under section 12 and the conditions subject to which the licence may be granted or renewed, the fees to be levied for the grant or renewal of a licence and the deposit of any sum as security for the performance of such conditions: (g) the circumstances under which licences may be varied or amended under section 14; (h) the form and manner in which appeals may be filed under section 15 and the procedure to be followed by appellate officers in disposing of the appeals; (i) the time within which facilities required by this Act to be provided and maintained may be so provided by the contractor and in case of default on the part of the contractor, by the principal employer; (j) the number and types of canteens, rest-rooms, latrines and urinals that should be provided and maintained; (k) the type of equipment that should be provided in the first-aid boxes; Including the Excluded 89
    • (l) the period within which wages payable to contract labour should be paid by the contractor under sub-section (1) of section 21; (m) the form of registers and records to be maintained by principal employers and contractors; (n) the submission of returns, forms in which, and the authorities to which, such returns may be submitted; (o) the collection of any information or statistics in relation to contract labour; and (p) any other matter which has to be, or may be, prescribed under this Act.(3) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid as soon as may be afterit is made, before each House of Parliament while it is in session for a total period of thirty dayswhich may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions, and if before the expiryof the session in which it is so laid or the session immediately following, both Houses agree inmaking any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, therule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be;so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity ofanything previously done under that rule.90 Including the Excluded
    • Annexure II Workers Symposium on Policies and Regulations to Combat Precarious Employment (Geneva, 4 – 7 October 2011)CONCLUSIONS:Worldwide, unimaginable numbers of workers suffer from precarious, insecure, uncertain, andunpredictable working conditions. Unemployment figures alone are cause for concern, but eventhese fail to capture the larger majority of people who work, but who do not have a decent job, with adecent wage, a secure future, social protection, and access to rights. The universality and dimensionof the problem call for coordinated and comprehensive action at the international level.The global financial, economic and social crisis we are experiencing since 2007 has intensifiedthese problems. Instead of drawing lessons from the crisis and changing a failed economic model,governments have allowed themselves to be governed by financial markets. Public sector employmentis being slashed, workers rights have been further eroded, wages have been cut, and millions ofadditional workers have been pushed into precarious, temporary and insecure employment, withundeclared work on the rise in many countriesThis symposium has allowed us to take stock of the development of precarious work worldwide andof its impacts on workers and their ability to exercise their right to associate and bargain collectively.Workers in precarious employment suffer from inferior working conditions in all aspects of work:security, predictability, health and safety, pay and benefits, and access to social security. The spreadof precarious employment is part of what it is fair to call a worldwide corporate attack on the right toorganize and bargain collectively, by shifting to subcontracting and individual contracts, attackingsectoral and national bargaining, and evading employer responsibilities by complicating what shouldin fact be a direct employment relationship with their workers.Combating precarious work requires a comprehensive policy response that includes economic, fiscaland social policies geared towards full employment and income equality, a regulatory frameworkto reduce and ultimately eradicate precarious work, and greater efforts to empower workers bypromoting the extension of collective bargaining and by ensuring that all workers can access andexercise their right to associate and to bargaining collectively freely and without fear. Minimum wagesglobally, basic income security through a universal social protection floor and policies to combat theerosion of the employment relationship are indispensable to limit precarious employment, indecentworking and living conditions. Any credible plan of action would also have to address the specificconditions of migrant, women and young workers who are most affected by precarious work, and2 should be informed by an analysis of how precarity among these workers amplifies the spread ofprecarity for all.The ILO has a vital role to play in providing an appropriate and modern regulatory framework tostop the growing circumvention of labour and social protection through precarious employmentarrangements. The ILO and the trade union movement should continue and strengthen their effortsto realize the ambition of the Employment Relationship Recommendation 198 that no contractualarrangements have the effect of depriving workers of the protection they are due. More efforts areneeded to implement this Recommendation at the country level.In the light of the concerns expressed with the rapid growth of triangular relationships through agencywork there is also a need to examine the meaning, scope, impact and application of Convention181. Ratification and implementation of existing ILO Standards by governments would be a majorcontribution to reducing precarious employment. Changes in the global economy, in the world ofwork, in gender equality and family patterns also call for new regulatory initiatives to close regulatorygaps. Including the Excluded 91
