OTHER SOCIAL SERVICES

LABOUR DEPARTMENT

ALL THE OFFICES DEALING WITH LABOUR MATTERS ARE UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL of the Industries and Labour Department of the Government of Maharashtra. Its labour wing is under the Commissioner of Labour and Director of Employment who has under him Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Assistant Commissioners of Labour, Government Labour Officers, Chief Inspectors of Factories and Chief Inspector of Steam Boilers and Smoke Nuisances.

The Commissioner of Labour and the officers under him perform various duties entrusted to them under the Central Acts, viz., the Trade Unions Act, 1926, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Working Journalists (Conditions of Service and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1955, the Motor Transport Workers Act. 1961, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Bidi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966. They also enforce and implement the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, and the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948, which are the State Acts. Their work is mainly of supervision in so far as the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act is concerned. It is administered by the local authorities.

The Commissioner of Labour, being the administrative head, also supervises and co-ordinates the work of various offices under his control. The office of the Commissioner of Labour compiles and publishes consumer price index numbers for working class for seven centres in the State including Sholapur. It also publishes Labour Gazette and Industrial Court Reporter, which are the monthly publications.

Enforcement machinery: The Sholapur district falls within the administrative jurisdiction of the Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Pune.

The Commissioner of Labour is the Conciliation Officer for the entire State of Maharashtra. He has also powers to appoint conciliation officers. One of the Government Labour Officers, posted at Sholapur, attends to the grievances of workers in the district under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. He has also been appointed as Conciliation Officer under the Act, for mediating in and promoting settlement of industrial disputes relating to dismissal, discharge and retrenchment of industrial workers. One Assistant Commissioner of Labour stationed at Pune also attends to conciliation cases coining from the district under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Pune, is also a Conciliation Officer for Sholapur district. The conciliation officers, having jurisdiction over the district, are, therefore, required to submit their failure reports in respect of the industrial disputes pertaining to discharge, dismissal, etc., of individual workers to the Deputy Commissioner, Pune.

The powers pertaining to conciliation were given to one of the Government Labour Officers at Sholapur from August 1969. During the year 1969 he received 162 industrial disputes mainly relating to dismissals, retrenchment, bonus, etc. in power-loom, hand-loom, bidi and engineering industries.

During the same year the Government Labour Officer, Sholapur, dealt with 312 individual complaints under various Labour Acts.

The industrial disputes arising in industries covered by the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, are referred to the Industrial Tribunals or the Labour Courts, as the case may be. The Labour Court at Pune has jurisdiction in respect of disputes coming from Sholapur district.

The Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, is applicable to cotton textile, silk textile, textile processing, sugar and banking industries in the district.

Conciliation: The Commissioner of Labour has been delegated powers to appoint Registrar, Additional Registrar and Assistant Registrar, the Chief Conciliator, Additional Chief Conciliator and Conciliators and Labour Officers. He is also the authority to settle standing orders under Chapter VII of the Act. However, the powers of the Commissioner of Labour regarding the settlement of the Standing Orders have been delegated to the Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Pune, and as such he exercises the powers of Certifying Officer in respect of Sholapur district. The Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Pune, has also been notified as Additional Chief Conciliator under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, with jurisdiction over Pune division. He is, therefore, the Additional Chief Conciliator in so far as the Sholapur district is concerned.

The Assistant Commissioners of Labour at Pune have been notified as Conciliators under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act. The conciliation work under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, from the district is therefore attended to by the Conciliator posted at Pune.

The Government Labour Officer, Sholapur, has to promote harmonious relations between the managements and employees of various undertakings covered by the Act. He investigates the grievances of the workers and keeps the Government informed about the labour situation by sending periodical reports.

Arbitration: The Court of Industrial Arbitration commonly referred to as Industrial Court, Bombay, constituted under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, has jurisdiction to decide the disputes arising from the industries eligible under the Act, in the entire State of Maharashtra. The Sholapur district forms a part of Pune division. The Industrial Court acts as the Court of Arbitration in the disputes referred to it by the Government or submitted by the representative of approved unions and by the employers. In its appellate jurisdiction, it decides appeals preferred to it from the decisions of the Labour Courts, Wage Boards, the Registrar and the Commissioner of Labour. It also hears appeals in criminal cases against the decisions of the Labour Courts. The Government also makes a reference to it for declaration whether a proposed strike, lock-out, closure or stoppage would be illegal. Reference on the point of law can also be made to it by the Commissioner of Labour, Conciliator, Labour Court, Wage Board as well as by the Government.

