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No work no pay: High Court

New Delhi: In a judgement with wider ramifications, the Delhi High Court has held that there would be no wage for the period the workmen went on strike.

While quashing an industrial tribunal's award that had entitled workmen of the Flood Control Department of the Delhi Government to wages for the two-month strike period in 1988, Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra invoked the principle of "no work no pay" and said the workers would not be paid the wage.

Justice Dhingra held that the tribunal's conclusion was "perverse and contrary to the facts on record" and the memorandum of settlement entered under Section 12(3) of the Industrial Disputes Act between the workmen and the Delhi government itself provided for regularisation of workers in a phased manner.

"...the strike was unjustified and illegal and the strike was used as a tool, not for the welfare of the workmen but for welfare of few union leaders to enhance their own influence," he added.

The court further held that ``such a strike should not be encouraged and the workmen who resorted to such a strike cannot claim wages for the strike period''.

The government's seriousness to implement the settlement can be gauged from the fact that a committee was constituted for earlier implementation of the settlement, Justice Dhingra added.

The tribunal while justifying the strike as legal had observed that the Flood Control Department had partially implemented the demands of the workers.

Under the memorandum of settlement, the daily wagers and work charge employees were to be regularised in a phased manner according to their seniority as and when regular vacancies were created besides other facilities and benefits.

However, some of the employees went on strike and the management had deducted their wages on the principle of ``no work no pay'' leading to an industrial dispute by the workers' union. -- UNI

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