    • Legislative regulations need to be complemented by collective bargaining agreements where workerscan directly negotiate and determine their conditions of work. Experience shows that without workplaceempowerment through trade unions and collective representation, legal provisions and regulationsoften do not materialize in practice.These collective bargaining rights must also be guaranteed for government employees. Thetransformation of many public sector jobs into precarious work through privatisation, outsourcing,or outright administrative wage cuts underline the urgent need for giving full right to public servantsto bargain collectively for working conditions, wages and employment. Governments need to beexemplary as employers. Quality public services are essential to sustainable development andcannot be based on casual employment.Organizing all groups of workers, and particularly reaching out to workers in informal and precariousemployment, requires a wide spectrum of established and innovative forms of mobilizing andorganizing workers. The trade union movement is better placed than any other organization to bethe voice of all working people, and a powerful partner in alliances with other movements to createsecure, stable and predictable working conditions for all workers.At the ACTRAV Symposium, trade union and labour experts from around the world discussed optionsand possibilities to respond to these trends that deprive more and more workers from decent work.A response should include:1. Social and economic policies to combat precarious workThe ILO will work to develop a new economic paradigm in line with the global jobs pact and the fourpillars of the decent work agenda, based on full employment and a wage-led recovery underpinnedby social security and a social protection floor. Any plan to combat precarious work must be basedon fundamental changes in social and economic policy.2. Promotion of Collective Bargaining to reduce precarious work  The production of a Law and Practice Report and the holding of an ILO expert meeting on obstacles to collective bargaining for precarious workers by the ILO, such a report could inter alia addressThe measures that should be taken to ensure that workers in triangular relationships can participatein meaningful collective bargaining.  Extending rights and working conditions provided to workers with recognised permanent employment relationships and collective bargaining arrangements to workers in precarious forms of employment  Provide safeguards against undermining collective barraging agreements and rights through the use of precarious work.  Collective bargaining in multi-employer workplaces and bargaining unit determination.  The mechanisms and measures to ensure the effective access of the right to collective bargaining for specific categories of workers whose status in law inhibits this access.  Obstacles to forming or joining trade unions for workers in triangular relationships;  The allocation of responsibilities between temporary work agencies and user enterprises.  Review of the criteria for determining an employer.  The effect of precarious working arrangements on health and safety.  Best practices to ensure coverage of precarious workers (extension mechanisms, etc.)  The promotion and reinforcement of central, national, regional and sectoral bargaining, including mechanisms for the legal extension of collective bargaining agreements.3. Promotion of existing standards  Creation of a comprehensive package of relevant instruments to combat precarious work including core labour standards and:92 Including the Excluded
    •  C122 on Employment Policies  Recommendation 198 on the Employment Relationship  C158 on the Termination of Employment  C154 on the Promotion of Collective Bargaining  C175 on Part-Time Work  C131 on Minimum Wage Fixing convention  C81 and C129 on Labour Inspections  C94 on Labour Clauses in Public Contracts  Specific Categories  C97 and C143 on Migrant Workers  C156 on Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention  C159 on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention  C183 on Maternity Protection  C177 on Home Work  C189 on Domestic Workers Convention, not yet in force as well as their accompanying recommendations.4. Further regulation  New instruments should improve the predictability, stability and equality of employment conditions including equal pay for work of equal value for all workers. Regulations should ensure that exceptions from secure, opened and direct employment must be justified by valid reasons.  Temporary work  Limit, restrict and reduce the resort to precarious forms of employment  Establishing clear conditions under which an employer can hire temporary and agency workers  Limiting the proportion of workers at a given workplace on precarious contracts  Limiting the amount of time a worker can be on a temporary contract, after which they must be given a permanent contract.  