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Bangladesh. THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ORDINANCE, 1969
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Bangladesh

THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ORDINANCE, 1969

(Ordinance No. 23 of 1969)

(As amended up to 1996)

An Ordinance to amend and consolidate the law relating to the formation of trade unions, the regulation of relations between employers and workmen and the avoidance and settlement of any difference or disputes arising between them.


1. Short title, extent, application and commencement.-

(1) This Ordinance may be called the Industrial Relations Ordinance, 1969.

(2) It extends to the whole of Bangladesh.

(3) It shall not apply to any person employed in the Police or any of the Defence services of Bangladesh and any services or installations connected with or incidental to the Armed Forces of Bangladesh, including an Ordinance Factory maintained by the Government, or to any person employed in the administration of the Republic other than those employed as workmen by the Railways, Posts, Telegraph and Telephone Departments; or to any person employed in the Security Printing Corporation (Bangladesh) Ltd.

(4) It shall come into force at once.

2. Definitions.- In this Ordinance, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context-

Exception.- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-clause (a), a person employed as a member of the watch and ward or security staff or confidential assistant or cypher assistant of any establishment shall be entitled to all financial benefits admissible to a worker or Workman of similar grade or category.

3. Trade unions and freedom of association.- Subject to the provisions contained in this Ordinance-

(a) workers, without distinction whatsoever, shall have the right to establish and, subject only to the Rules of the organisation concerned, to join associations of their own choosing without previous authorisation;

(b) employers, without distinction whatsoever, shall have the right to establish and subject only to the Rules of the organisation concerned, to join associations of their own choosing without previous authorisation;

(c) trade unions and employers' associations shall have the right to draw up their constitutions and rules, to elect their representatives in full freedom, to organise their administration and activities and to formulate their programmes;

(d) workers' and employers' organisations shall have the right to establish and join federations and confederations and any such organisation, federation or confederation shall have the right to affiliate with international organisations and confederations of workers' and employers' organisations.

4. Workers and employers and their respective organisations, in exercising the rights provided for in section 3, like other persons or organised collectivities, shall respect the law of the land.

5. Application for registration.- Any trade union may, under the signature of its chairman and the secretary, apply for registration of the trade union under this Ordinance.

6. Requirements for application.- Every application for registration of trade union shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied by-

7. Requirements of registration.- (1) A trade union shall not be entitled to registration under this Ordinance unless the constitution thereof provides for the following matters, namely:-

(2) A trade union of workers shall not be entitled to registration under this Ordinance unless it has a minimum membership of thirty per cent of the total number of workers employed in the establishment or group of establishments in which it is formed:
Provided that more than one establishments under the same employer, which are allied to and connected with one another for the purpose of carrying on the same industry irrespective of their place of situation, shall be deemed to be one establishment for the purpose of this sub-section:
Provided further that where any doubt or dispute arises as to whether any two or more establishments are under the same employer or whether they are allied to or connected with one another for the purpose of carrying on the same industry, the decision of the Registrar shall be final.

7-A. Disqualifications for being an officer or a member of a trade union.-
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the constitution or the rules of a trade union, a person shall not be entitled-

(2) Nothing in clause (b) shall apply to any federation of trade unions.

7-B. Registered trade union to maintain register, etc.- Every registered trade union shall maintain in such form as may be prescribed-

8. Registration.- (1) The registrar, on being satisfied that the trade union has complied with all the requirements of this Ordinance, shall register the trade union in a prescribed register and issue a registration certificate in the prescribed form within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of the application. In case the application is found by the Registrar to be deficient in a material respect or respects he shall communicate in writing his objection to the trade union within a period of 15 days from the receipt of the application and the trade union shall reply thereto within a period of fifteen days from the receipt of the objections.

(2) When the objections raised by the Registrar have been satisfactorily met, the Registrar shall register the trade union as provided in sub-section (1). In case the objections are not satisfactorily met, the Registrar may reject the application.

(3) In case the application has been rejected or the Registrar has, after settlement of the objections, delayed disposal of the application beyond the period of sixty days provided in sub-section (1), the trade union may appeal to the Labour Court who, for reasons to be stated in their judgement, may pass an order directing the Registrar to register the trade union and to issue a certificate of registration or may dismiss the appeal.

9. Certificate of registration.- The Registrar, on registering a trade union under section 8, shall issue a certificate of registration in the prescribed form which shall be conclusive evidence that the trade union has been duly registered under this Ordinance.

