get their due.
Prabhavi Enterprises is a cooking gas distributing agency serving more than 15000 consumers in and around Udupi. Twenty five years ago, Government of India allotted this agency to one Mr. Vinod Kumar, a physically challenged person and he has been successfully running this agency with the help of 20 employees.
As Vinod Kumar wanted to retire from this business, he decided to sell the agency to Mr. Sureshchandra, a young entrepreneur. All the existing employees were anxious about their future. They wanted to know whether their ‘would be employer’ will retain the existing employees or not. Moreover, those who completed more than 20 years of service wanted to know whether they would get their gratuity or not.
They approached Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF) for guidance. When a team of volunteers examined the case, it was observed that the employees were getting salary much less than the minimum wages stipulated in the Minimum Wages Act. The employees were asked to form a Employees union and get it registered in the District Labour Office prior to communicating with any government agency.
Having received a formal complaint from the Prabhavi Employees Union, HRPF communicated with Prabhavi Enterprises for clarification on the issues raised by the employees.
Instead of replying to HRPF’s letter, the employer personally visited the Foundation office along with the buyer of his business.
The Legal Advisers of HRPF explained the proprietor of Prabhavi Enterprises that he is required to pay the entire arrears of his employees before handing over the business to the buyer of the firm. The buyer also was told that he would be purchasing the business along with all the liabilities.
Ultimately, after several meetings with all the three parties viz, the owner of the business, the buyer and the employees, it was agreed that the present owner should pay the unpaid portion of salary. Further gratuity has to be paid as per the years of their services. The proprietor agreed to pay all the arrears before handing over the business to Mr. Sureshchandra. As per the agreement a total sum of Rs. 29,59,155 were paid to 20 employees.
All the parties involved were extremely happy that the dispute got resolved and the advocates of HRPF did not accept any remuneration for a guidance given to these unorganized labourers.
As a further gesture of good will, Mr. Sureshchandra, the buyer promised the HRPF that he would retain all the employees even though their employment got terminated by the previous employer.