ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

StrikeSubscribe to Strike

Mannequins at Work

Displaying mannequins in showrooms is a business strategy adopted by all kinds of textile retailers for the promotion of their business. In the modern competitive world, women workers employed as salesgirls in retail textile showrooms are also functioning like living automatons. The fundamental rights and labour rights violations faced by salesgirls employed in the textile retail sector in Kerala are examined, and the genesis of sitting strikes (right to sit) that erupted in Kerala is mapped.

Labour Law, Governance Reforms, and Protests

Employers and critics of labour regulation have been arguing for the liberalisation of labour laws, and for governance and compliance systems, following the liberalisation of the product market to enable firms to respond swiftly and suitably to fast-changing market conditions. The trade unions opposed this even as the government was seemingly favourably disposed towards employers’ demands. The countrywide strikes that have taken place since 1991 have become controversial not merely due to their high frequency but also for their lack of legitimacy as reforms appear to be a foregone conclusion and the protest politics seems to be vain and economically hurting the nation. This paper explores the dynamics of the countrywide strikes and examines whether some of the demands of trade unions are justified.

Nurses' Strikes in Delhi: A Status Question

A comprehensive change in looking at nurses' issues is required, not only from the perspective of "quality healthcare", but also of their working conditions and treatment by hospital management. Better organising and increasing strikes by nurses has compelled the state - the Delhi government - to respond to their concerns.

Right to Strike: Has Supreme Court Moved Backward?

Two recent judgments of the Supreme Court have serious adverse implications for workers' right to stride and urgently need to be reviewed. On May 4, the Supreme Court gave two landmark judgments. In both cases the employers had canvassed the issue of 'no work, no wages'. In the first appeal filed by the Bank of India against the judgment of the Bombay High Court, it was contended by the bank that it has a right to deduct wages for the period the employees are on strike and they do not do the work as per the contract of employment (Bank of India vs T S Kelawala and Ors). In the second appeal, a private limited company contended that they have a right to deduct wages proportionately as the workmen had resorted to go-slow and were not giving normal production which would entitle them to earn full wages in accordance with the contract of employment. The high court had taken the view that the bank had no power to make any deductions from the wages of the employees for the strike period. The court had taken this view on the ground that strikes and demonstrations were not banned in the country, that they were recognised as legitimate forms of protests for the workers and that the bank could not stifle the legitimate mode of protest allowed and recognised by law. The high court had taken a view that the deduction of wages for the day amounted to unilaterally changing the service conditions, depriving the workers of their fixed monthly wages under the contract of service. The court had further held that the bank could get the strike declared as il- legal and proceed against the employees in accordance with the regulations and impose necessary punishment. In the second judgment, the employer had challenged directly in the Supreme Court the order of the Industrial Court, Maharashtra, holding that the non-payment of full wages to the workmen was an act of unfair labour practice, rejecting the contention of the employer that he was entitled to deduct wages pro rata as the workmen had not given full production as they had resorted to go-slow tactics. The Supreme Court accepted the principle of "no work, no wages' and upheld the right of the employers to deduct wages proportionately for the strike period as well as for the go- slow tactics, it is further significant that the Supreme Court has held that no disciplinary proceeding is either necessary or feasible where misconduct was committed en masse by employees or workmen.

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