Industry Labours

  • Abhishek Behl / FG
  • India
  • Nov 02, 2012

FG has covered the frustration of industry, and of workers, in earlier issues. We caught up with the Additional Labour Commissioner (ALC), Gurgaon, Naresh Narwal. Narwal asserts that he has taken a pro-active approach to control the situation, and bring about normalcy. He says that the functioning of the entire department is being streamlined, to ensure smooth labour relations and a conducive industrial environment.

“We have taken a pro-active approach to improve the labour management relations in the District. The Department is taking up individual and collective demands of the workers on priority,” says Narwal. He further says that the court cases, under
Sections 2A and 2K, have been significantly reduced in the past six months. Another decision taken by him has been to minimise the practice of referring labour cases to the State government; it is being stressed that these need to be addressed at the level of district officials only.

“We are taking cognizance of important issues, and ensuring that minor issues do not grow out of proportion,” says Narwal. In his opinion it is most important to improve the communication between the labour, industrialists and the government.

Referring to the dispute at FCC RICCO, Narwal says that this was a tripartite matter which had assumed a law and order problem after the management suspended 18 workers. He says that all the parties to the dispute were summoned by him, and a tripartite settlement was worked out. “This led to the smooth conduct of elections, and all suspended employees were taken back by the company,” he says.

The labour department, he says, has made all efforts to ensure a settlement between the management of Eastern Medikit and the workers. “The top management of the company was summoned to Haryana Bhawan in Delhi, as it was trying to avoid reconciliation. We have taken all possible action as far as labour laws are concerned, and  all efforts will be made to ensure labour does not suffer,” he says. He adds that it is a peculiar situation, because the management of the company has almost refused to take responsibility, and the owners do not want to run the industry.

 The Labour Department has filed 29 challans against Mahinder Paul, Occupier and 7 challans against Karun Raj Narang, Director of the Company, in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gurgaon for violations under different Acts and breach of settlement, Narwal informs.

In addition to these labour issues, long pending disputes in different units in Gurgaon – that include Harsoria, Senior India Limited, and Parash, were also resolved by his office.  He has also streamlined the system of issuing Factory Licences, Building Plans, and Registration Certificate (RC) under Contract Labour Act. “We have issued more than 500 factory licences since February this year, and that too has been done online. The pendency of such documents is being monitored daily. Issuance of building licenses has also been streamlined,” he says.  The department approves building plans of factories as per an approved check list. “The Registration Certificates under the Contract Act are being issued at an accelerated pace, and during the last six months 1400 RCs have been issued to different units,” asserts Narwal.

The ALC says that efforts are on to enroll the construction workers also, across the district, so that they can be brought into the fold of welfare activities. “Registration camps are being held across the industrial areas, to register workers. All efforts are being made to help the workers, so that industry can function smoothly,” he says.

When asked if any action is being taken against units violating the contract labour norms, and not giving due benefits to the workers, he replies that if any individual or union lodges a complaint action will be initiated immediately. 


The industrialists allege that the majority of the officials in Gurgaon are politically connected, whereas the field staff is always on the lookout for making some money on the sly.

Manoj Tyagi, President, Mansear Industrial Association, says that there may have been some improvement in paper work, but the field staff of the department is yet to be reined in. He says that despite the labour policy clearly mandating that labour officers will not enter the factories, they are doing so without any compunction. A deputation of the Manesar industrialists even complained to the CM about the rampant corruption in the department. “The CM told us to catch hold of the corrupt red-handed – but this is not something that can be done by businessmen,” he asserts.

The majority of the industrialists in Gurgaon aver that senior officials of the labour department need to seriously check corrupt practices. Amina Shervani, President of Manesar Industries Welfare Association alleges that the objective of the department is not to improve the lot of labour, but to help maintain the status quo. “There are thousands of small and medium enterprises which are labour intensive, and who care for their labour. It is mainly large firms, with big HR departments, that are probably not following the spirit of labour welfare,” she asserts.

Bishan Mehrish, Secretary, Gurgaon Industrial Association says that the  labour department in the past couple of months has become more pro-active, and this augurs well for the industry. He also wants that funds meant for labour welfare should be spent wisely on improving the lot of workers.

S.K Ahuja, Secretary, NCR Chamber of Commerce, suggests that the department should work on improving communication between the different stakeholders. “The industry, workers, and labour officials need to understand each other better,” he says.

The labour unions are also not happy with the functioning of the department. S.K Yadav, senior INTUC leader, says that large funds available with the department for labour welfare are not utilised effectively. “I want to ask how many challans have been issued by the labour department in the last six months. Let us organise a debate where officials of the department, industrialists and workers come together, and a discussion is held about the state of affairs,” he asserts. Another important issue being raised by the trade unions is the lot of contract labourers, and how the department is not checking the misuse of the Contract Labour Act. “There are thousands of contract workers who are doing work in violation of the law, but no action is being taken against them,” Yadav asserts. 

In the last six months the trade unions in Gurgaon have taken a decision to go slow on labour disputes, and be less aggressive, he says. “The peace is only on the surface, and there is lot of discontent brewing in the working class. It is important that the issues are resolved amicably,” he says.


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