Labour Law Cases - Review of Recent Courts' Judgments

 
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Various Issues under (Federal) Industrial Relations Act, 2012

Trans-provincial CBA to be registered under federal IRA, 2012 or provincial IRA

1(a) Industrial Relations Act (X of 2012)---

Ss. 2(xxxii), 62 and 87-- Determination of CBU of employer Bank and CBA of Trade Union whether trans-provincial or not

Union at a trans-provincial establishment must be registered under federal IRA, 2012 with NIRC and its provincial level registration is illegal.

Applicant Trade Union sought declaration of all establishments of the Bank (employer) as one Collective Bargaining Unit all over the country. Certain documents filed by applicant in support of its claim, had indicated that the Union was registered with the National Industrial Relations Commission as Industry-wise Trade Union. Entire establishment of Bank was controlled and managed by one party; balance sheet, profit and loss of the entire establishment of Bank was the same, which was running its business throughout Pakistan, having its Head Office at Karachi. Bank had its more than 1400 branches in all the four provinces as well as Islamabad Capital Territory. Bank was, in circumstances, a Trans-provincial establishment in terms of S. 2(xxxii) of Industrial Relations Act,2012. Registration of unions of the Bank at Provincial level, in circumstances, was unlawful and contrary to the spirit of IRA, 2012, which had overriding effect in terms of S. 87 thereof.

One Collective Bargaining Unit in the establishment of the Bank had been working even when there was no law or concept of 'Trans-provincial' establishment. After legislation of Industrial Relations Act, 2012, it was imperative that mushroom growth of unions at provincial level was curtailed in order to avoid non-uniformity of terms and conditions of employment. Services of the workers were transferable to other provinces as well. Both under the law as well as the consistent decisions of superior Courts there could not be more than one Collective Bargaining Agent in the establishment or group of establishments on the basis of certificate of National Industrial Commission, on all Pakistan basis; and the certificate of Collective Bargaining Agent, issued by Provincial Registrar Trade Unions giving the status of Provincially registered trade union as Collective Bargaining Agent was illegal and without lawful authority.

All the provincially registered trade unions functioning in any Province were directed by National Industrial Commission to amend their constitution, including membership in more than one province; and elevate their status as Industry-wise Trade Union within a period of ninety days, failing which registration of union would be cancelled. Entire establishment of Bank, was determined by the Commission as one Collective Bargaining Unit for a period of five years to be continued for such period until a fresh Collective Bargaining Unit was determined by the Commission. [NIRC: Habib Bank Workers' Front of Pakistan vs. Registrar of Trade Unions and others; 2015 PLC 125].

(b) Interpretation of statutes--

Conflicting statutes--

As in the above example, when there is conflict between Federal law and Provincial law the Federal law is to prevail.

Where there is conflict between Federal law and Provincial law the former is to prevail. [NIRC: Habib Bank Workers' Front of Pakistan vs. Registrar of Trade Unions and others; 2015 PLC 125].

Proper time for trans-provincial CBA to claim a 3 years term

2(a) Industrial Relations Act (X of 2012)---

Ss. 19(11), proviso and 19(9) (e) -- Length of Trans-provincial CBA term

Art.185(3)-- Constitution of Pakistan, 1973

Trans-provincial trade union required to provide details before or soon after holding of the Referendum for CBA to extend its term for 3 years.

Trade union membership of more than 5000 members and presence in more than one Province is entitled to function as Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) for a term of 3 years. Procedure to be adopted by such trade union for seeking benefit of 3 years. In terms of proviso to S. 19(11) of Industrial Relations Act, 2012, a trade union claiming membership of more than 5000 and having presence in more than one province was required to provide details before holding of the Referendum and once such details were available, the Registrar in law, was required to extend the term of such trade union to act as CBA for three years by issuance of a certificate, as contemplated in S.19(9)(e) of the Industrial Relations Act, 2012. Such trade union, however, shall not...

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