A plea has been filed before the Madras High Court for protection of private sector employees from termination/ arbitrary reduction of their salaries amid the lockdown.
The petition has been filed by one Arun Saravanan contending that certain private companies are adopting the "arbitrary actions" of cost cutting and firing their employees during these distressing times of the global pandemic.
He has averred that such practices will lead to mental distress and agony in the minds of the employees, while also violating their Fundamental Right to Profession and Right to life as envisaged under Article 19(1)(g) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India respectively.
The Petitioner, through M/s S. Nirmal Aditya, and L. Narasimha Varman, has pointed out that the Prime Minister has time and again urged all establishments and employers in the country not to terminate services or cut wages of their employees.
Further, the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment had also issued a circular, seeking cooperation of the Public and Private establishment employers, to the above effect.
In this backdrop, the Petitioner has urged the court to direct the Respondent State to issue a circular so as to ensure that the employees of all categories in Private sector, not limited to service sector, are not terminated/ compelled to resign and do not face arbitrary reduction in their wages under the guise of the Nation-Wide Lockdown.
"This public interest litigation is being filed in order to avoid the inhuman treatment being meted out by employers to their employees and workers in the Private sector including Service sector, by arbitrarily issuing termination notices, imposing steep wage cuts unilaterally, sending workers and employees on indefinite unpaid leave thereby depriving the salary of the working class," the plea states.
A similar petition has also been filed by before the Supreme Court by Rajesh Inamdar and National Information Technology Sena, seeking relief for employees against lay-off, termination and pay cuts by private entities.
Journalists Unions have also moved the Supreme Court against all media organizations that have laid off employees or forced them to take remuneration kickbacks in wake of the lockdown.
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