ONGC yet to implement SC order on jobs of contractual workers

SILCHAR, Aug 25: The Deprived ONGC Contractual Workers’ Union (DONGCCWU) earlier approached the Central Industry Tribunal at Guwahati demanding regularization of the jobs of temporary workers in ONGC. The tribunal was also convinced with the legitimacy of the demand of the workers. Under case No. 6(C)/1990, Central Industrial Tribunal, Guwahati, president JC Kalita passed a judgement on July 11, 1994 instructing the Cachar ONGC management to regularize the services of the temporary workers in a phase wise, if it was not possible for it to pay them along with their allowances as paid to regular employees.
Sources said ONGC started to operate during the mid-70s in Cachar. Local youths were employed by ONGC on contractual basis against maximum payout. Slowly, the role of the temporary employees increased as a result of which the temporary workers of ONGC, Cachar Forward Base, started to demand regularization of their jobs. But, the ONGC reportedly rejected the demand which led the DONGCCWU to approach the Central Industry Tribunal.
It was reported that ONGC in Cachar challenged the judgement of the Central Industrial Tribunal and filed a case in the Gauhati High Court. Here too, ONGC convinced the single-bench judge Justice Mira Sharma and won the case. But the DONGCCWU challenged the judgement and again appealed to the Gauhati High Court.
Therefore, on September 8, 1998, justice NC Jain and PG Aggarwal rejected the order passed by the single-bench judge and the Central Industrial Tribunal under case No. 269/1998.
On the other hand, ONGC in Cachar district was not satisfied with the High Court order and approached the Supreme Court under Civil appeal case number 4755/2001. Thereafter, the case went on for seven long years after which the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in favour of the contractual workers on May 16, 2008, upholding the earlier sentences of the Central Industrial Tribunal and Gauhati High Court on the issue.
Meanwhile, the ONGC officials of Cachar Forward Base reportedly offered a good will package to the temporary workers in an alleged cover trap to strip off 290 casual employees of their services The ONGC officials allegedly tricked the workers by exploiting their weakness and lured them to accept financial aid in return of which they were asked to withdraw their names from the respondents’ list of the then proceeding case in the Supreme Court. However, the attempt failed as the matter was sub-judice and the court did not accept any secondary solution on the issue.
Sources further said the matter remains unsolved as the ONGC management did not oblige to the Supreme Court orders and has not regularized or reinstated the services of the contractual workers till date. (Source - Sentinel assam)

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