Mar 10, 2022
Bollywood and the Law: Right to Strike
The 2010 movie City of Gold – Mumbai 1982: Ek Ankahee Kahani revolves around the lives of mill workers who lost their jobs after the Great Bombay Textile Strike of 1982.
In this context, let us look at the law on strike in India.
When a group of employees in any industry either:
- Act together and stop working, or
- Jointly/commonly refuse to continue work or accept employment,
it is considered a strike.
It includes a situation where at least half the workers jointly take a casual leave on a specific day.
Workers have the right to go on strike, but they have to notify their employer about any upcoming strike at least fourteen days in advance. The strike should happen within sixty days of the notice. If the notice mentions a specific date, the strike cannot happen before that date.
There are some limitations on the workers’ right to strike when there are ongoing efforts to address their concerns. Specifically, they cannot strike when:
- Conciliation proceedings are pending before a conciliation officer, and seven days after they are completed; or
- Legal proceedings are pending before a Industrial Tribunal/National Industrial Tribunal or arbitrator, and sixty days after they are completed.
Further, once these authorities give a settlement or award, workers cannot go on strike for the issues covered by the settlement or award (till they expire).
Any strike that does not follow these rules is illegal. Any worker who starts, continues or supports an illegal strike can be punished with imprisonment for up to one month and/or a fine of Rupees one thousand to ten thousand.