A Settlement Will Not Override The Model Standing Orders, Unless It Is More Beneficial To The Workmen

Posted On - 10 August, 2023 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

[1]The case arose out of an appeal against the judgement of the High Court of Bombay in Writ Petition No. 2657 of 2017, which confirmed the award passed by the Central Government Industrial Tribunal (CGIT) rejecting the demand of the Appellant-Union for reinstatement with full back wages [2]

The Appellant represented around 169 workmen temporarily engaged on a fixed-term contract by Jet Airways in various cadres like loader-cum-cleaners, drivers and operators. The Appellant contended that the workmen were treated as temporary despite completing 240 days in service and despite the nature of the work being permanent and regular.

The Trade Union had raised a charter of demands which, after negotiations, resulted in a settlement dated 02.05.2002. In the said charter of demands, Bhartiya Kamgar Sena gave up the demand for the grant of permanency and a comprehensive settlement dated 02.05.2002 was signed as a package deal that conferred many benefits on the workmen who gave up the said demand.

The CGIT, in its award dated 30.03.2017, while answering a reference framed the issue, whether the Union’s demand for re-employment/reinstatement with full back wages of these 169 workmen in service of that first party is just and proper and answered it in the negative.

The Supreme Court held that any settlement, the employee Union enters into with the Employer would not override the Model Standing Order, unless it is more beneficial to the employees. Certified standing orders have a statutory force. The Standing Order implies a contract between the employer and the workman. The employer and workman cannot enter into a contract overriding the statutory contract embodied in the certified Standing Orders.

[1] CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4404 of 2023

[2] https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/564-bharatiya-kamgar-karmachari-mahasangh-v-jet-airways-ltd-25-jul-2023-483454.pdf