A plea has been filed before the Madras High Court for protection of private-sector employees from termination and reduction of wages during the present Covid-19 crisis.
The petition has been filed by Arun Saravanan arguing that certain private companies are adopting the “arbitrary actions” of cost-cutting and firing their employees during this lockdown of the global pandemic. He states that the plea has been moved to guard against inhuman treatment of employees in the private sector. Saravanan has presented 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 the cooperation of the Public and Private establishment employers, to the above effect.
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 the service sector, are not terminated/ compelled to resign and do not face an arbitrary reduction in their wages under the situation of Nation-Wide Lockdown. It is added that such employees may also find it difficult to find new jobs since other private players may not be financially ready to accommodate fresh employees, given the present crisis.
Contending that employees of all categories have been guaranteed with the “Fundamental Right to Profession and the Right to life as envisaged under Article 19(1)(g) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India”, the petitioner prays that the State Labour Ministry be directed to issue a circular/advisory so that private-sector employees are no terminated, compelled to resign or forced to accept pay cuts under the guise of a nation-wide lockdown.
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