10. Cancellation of registration.- (1) Subject to the other provisions of this section, the registration of a trade union may be cancelled by the Registrar if the trade union has-

(2) Where the Registrar is of opinion that the registration of a trade union should be cancelled, he shall submit an application to the Labour Court praying for permission to cancel such registration.

(3) The Registrar shall cancel the registration of a trade union within seven days from the date of receipt of permission from the Labour Court. -

(4) The registration of a trade union shall not be cancelled on the ground mentioned in clause (d) of sub-section (1) if the unfair labour practice is not committed within three months prior to the date of submission of the application to the Labour Court.

11. Appeal against cancellation- (1) A trade union aggrieved by the order of cancellation of its registration under section 10 may, within sixty days from the date of the order appeal to the Labour Appellate Tribunal which may uphold or reject the order.

11-A. No Trade union to function without registration. - (1) No trade union which is unregistered or whose registration has been cancelled shall function as a trade union.

(2) No person shall collect any subscription for any fund of trade union mentioned in sub-section (1).

11-B. Restriction on dual membership.- No worker shall be entitled to enrol himself as, or to continue to be, member of more than one trade union at the same time.

12. Registrar of trade unions.- For the purpose of this Ordinance, the Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint as many persons as it considers necessary to be Registrars of trade unions and where it appoints more than one Registrar, shall specify in the notification the area within which each one of them shall exercise and perform the powers and function under this Ordinance.

13. Powers and functions of the Registrar.- The following shall be the powers and functions of the Registrar:-

14. Incorporation of registered trade union.- (1) Every registered trade union shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered, shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and the power to contract and to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable and shall, by the said name, sue or be sued.

(2) The Societies Registration Act, 1860 (XXI of 1860), the Cooperative Societies Act, 1940 (Ben. Act XXI of 1940) and the Companies Act, 1913 (VII of 1913), shall not apply to any registered trade union and the registration of any trade union under any of these Acts shall be void.

15.Unfair labour practices on the part of employers.- (1) No employer or trade union of employers and no person acting on behalf of either shall-

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be deemed to preclude an employer from requiring that a person upon his appointment or promotion to managerial position shall cease to be, and shall be disqualified from being a member or officer of a trade union of workmen.

16. Unfair labour practices on the part of workmen.- (1) No workman or trade union of workmen and no person acting on behalf of such trade union shall-

(2) It shall be an unfair practice for a trade union to interfere with a ballot held under section 22 by the exercise of undue influence, intimidation, impersonation or bribery through its executive or through any person acting on its behalf.

RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF REGISTERED TRADE UNIONS

AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGENTS

17. Law of conspiracy limited in application.- No officer or member of a registered trade union or collective bargaining agent as determined by the Registrar shall be liable to punishment under sub-section (2) of section 120-B of the Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860), in respect of any agreement made between the members thereof for the purpose of furthering any such object of the trade union as is specified in its constitution referred to in section 7, unless the agreement is an agreement to commit an offence, or otherwise violate any law other than this Ordinance.

18. Immunity from civil suit in certain cases.- (1) No suit or other legal proceedings shall be maintainable in any Civil Court against any registered trade union or collective bargaining agent or any officer or member thereof in respect of any action done in contemplation or furtherance of an industrial dispute to which the trade union is a party on the ground only that such act induces some other person to break a contract of employment or that it is an interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person or with the right of some other person to dispose of his capital or of his labour as he wills.

(2) A trade union shall not be liable in any suit or other legal proceedings in any Civil Court in respect of any tortious act done in contemplation or furtherance of an industrial dispute by an agent of the trade union if it is proved that such person acted without the knowledge of, or contrary to express instruction given by, the executive of the trade union.

19. Enforceability of agreement.- Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, an agreement between the members of a trade union shall not be void or voidable by reason only that any of the objects of the agreement are in restraint of trade:
Provided that nothing in this section shall enable any Civil Court to entertain any legal proceedings instituted for the express purpose of enforcing, or recovering damages for the breach of any agreement concerning the conditions of which any member of a trade union shall or shall not sell their goods, transact business, or work, employ or be employed.

20. Registration of Federation of Trade Unions.- (1) Any two or more registered trade unions may, if their respective general bodies so resolve, constitute a federation by executing an instrument of federation and apply for the registration of the federation:
Provided that a trade union of workmen shall not join a federation which comprises a trade union of employers, nor shall a trade union of employers join a federation which comprises a trade union of workmen.

