Pursuant to a meeting between the representative of Labour Ministry of Delhi and all the stakeholders in the matter of alleged unlawful termination of housekeeping staff of the National Law University, Delhi, certain crucial suggestions have been made to the University Administration to resolve the deadlock.
After the meeting, the Presiding Officer in the meeting, Mr. Anil Ghildiyal, Officer on Special Duty, Labour Ministry, urged the University to negotiate with the new contractor for retention of all the 55 Safai Karamcharis, who were disengaged following the termination of the service contract with the 'White Fox and Golden'.
In the backdrop, the students of NLU-D started an agitation on January 4 this year against termination of the contract with White Fox and Golden which resulted in the disengagement of 55 contractual workers, without any prior notice.
The University entered into a new contract with Rajendra Management Group (RMG), whose tender, as per the students, was allegedly passed without assessing the manpower requirement as mandated by a notification issued by the Delhi government.
The students have been demanding 100% retention of all old contractual workers and seek that the new contract with RMG be cancelled. Reminding the University administration that saving manpower beyond 20% amounts to exploitation, the students insist that the University should strictly comply with all labour laws and other statutory provisions.
After the tussle between the students and the University administration reached a deadlock, the Labour Minister of the Govt. of NCT of Delhi agreed to mediate the matter.
As per the students, the representative of the Labour Ministry urged the University to negotiate with RMG to retain all 55 Safai Karamcharis failing which the contract would be cancelled and a new tender would be floated.
Pertinently, the meeting was scheduled to be presided by Delhi government's Labour Minister Gopal Rai. However, due to the urgent Delhi Assembly session on NPR/NRC, the meeting was presided over by Anil Ghildiyal, Officer on Special Duty (IAS).
Nevertheless, another meeting in the presence of the Labour Minister may be convened to formally sort out the above mentioned issues.
After the publication of the news, the University Administration responded by stating that there was no "wrongful termination of service" as alleged. The contractual workers were disengaged following the termination of the contract with the earlier contractor. The University also stated that the new contract has been entered into after following proper procedure.
The University has added that 23 out of the 55 safai karmacharis have joined work after University persuaded the because of the persuasion of the Contractor by University have already joined their work in the University and the remaining are in the process.
"The University at its own has one everything to adjust these workers and as a result more than 50% of the ousted workers have joined back the University. Let all know that even for the remaining workers, the NLUD in consultation with the Contractor has made an arrangement of providing alternative employment within the radius of 5 kms of the University. This should put everything to rest", the University stated.
The University added, "The NLUD cannot make any promise to always retain all the workers all the time as their nature of employment is such that they will change in huge number with the change of the Contract"