The Labour Court at Pune has jurisdiction to decide the disputes arising in the district out of an order passed by an employer under the standing orders governing relations between employer and employees and changes made in any industrial matter specified in Schedule III of the Bombay Industrial Relations Act. The Labour Courts have also powers to decide the legality or otherwise of a strike, lock-out, closure and stoppage of work under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act.

Payment of Bonus Act, 1965: For Sholapur district, the Deputy Commissioner of Labour and the Assistant Commissioner of Labour, Pune and Government Labour Officer, Sholapur, have been appointed as Inspectors for the purposes of the Act. They visit the establishments and ensure that bonus is paid to the employees in accordance with the provisions of the Act. They propose prosecutions of the managements who do not comply with the provisions of the Act in making bonus payment and who fail to maintain registers and records prescribed under the Act.

The Labour Commissioner is the authority under the Payment of Bonus Rules, for granting permission to change the accounting year. The Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Pune, has been specified as authority for the purpose for the Pune division including Sholapur district. These powers relate to the recovery of bonus payable under any settlement or award.

Trade Unions Act, 1926: One of the Assistant Commissioners of Labour, Pune, in addition to his normal duties has been notified as Deputy Registrar of Trade Unions for the Pune division under the Trade Unions Act, 1926. The work done by the Deputy Registrar in connection with the administration of Trade Unions Act includes the registration of trade unions, amendments to the constitutions of the unions, dissolutions and amalgamation and cancellation of registration of trade unions.

Sholapur district is within the jurisdiction of the Deputy Registrar of Trade Unions, Pune. In the district there were 62 trade unions, with a membership of 20,065 as on 31st December 1968 registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926.

The following unions are registered as representative unions in the district under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, for the industry and local area mentioned against them:-

Name of the Union representative

Industry

Local area

1. Rashtriya Girni Kamgar Sangh, Barshi.

Cotton Textile Industry.

Barshi Municipal Borough.

2. Rashtriya Girni Kamgar Sangh, Sholapur.

Cotton Textile Industry.

Sholapur Municipal Corporation.

3. Malshiras Taluka Rashtriya Sakhar Kamgar Sangh, Shreepur.

Sugar Industry

Malshiras Taluka excluding villages Kalambuli, Ekshiv, Kurbavi, Gursale, Pirale, Dahigaon, Morochi, Bangarde, Karunde and Dharampuri.

4. Sholapur Bank Employees' Association, Sholapur.

 

Sholapur Municipal Corporation.

Minimum Wages Act, 1948: Minimum rates of wages have been fixed in Sholapur district, under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, in respect of rice mill, flour mill or dal mill, oil mill, tobacco (including bidi-making) manufactory, stone-breaking, public motor transport, lithography, hotel, restaurant, cotton ginning, glass industry, shop or commercial establishment, potteries, rubber manufacturing industry, paper and paper-board manufactory, cinema exhibition industry, bricks or roof tiles manufactory.

The Government Labour Officer, Sholapur, is the Inspector under the Minimum Wages Act. He visits the establishments to see that the provisions of the Act are properly implemented.

In Sholapur district, the Civil Judge has been appointed as authority under the Minimum Wages Act to hear and decide claims arising out of payment of less than the minimum rates of wages to employees employed in his jurisdiction.

Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948: The Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948, is applicable to the following local areas in Sholapur district:-

Name of the area

Number of establishments covered

Sholapur Municipal Corporation, Sholapur

12,788

Barshi Municipal Council

2,226

Maindargi Municipal Council

179

Kurduwadi Municipal Council

343

Karmala Municipal Council

470

Akkalkot Municipal Council

659

Akluj Grampanchayat

2,564

The Act is being administered by the local authorities within their respective jurisdictions. The Government Labour Officer, Sholapur. is notified as the supervising authority. He supervises the work done by the Shops Inspectors appointed under the Act by the respective local authorities.