(2) An instrument of federation referred to in sub-section (1) shall, among outer things, provide for the procedures to be followed by federated trade unions and the rights and responsibilities of the federation and the federated unions.

(3) An application for the registration of a federation of trade unions shall be signed by the presidents of all the trade unions constituting the federation or by the officers of these trade unions respectively authorised by the trade unions in this behalf and shall be accompanied by three copies of the instrument of federation referred to in sub-section (1).

(4) Subject to sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) provisions of this Ordinance shall, so far as may be and with the necessary modifications, apply to a federation of trade unions as they apply to a trade union.

21. Returns.- (1) There shall be sent annually to the Registrar on or before such date as may be prescribed, a general statement audited in the prescribed manner of all receipts and expenditure of every registered trade union during the year ending on the 31st day of December next preceding such prescribed date, and of the assets and liabilities of the trade union existing on such 31st day of December as may be prescribed.

(2) Together with the general statement, there shall be sent to the Registrar a statement showing all changes of officers made by the trade union during the year to which the general statement refers, together with a copy of the constitution of the trade union corrected up to the date of the despatch thereof to the Registrar.

(3) A copy of every alteration made in the constitution of registered trade union and of a resolution of the general body having the effect of a provision of the constitution shall be sent to the Registrar within 15 days of the making of the alteration or adoption of resolution.

(4) In case the registered trade union is member of a federation, the name of that federation shall be given in the annual statement.

22. Collective bargaining agent.- (1) Where there is only one registered trade union in an establishment or a group of establishments, that trade union shall, if it has as its members not less than one-third of the total number of workmen employed in such establishment or group of establishments, be deemed to be collective bargaining agent for such establishment or group.

(2) Where there are more registered trade unions than one in an establishment or a group of establishments, the Registrar shall upon an application made on this behalf by any such trade union which has as its members not less than one-third of the total number of workmen employed in such establishment or group of establishments or by the employer, hold a secret ballot to determine as to which one of such trade unions shall be the collective bargaining agent for the establishment or group.

(3) Upon receipt of an application under sub-section (2), the Registrar shall by notice in writing, call upon every registered trade union in the establishment or group of establishments to which the application relates to indicate, within the time specified in the notice, whether it desires to be a contestant in the secret ballot to be held for determining the collective bargaining agent in relation to the establishment or group of establishments.

(4) If a trade union fails to indicate, within the time specified in the notice, its desire to be a contestant in the secret ballot, it shall be presumed that it shall not be a contestant in such ballot.

(5) Every employer shall-

(6) On receipt of the list of workers from the employer, the Registrar shall send a copy of the list to each of contesting trade unions and shall also affix a copy thereof in a conspicuous part of his office and another copy of the list in a conspicuous part of the establishment concerned, together with a notice inviting objections, if any, to be submitted to him within such time as may be specified by him.

(6A) The objections, if any, received by the Registrar within the specified time shall be disposed of by him after such enquiry as he deems necessary.

(6B) The Registrar shall make such amendments, alterations or modifications in the list of workers submitted by the employer as may be required by any decision given by him on objections under sub-section (6A).

(6C) After amendments, alterations or modification, if any, made under sub-section (6B), or where no objections are received by the Registrar within the specified time, the Registrar shall prepare a list of workers employed in the establishment concerned and send copies thereof to the employer and each of the contesting trade unions at least four days prior to the date fixed for the poll.

(6D) The list of workers prepared under sub-section (6C) shall be deemed to be the list of voters, and every worker whose name appears in that list shall be entitled to vote in the poll to determine the collective bargaining agent.

(7) Every employer shall provide all such facilities in his establishment as may be required by the Registrar for the conduct of the poll but shall not interfere with, or in any way, influence the voting.

(8) No person shall canvass for vote within a radius of fifty yards of the polling station.

(9) For the purpose of holding secret ballot to determine the collective bargaining agent, the Registrar shall-

(10) Where a registered trade union has been declared under clause (e) of sub-section (9) to be the collective bargaining agent for an establishment or group of establishments, no application for the determination of the collective bargaining agent for such establishment or group shall be entertained within a period of two years from the date of such declaration.

