HC dismisses petition challenging order on minimum wages

New Delhi/ Chennai, Jul 15: The Madras High Court today dismissed petitions challenging the October 10, 2014 order of the Tamil Nadu labour department revising minimum wages for tailoring workers in garment and hosiery manufacturing industries and directed the managements of these industries to comply with it.

A division bench comprising Justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and M V Muralidaran while referring to a Supreme Court judgement, said, “The Minimum Wages Act was enacted in order to curb the exploitation of unorganised labour and to provide for a minimum living wage to them.”

The government, in striving towards the implementation of welfare measures for workmen as provided under Article 43 of the Constitution and to safeguard dignity of hard labour, has over a period of time fixed and revised the minimum rates of wages for workers in the scheduled employments, it said

Taking into account the cost of living index and requirements for a minimal dignified living, the tabular statement, which has been produced by the petitioners, showing the minimum wage to be paid by the respective employers, could in no way be termed as a burden on the respective industries in the discharge of the duty towards its employees. the bench said.

“A perusal of the sequence of events leading to revision of minimum wages by issuance of final notification unfolds that initially the draft notification, as contemplated under Section 5 (1) (b) of the Act, was issued calling upon those persons interested to submit their suggestions, representations or objections to the revision of minimum wages.

“In pursuant to the said notification, representations, objections or suggestions were submitted to the government, wherein the government after consultation with the Advisory Board went on to issue the final notification. It is clear that the petitioners were put on notice through the draft notification calling for their representations,” it said.

Their representations were considered in consultation with the Advisory Board, where the Chamber of Commerce represented the petitioners before the Advisory Board, it said.

Therefore, it cannot be said the petitioners were not given an opportunity before passing the final notification, the bench said.

“It cannot be said that the final notification issued by the government is not sustainable,” the bench added.