Bidi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act: The Government Labour Officer at Sholapur has been appointed Inspector under the Act. In his capacity as Inspector, the Government Labour Officer visits the premises, contacts the employers and workers, examines records and registers and, if necessary, enters the places where he suspects any manufacturing process is being carried on with a view to ensuring that the provisions of the Act are being complied with and implemented properly.

Working Journalists Act: There are two newspaper establishments in the district, viz., " Samachar Daily" and " Sholapur Samachar ", covered under the Working Journalists Act. The Govern-Inspector under the said Act and the recommendations of the Wage ment Labour Officer, Sholapur, has been notified and appointed as Boards for the working journilists and non-working journalists are applicable to them.

Steam Boilers and Smoke Nuisances Department: The Sholapur city and district form part of the Marathwada division and fall under the jurisdiction of the Inspector of Steam Boilers and Smoke Nuisances with head-quarters at Sholapur.

The work pertaining to the registration and inspection of boilers, economisers, steam pipes and other kindred matters with which this department is concerned is carried out in Sholapur district by the Inspector, in accordance with the Indian Boilers Act, 1923, the Maharashtra Boiler Rules, 1962, and Maharashtra Economiser Rules, 1965. The Bombay Smoke Nuisances Act, 1912, and the Rules thereunder are applicable to the Sholapur city only. The excessive emission of smoke from industrial chimneys is controlled by the sub-committee of the Maharashtra Smoke Nuisances Commission at Sholapur.

Employees' Provident Funds Act: The Employees' Provident Funds Act. 1952, has been extended to 69 factory establishments in Sholapur district covering 37,135 employees.

Factories Department: The enforcement of the Factories Act, 1948, has been entrusted to the State and this is carried out by the Factories department. The function of the Factories department is to ensure that the provisions of the Act are observed by the managements of the factories covered by the Act. Besides, the Department has to administer various other labour laws, viz., the Payment of Wages Act, the Maternity Benefit Act, the Employment of Children's Act, the Bidi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966 and the Cotton Ginning and Pressing Factories Act.

The Chief Inspector of Factories is under the administrative control of the Commissioner of Labour and Director of Employment, Bombay. The department has a sub-office at Sholapur with two Inspectors of Factories and two Inspectors of Notified Factories who work under the supervision of the Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories stationed at Pune. All the four officers have jurisdiction over the district.

The Factory Inspector ensures that the provisions of the Factories Act are observed by the managements of the factories to which the Act is applicable. He has powers to prosecute and conduct and defend in the courts any proceedings arising under the Act after taking permission from the Chief Inspector of Factories, Maharashtra State. The Collector is also the ex-officio Inspector of Factories in the district.

As regards the Payment of Wages Act, the Inspectors appointed under the Factories Act are also the Inspectors under the Payment of Wages Act. The Government Labour Officer, Sholapur, is also notified as Inspector under the Payment of Wages Act.

Welfare Activities: The Maharashtra Labour Welfare Board is a statutory body constituted under the Bombay Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1953, and is responsible for conducting labour welfare activities through labour welfare centres at different industrial towns in the State. The activities conducted at the labour welfare centres include library and information centres, reading rooms, nursery schools and shishu mandirs, tailoring and handicraft classes, out-door and in-door games, hobby classes, drama and drama festivals, educational and recreational programmes, audio-visual aids, scouting, exhibitions, excursions and health programmes, etc.

The Board conducts ten welfare centres in the district, of which nine are in Sholapur city and one at Barshi. In two of the nine centres at Sholapur which are situated in areas predominantly occupied by hand-loom weavers, the Board conducts creches for babies in arms. Children between the age-group of six months and 2 years are admitted in these creches, and they are looked after by nurses. Besides this, full-fledged nursery schools are also conducted at three centres in Sholapur for children between the age-group of 2 and six years from working class families. They are served mid-day meals daily.

In addition to the activities enumerated above, occasional activities like celebration of national and special days, competitions in games and sports, wrestling tournaments, cultural festivals, drama festivals, exhibitions, lecture series etc., are also organised in which a large number of workers and their family-members actively participate.

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