(11) A collective bargaining agent may, without prejudice to its own position, implead as a party to any proceedings under this Ordinance of which it is itself a party, any federation of trade unions of which it is a member.

(12) The collective bargaining agent in relation to an establishment or group of establishments shall be entitled to-

(13) The Registrar may, by order in writing, delegate any of his powers under sub-section (9) to any officer subordinate to him.

22. A Collective bargaining agent for institutions with more than one establishment- (1) Where an employer carrying on an industry has, for the purpose of the industry, more establishments than one, any registered trade union which fulfils such conditions as may be prescribed in this behalf may make an application in such manner and to such authority as may be prescribed for being declared as the collective bargaining agent in relation to all such establishments and, upon such an application, there shall be determined in the prescribed manner a collective bargaining agent for such establishments.

(2) Where a collective bargaining agent has been determined under sub-section (1) for the establishments referred to therein, the collective bargaining agent determined, if any, under section 22 for any one or more of such establishments shall not undertake collective bargaining in respect of matters relating to the terms and conditions of employment applicable to workmen employed in any of such establishments.

23. Check off.- (1) If a collective bargaining agent so requests, the employer of the workmen who are members of a trade union shall deduct from the wages of the workmen such amounts towards their subscription to the funds of the trade union as may be specified with the approval of each individual workman named in the demand statement furnished by the trade union.

(2) An employer making any deduction from the wages under sub-section (1) shall, within 15 days of the end of the period for which the deductions have been made, deposit the entire amount so deducted by him in the account of the trade union on whose behalf he has made the deductions.

(3) The employer shall provide facilities, to the collective bargaining agent for ascertaining whether deductions from the wages of its members are being made under sub-section (1).

 JOINT CONSULTATION, CONCILIATION AND MEDIATION

24. Participation Committee.- (1) The Director of Labour or any officer authorised by him in this behalf, shall, by an order in writing, require the employer in any establishment in which fifty or more workmen are employed or were employed on any day in the preceding twelve months, to constitute, in the prescribed manner a participation committee consisting of representatives of the employer and the workmen so however that the representatives of the workmen is not less than the number of the representatives of the employer in the participation committee.

(2) In the case of an establishment where there are one or more trade unions, the collective bargaining agent shall nominate the representatives of the workmen in such participation committee;
Provided that where there is no collective bargaining agent, representatives of the workmen on a participation committee shall be chosen in the prescribed manner from amongst the workmen engaged in the establishment for which the participation committee is constituted.

25. Function of the Participation Committee.- The functions of the Participation Committee shall be to inculcate and develop a sense of belonging and workers' commitment and, in particular-

25A. Meetings of the Participation Committee. (1) The Participation Committee shall meet at least once in every two months to discuss, and exchange views and recommend measures for performance of the functions under section 25.

(2) The proceedings of every meeting of the Participation Committee shall be submitted to the Director of Labour and the Conciliator within seven days of the date of the meeting.

26. Negotiation relating to industrial disputes.- (1) If, at any time, an employer or a collective bargaining agent finds that an industrial dispute is likely to arise between the employer and of the workmen, the employer or, as the case may be, the collective bargaining agent shall communicates his or its views in writing to the other party.

(2) Within ten days of the receipt of a communication under sub-section (1), the party receiving it shall, in consultation with the representatives of the other party, arrange a meeting with the representatives of the other party, for collective bargaining on the issues raised in the communication with a view to reaching an agreement thereon through the procedure of a dialogue.

(3) If the parties reach a settlement on the issues discussed, a memorandum of settlement shall be recorded in writing and signed by both the parties and a copy thereof shall be forwarded to the Conciliator and the authorities mentioned in clause (xxiv) of section 2.

27. Conciliator.- The Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint as many persons as it considers necessary to be Conciliators for the purposes of this Ordinance and shall specify in the notification the area within which, or the class of establishments or industries in relation to which each one of them shall, perform his functions.

27A. Conciliation before notice of strike, etc.- Where the parties to an industrial dispute fail to reach a settlement by negotiation under section 26, any of them may report to the Conciliator that the negotiations have failed and request him in writing to conciliate in the dispute and the Conciliator shall, on receipt of such request, proceed to conciliate in the dispute.

28. Notice of strike or lock-out.- If the Conciliator fails to settle the dispute within ten days from the date of receipt of a request made under section 27-A, the collective bargaining agent or the employer may, in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance, serve on the other party to the dispute twenty-one days' notice of strike or lock-out, as the case may be:
Provided that no collective bargaining agent shall serve any notice of strike unless three-fourths of its members have given their consent to it through a secret ballot specifically held for the purpose.

