KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has restored an order of the Ernakulam Circle II Assistant Labour Officer granting the headload workersâ€™ registration to the employees of V-Star Creations Pvt Ltd, Ernakulam. The court also held that the
identity cards issued to the employees shall continue to be valid.
Justice P N Ravindran passed the order while considering a petition filed by V-Star general manager K Vaidyanathan and ten employees of the firm challenging an order of the District Labour Officer (DLO). The DLO had set aside an order issued, under the Kerala Headload Workerâ€™s Act, 1978, by the Assistant Labour Officer, granting registration as head load workers to the employees of V-Star.
The petitioner submitted that V-Star is engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of apparels.
The employees engaged in loading and unloading work had applied for registration and they were granted it according to the law. However, E B Kusuman, a pool worker challenged the order before the DLO. The petitioner submitted that Kusuman was not an aggrieved person and has no locus standi to file an appeal before the DLO and so the order on the basis of his complaint was not maintainable.
Counsel for the petitioners V Santharam submitted that V-Star is entitled to have its own group of workers to do the loading and unloading work at its establishments. According to the order of the DLO, when registered headload workers are available in the locality, others cannot be engaged for the work.
The court held that such an order is not sustainable. The court also pointed out an earlier verdict of a full bench that an employer is entitled to engage permanent headload workers at his/her establishments.