The Madras High Court has ordered notice, returnable in two weeks, to the State Government and TNEB, among others, on a writ petition seeking a direction to the board to enforce the mandatory conditions contained in the Madras State Electricity Board recognition of Service Association rules against six trade unions.
The petitioner sought a further direction to the TNEB and the Tamil Nadu Government to sign the tripartite agreement only with those unions which had majority membership on verification in accordance with the rules.
In its petition, the Bharathiya Electricity Employees Federation, represented by its general secretary, R. Muralikrishnan, said the Tamil Nadu Government ordered reorganisation of the TNEB as per the Electricity Act requirements.
It accorded approval, in principle, to reorganise by establishing a holding company by the name TNEB and two subsidiaries Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation and Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Ltd. The petitioner said the two subsidiaries, TNEB and State Government should reassess the representative capacity function wise and only then negotiate and resolve issues relating to finalisation of work and transfer of workers to the subsidiaries.
The recognition given to the six trade unions (cited as respondents) should be stopped as they had breached the conditions of recognition. The board and the government are to enter into a tripartite agreement with the six unions pursuant to a G.O. dated October 19, 2010. The petitioner federation enjoyed a 14,500-strong membership and it would be entitled to recognition.
In his order, Justice N.Paul Vasanthakumar said the six unions were enjoying recognition as on today.
Hence, he declined to grant an interim injunction restraining the board and the government from signing the agreement with the six unions without verification of their membership and till they complied with the rules. However, he said, any signing of the tripartite agreement in terms of the G.O. was subject to the result of the writ petition. If the petitioner succeeds, the tripartite agreement signed is renegotiable.