29. Conciliation after notice of strike or lock-out.- Where a party to an industrial dispute serves a notice of strike or lock-out under section 28, it shall, simultaneously with the service of such notice, deliver a copy thereof to the Conciliator who shall proceed to conciliate or, as the case may be, continue to conciliate in the dispute notwithstanding the notice of strike or lock-out:
Provided that before proceeding to conciliate in the dispute the Conciliator shall satisfy himself as to the validity of the notice of strike and if the notice does not conform to the provisions of this Ordinance or the rules or of the constitution of the trade union concerned, the notice of strike shall not be deemed to have been given under the provisions of this Ordinance and in such cases, whether the notice relates to a public utility service or not, the Conciliator may, at his discretion, decide not to proceed with the conciliation:
Provided further that no conciliation proceeding which has been undertaken by the Conciliator under this section shall however be invalid merely on the ground that such notice of strike does not conform.

30. Proceedings before Conciliator. (1) The Conciliator shall, as soon as possible, call a meeting of the parties to the dispute for the purpose of bringing about a settlement.

(2) The parties to the dispute shall appear before the Conciliator in person or shall be represented before him by persons, nominated by them and authorised to negotiate and enter into an agreement binding on the parties:
Provided that in the case of a dispute in which a state-owned manufacturing industry is involved, the representative of the Ministry or Division administratively concerned with that industry may also appear before the Conciliator.

(3) The Conciliator shall perform such functions in relation to a dispute before him as may be prescribed and may, in particular, suggest to either party to the dispute such concessions or modifications in its demand as are, in the opinion of the Conciliator, likely to promote an amicable settlement of the dispute.

(4) If a settlement of the dispute or of any matter in dispute is arrived at in the course of the proceedings before him, the Conciliator shall send a report thereof to the Government together with the memorandum of settlement signed by the parties to the dispute.

(5) If no settlement is arrived at within the period of the notice of strike or lock-out, the conciliation proceedings may be continued for such further period as may be agreed upon by the parties.

31. Arbitration. (1) If the conciliation fails, the Conciliator shall try to persuade the parties to agree to refer the dispute to an Arbitrator. In case the parties agree, they shall make a joint request in writing for reference of the dispute to an Arbitrator agreed upon by them.

(2) The Arbitrator to whom a dispute is referred under sub-section (1) may be a person borne on a panel to be maintained by the Government or any other person agreed upon by the parties.

(3) The Arbitrator shall give his award within a period of thirty days from the date on which the dispute is referred to him under sub-section (1) or such further period as may be agreed upon by the parties to the dispute.

(4) After he has made an award, the Arbitrator shall forward a copy thereof to the parties and to the Government who shall cause it to be published in the official Gazette.

(5) The award of the Arbitrator shall be final and no appeal shall lie against it. It shall be valid for a period not exceeding two years or as may be fixed by the Arbitrator.

32. Strike and Lock-out. (1) If no settlement is arrived at during the course of conciliation proceedings and the parties to the dispute do not agree to refer it to an Arbitrator under section 31, the workmen may go on strike or as the case may be, the employer may declare a lock-out, (on the expiry of the period of the notice under section 28) or upon (the issuance of a notice by the Conciliator to the parties to the dispute a certificate to the effect that the conciliation proceedings have failed, whichever is the later.

(1A).- The parties to the dispute may, at any time, either before or after the commencement of a strike or lock-out, make a joint application to me Labour Court for adjudication of the dispute.

(2) If a strike or lock-out lasts for more than 30 days, the Government may, by order in writing, prohibit the strike or lock-out:
Provided that the Government may, by order in writing prohibit a strike or lock-out at any time before the expiry of thirty days if it is satisfied that the continuance of such strike or lock-out is causing serious hardship to the community or is prejudicial to the national interest.

(3) In any case in which the Government prohibits a strike or lock-out, it shall, forthwith, refer the dispute to the Labour Court.

(4) The Labour Court shall, after giving both the parties to the dispute an opportunity of being heard, make such award as it deems fit as expeditiously as possible but not exceeding sixty days from the date on which the dispute was referred to it:
Provided that the Labour Court may also make an interim award on any matter of dispute:
Provided also that any delay by the Labour Court in making an award shall not affect the validity of any award made by it.

