Tamil Nadu

HC comes to rescue of BSNL contract employees denied wages since Jan 2019

The Madras High Court on Thursday paved way for celebration of Deepavali by over 3,500 contract employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) by ordering immediate payment of ₹40,000 to each of them.

Justice R. Suresh Kumar took serious note of the fact that the employees had not been paid salaries by the contractors since January 2019 and decided to make an interim arrangement so that they could at least celebrate Deepavali.

The judge pointed out that the Tamil Nadu Telecom Contract Workers Union and Tamil Manila Tholaithodarpu Contract Labour Union had approached the court complaining about hundreds of contract employees not having been paid their salaries.

Pursuant to that, the court directed the Regional Labour Commissioner (central) to conduct an inquiry. Accordingly, the Commissioner verified the pay details of 3,528 contract employees and submitted an interim report before the court.

The report stated that the employees had been paid ₹23.29 crore and that gross wages to the tune of ₹24.60 crore was yet to be paid to them. Hence, the judge decided to make arrangement for immediate disbursal of some money during Deepavali.

He directed the principal employer BSNL to deposit ₹60 crore, which had to be paid to the contractors, in a special account so that the money could be disbursed directly to the employees after due verification by the Labour Commissioner and the trade unions.

Accordingly from the first instalment of ₹15 crore, out of the total amount of ₹60 crore, he ordered that ₹40,000 each should be disbursed to the 3,528 employees on or before November 9 and a compliance report should be filed in the court on November 25.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 6:34:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-comes-to-rescue-of-bsnl-contract-employees-denied-wages-since-jan-2019/article33035753.ece

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