Second, an instrument could seek to prevent the abusive use of precarious forms of employment by establishing clear criteria to determine the employment relationship building on the existing provisions of Recommendation 198.The instrument should establish effective remedies for workers who are victims of abuse, todiscourage such practices and encourage the allocation of joint and several liabilities in the case ofmultiple employers.5. Capacity building  Upon request from the trade unions the ILO needs to provide its expertise and  technical assistance in order to enable trade unions to make full use of the ILO  Standards, the ILO Jurisprudence and its knowledge base of the organisation in their efforts to combat precarious employment.  There is a need for special efforts to work with trade unions to promote the above mentioned standards. This should include a special combined programme of the ILO technical department, the field offices, the Bureau for workers Activities and theTurin Training Centre to develop and promote the necessary regulatory framework to put an end toprecarious work.Development by governments with the active support of the ILO of better statistical indicators tocapture the reality of precarious employment Including the Excluded 93
    • 6. Union campaigns on precarious work  Make a priority of organizing precarious workers  Build alliances among trade unions and with social movements  Information campaigns for the population at-large  Through comprehensive International Framework agreements  To respond to the current offensive to make public sector work more precarious  To make a more active use of the OECD guidelines on multinationals and the  ILO Declaration on Multinationals  Develop observatories to monitor along with the ILO the development of precarious employment in each country and internationallyUse the ILO supervisory mechanism to create new jurisprudence on precarious work  Work towards the establishment of social protection floors, minimum wage levels that provide living wages, macroeconomic policies geared towards full employment, development friendly trade agreements, and re-regulation of financial marketsList of References 1. Contract Labour and Judicial Interventions, Upadhyay Sanjay, V. V. Giri National Labour Institute. 2. A Raw deal for contract labour, Singhvi Sanjay (www.labourfile.org CEC) 3. Contract Labour not a Master- Servant Relationship- SC- Times of India (Sept 2, 2001) 4. Pay Equal Wages to Contract Labour and Regular Workers: Group- Yahoo! India News (Sun, Oct. 10 yahoo.com/tnl.pay-equal-wages-to) 5. No end in sight to contract Labour debate, Maitrayee Handique- posted Mon. 3 2009- livemint.com articles. 6. Contract labour law: Convincing workers, employers key- The Economic Times 4th October 2010 Amit Sen ET Bureau (www.indiatimes.com) 7. Contract Labour and The New Economic Policy- Is the Harmonisation possible- by Aparajita Tayal (Cited as 2004 July PL (Jour) 13 ebc.india.com/lawyer/articles) 8. Government seeks to amend contract labour law- The Economic Times Sept. 2010, 04 Vikas Dhoot E T Bureau. 9. National Committee IFTU called All India General Strike on 20 th August- Contributed cpimind- Tuesday 12 Aug. 2008 10. Contract Labour Act in India- A paper with a pragmatic view by Meenakshi Rajeev (IGIDR Proceedings/ Project report series PP- 062-33 pdf) 11. Indian Industry Dependent on a forgotten workforce by Dibyendu Maiti, Institute of Economic Study- 20 July 2009 (www.ippg.org.uk/papers) 12. Peoples Democracy volume xxxi no. 18- 41st Indian Labour Conference. 13. Submission to Chairman, Law Commission by Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh dt. 4/3/2010 on contract labour (R and A) Act 1970. 14. Contract Labour in India- DC Mathur 15. Contract Labour in India- (labour.nic.in/dglw/session41of ILC.doc) 16. Contract Labour in India (labour.nic.in) 17. Impact of liberalization on employment in India, Shastri R K, Tripathi Ravindra and Singh Anushree, International journal of vocational and Technical education volume II (3) PP 33-35 July 2010 (www.academicjournals.org/ IJVTE) 18. Conclusions of Workers Symposium on Policies and Regulations to Combat Precarious94 Including the Excluded
    • Employment (Geneva, 4 – 7 October 2011)19. Contractual system and Indian Economy- some reflections from Trade Union point of view by Dr. Sharad Sawant, Advisor, Ambekar Institure for Labour studies.20. On contract Labour Resolution passed by Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh in 15th conference held in 2008 at cuttak, Orissa.21. Programme on contract Labour- Issues and problems- Jan. 27, 2011 Co-ordinator- Dr. Onkar Sharma – V.V. Giri National Labour Institute22. Contractual system in production and Employment – A Possible Legislative frame work- by Suryakant Bagal, G.S. Maharashtra Council, Hind Mazdoor Sabha.23. 43rd session of The Indian Labour conference, New Delhi.24. Report of the Tripartite Group on contract Labour prepared by Directorate of Labour welfare, Ministry of labour and employment, New Delhi.25. Contract Labour in south Asia- edited by D P A Naidu, ILO, Geneva.26. CLRA Act is Divorced from Realities- Repeal or amend it by H.L. Kumar, Advocare – CLR June 2002-32027. American Legislation for Regulating contract Labour – Engaged contractor on contractual work with the Federal Govt. by R.P. Siddhanti CLR Nov. 2004-38.28. Internation Action – International Labour standards – International Labour conference 85th session 1997.29. Extract from Report of Tripartite Group on CL (RA) Act 1970 dt. 30.12.200930. Wage Inequality and job Insecurity among permanent and contract workers in India.. By Amit K. Bhandari and Almas Heshmati – university of Kalyani and Seoul National university.31. The Contract Labour (R&A) Act 1970 issues and concerns (Estimates) by saini, Debi S. Indian journal of industrial Relations pub dt.7/01/2010.32. Labour Laws – Recent Trends by S.N. Murthy, senior Advocate (email murthysn@airtelmail. in)33. Labour and Labour Laws- India and ILO – 9 th f.y.plan 97-02 para 4.12 Including the Excluded 95