(5) An award of the Labour Court shall be for such period, as may be specified in the award, which shall not be more then two years.

33. Strike or Lock-out in Public Utility Services. (1) In the case of any of the public utility services, the Government may, by order in writing, prohibit a strike or lock-out at any time before or after the commencement of the strike or lock-out.

(2) The provisions of sub-section (3), (4) and (5) of section 32 shall also apply to an order made under sub-section (1) above as they apply to an order made under sub-section (2) of that section.

34. Application to Labour Court. Any collective bargaining agent or any employer or workman may apply to the Labour Court for the enforcement of any right guaranteed or secured to it or him by or under any law or any award or settlement.

35. Labour Court. (1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, establish as many Labour Courts as it considers necessary and, where it establishes more than one Labour Court, shall specify in the notification the territorial limits within which each one of them shall exercise jurisdiction under this Ordinance.

(2) A Labour Court shall consist of a Chairman appointed by the Government and two members to advise the Chairman, one to represent the employers and the other to represent the workmen, appointed in the manner hereinafter provided.

(3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as Chairman unless he has been or is, or is qualified to be, a Judge, or Additional Judge of the High Court Division or is a District Judge, or an Additional District Judge.

(4) The Government shall constitute, in the prescribed manner, by notification in the official Gazette, two panels, one of which shall consist of representatives of employers and the other of representatives of the workmen, each panel consisting of not more than five persons:
Provided that the Government shall reconstitute such panels after every two years, but the members of the panels, notwithstanding the expiry of the said period of two years, shall continue on the panels till the new panels are constituted and notified in the official Gazette.

(4A) The Chairman shall, for adjudication, enquiry, determination or disposal of a case relating to a specific industrial dispute, select one person from each of the two panels constituted under sub-section (4), and persons so selected, together with the Chairman shall be deemed to, have constituted the Labour Court in respect of that specific industrial dispute:
Provided that the Chairman may select any member from either of the panels as a member of the Labour Court in respect of more than one case pending before the Labour Court.

(5) A Labour Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to-

(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 (VII of 1923) or the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (IV of 1936), the Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint a Labour Court to be, or confer upon it any power or function of, any authority under any of the said Act, and upon such notification, the Labour Court shall be deemed to be such authority and shall exercise the powers and perform the functions of such authority under the relevant Act.

(7) If any member of the Labour Court is absent from, or is otherwise unable to attend any sitting of the Court, the proceedings of the Court may continue and the decision or award may be given in the absence of such member; and no act, proceedings, decision or award of the Court shall be invalid or be called in question merely on the ground of such absence or on the ground of any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of, the Labour Court.

36. Procedure and powers of Labour Court. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance a Labour Court shall follow as nearly as possible summary procedure as prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898).

(2) A Labour Court shall, for the purpose of adjudicating and determining any industrial dispute, be deemed to be a Civil Court and shall have the same powers as are vested in such Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908) including the powers of-

(2A) A Labour Court may, if it is satisfied that the dispute has been amicably resolved, allow the withdrawal of a case before it at any stage of the proceeding thereof upon consideration of an application signed by all the parties to the case after giving hearing all or any one of them.

(3) A Labour Court shall, for the purpose of trying an offence under the Ordinance, have the same powers as are vested in the Court of a Magistrate of the First class under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898) and shall, for the purpose of appeal for a sentence passed by it, be deemed to be a Court of Sessions under that Code.

(4) No Court fee shall be payable for filing, exhibiting or recording any document, or obtaining any document from a Labour Court.

37. Awards and decisions of Labour Court.- (1) An award or decision of a Labour Court shall be given in writing and delivered in open Court and two copies thereof shall be forwarded forthwith to the Government.

(1A) An award or decision of Labour Court shall in every case, be delivered, unless the parties to the dispute give their consent in writing to extend the time limit within sixty days following the date of filing of the case:
Provided that no award or decision of a Labour Court shall be invalid merely on the ground of delay in its delivery.

(2) The Government shall, within a period of one month from the receipt of the copies of the award or decision, publish it in the official Gazette.

(3) Any party aggrieved by an award given under sub-section (1), may prefer an appeal to Labour Appellate Tribunal within 30 days of the delivery thereof and the decision of the Tribunal in such appeal shall be final.