    • Annexure III Interview Schedules and Checklist for FGDsQuestionnaire in respect of Contract Labour 1. What is your opinion about the existing CLRA Act? 2. On the basis of your experience whether this act is sufficient to deal with the objective of the act? 3. Do you feel whether the provisions of this Act has Achieved the purpose for which it has been enacted? (on the background of the case of Stan Vac) 4. Do you feel that the workers are benefited by the provisions of this Act, insofar as, their regulation of service conditions and getting permanent employment? 5. Do you feel that this act needs amendments so that the workers would have a right to agitate their grievance before the judicial or quasi -judicial authority save and except high Court? 6. By your experience for the last several years in the field are you of the opinion that principle employers comply with the provisions of the act and rules? 7. Whether the approach of the employers is to avoid the provisions and see that they are not required to spend more money in statutory compliance and therefore the contractors are appointed? 8. What is your definition of the term perennial nature of work and incidental thereto? 9. Do you feel that the trade unions or the workers are partly responsible for the present status of the contract workers? 10. In your experience in legal practice in how many cases you are aware that the contract employees got the benefit of regularization by the procedure laid down by the act or by way of agreement amongst the principle employer, contractor and contract workers. 11. What is your opinion about the function/non functioning about the government machinery created under this act? 12. Can you tell the Boards appointed u/s 6 of the Act do really deliver the goods in dealing with the cases of contract workers for regularization and or permancy. 13. Do you feel on the basis of your experiences; a. Whether the act is thoroughly useless deserving the repealment? b. Needs to be amended? c. Whether a separate enactment is necessary to deal with the problems? d. If you feel that it needs proper amendments, what is your suggestion about the amendments? 14. Are you of the opinion that the employers are benefited by this legislation and it has helped the industry in its production and growth of wealth? 15. In your span of practice how many cases have you dealt with / come across with the issues of contract labour regarding regularization and betterment of service conditions. 16. In how many cases there was an order rejecting the demand of the workers? 17. Have you attended functioning of the Board constituted under Sec. 6 of the Act where normally the minister is the chairman? 18. Do you feel that the method adopted by the board to decide the issues on the basis of the report of the office of the labour commissioner is sufficient?96 Including the Excluded
    • Registered under Societies Act. (Reg. No. 618 Bom./82) Trust Act (Reg. No. F-7863 Bom./82) 80-G Certificate No. DIT(E)/ITO/(Tech)80G/1450/2009-10(Valid from 01.04.2010) FCRA No. 083780667 Managing Committee Gopinath Munde : Chairman Prof. Bal Apte : Vice-Chairman Pratapbhai Ashar : Treasurer Chandrakant Patil : Secretary Devendra Fadanavis : Member Vijay (Bhai) Girkar : Member Mangalprabhat Lodha : Member Rekha Mahajan : Member Dr. Medha Naniwadekar : Member Arvind Rege : Member Rajesh Shah : Member Vinod Tawde : Member Adv. Chintaman Vanaga : Member Satish Velankar : Member Functionaries Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe : Director General Ravindra Sathe : Executive Director Dr. Aruna Kaulgud : Hon. Director, (CIBLS), Pune Madhav Bhandari : Hon. Director (Vilasrao Salunkhe Chair) Yashwant Thakar : Hon. Director (CDPR), Pune Sumeet Bhasin : Hon. Director (CLD), New Delhi Umesh More : Resident Sr. Executive Milind Betawadkar : Sr. Programme Officer
    • “ ….. a development strategy that, in the faceof excess supply, seeks to keep the price oflabour as low as possible, allows no roomfor collective action to reduce these people’svulnerability and refuses to provide thisfootloose workforce with public representation.In short, the lack of registration, organizationand protection does not have its origin inthe free play of social forces, but it’s thedeliberate product of economic interests thatbenefit from the state of informality in whicha wide range of activities in all branches ofthe economy are kept, systematically and ona large scale, through evasion of labour lawsand taxation.”“Now with the neo-liberal economic policiesthere is the widespread informalizationof the formal sector through down sizing,casualisation and contractualisation.” (Excerpted from the document Unorganised Sector in India, prepared by Tomy Jacob of fedina.org)