(4) All decisions of a Labour Court, other than awards referred to in sub-section 3 of section 36, shall be final and shall not be called in question in any manner by or before any Court or other authority.

38. Labour Appellate Tribunal.- (1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, establish one or more Labour Appellate Tribunals for the purposes of this Ordinance.

(1A) When more than one Labour Appellate Tribunal is established, the Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, specify the area within which each Tribunal shall exercise jurisdiction.

(2) The Tribunal shall consist of one member who shall be appointed by the Government, by notification in the official Gazette, from among person who is or has been a Judge or an Additional Judge of the High Court Division.

(2A) The member of the Tribunal shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Government may determine.

(3) The tribunal may, on appeal, confirm, set aside, vary or modify the award and shall exercise all the powers conferred by this Ordinance on the Court, save as otherwise provided. The decision of me tribunal shall be delivered as expeditiously as possible, within a period of 60 days following the filing of the appeal:
Provided that such decision shall not be rendered invalid by reason of any delay in its delivery.

(3A) If an appeal is preferred against an order of reinstatement of a workman by the Labour Court, the Tribunal shall, notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3), decide such appeal within a period not beyond 180 days following the filing of the appeal and in the meantime the Tribunal may pass an order staying the operation of the order of the Labour Court if such appeal is not disposed of within the aforesaid period, the order of the Tribunal shall stand vacated after the expiry of the period.

(4) The Tribunal shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed.

(4A) The Tribunal may, on its own motion, and for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of the order of the Labour Court, call for the record of any case or proceeding under this Ordinance and may pass such order in relation thereto as it thinks fit:
Provided that no order under this sub-section shall be passed revising or modifying any order adversely affecting any person without giving such person a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(5) The Tribunal shall have authority to punish for contempts of its authority, or that of any Labour Court subject to its appellate jurisdiction, as if it were a High Court.

(6) Any person convicted and sentenced by the Tribunal under sub-section (5) to imprisonment for any period, or to pay a fine exceeding one thousand Taka may prefer an appeal to the High Court Division.

39. Settlements and awards on whom binding.- (1) A settlement arrived at in the course of a conciliation proceeding, or an award of an Arbitrator published under section 31, or an award or decision of a Labour Court delivered under section 37 (or the decision of a Tribunal under section 38) shall-

(2) A settlement arrived at by agreement between the employer and a trade union otherwise than in the course of conciliation proceedings shall be binding on the parties to the agreement.

40. Effective date of settlement, award etc.- (1) A settlement shall become effective-

(2) A settlement shall be binding for such period as is agreed upon by the parties, and if no such period is agreed upon, for a period of one year from the date on which the memorandum of settlement is signed by the parties to the dispute and shall continue to be binding on the parties after the expiry of the aforesaid period until the expiry of two months from the date on which either party informs the other party in writing of its intention no longer to be bound by the settlement.

(3) An award given under sub-section (1) of section 37 shall, unless an appeal against it is preferred to the Tribunal, become effective on such date and remain effective for such period, not exceeding two years, as may be specified therein. The Arbitrator, the Labour Court, or as the case may be, the Tribunal, shall specify dates from which the award on various demands shall be effective and the limit by which it shall be implemented in each case:
Provided that if, at any time before the expiry of the said period, any party, bound by an award, applied to the Labour Court which made the award to reduction or the period on the ground that the circumstances in which the award was made have materially changed, the Labour Court may, by order made after giving to the other party and opportunity of being heard, terminate the said period on a date specified in the order.

(4) A decision of the Tribunal in appeal under sub-section (3) of section 38 shall be effective from the date of the award.

(5) Notwithstanding the expiry of the period for which an award is to be effective under sub-section (3), the award shall continue to be binding on the parties until the expiry of two months from the date on which either party informs the Other party in writing of its intention no longer to be bound by the award.

41. Commencement and conclusion of proceedings.- (1) A conciliation proceeding shall be deemed to have commenced on the date on which a notice of strike or lock-out is received by the Conciliator under section 28.

(2) A conciliation proceeding shall be deemed to have concluded-

(3) Proceedings before a Labour Court shall be deemed to have commenced-

(4) Proceedings before a Labour Court shall be deemed to have concluded on the date on which the award or decision is delivered under sub-section (1) of section 37.

42. Certain matters to be kept confidential.- There shall not be included in any report, award or decision under this Ordinance any information obtained by a Registrar, Conciliator, Labour Court, Arbitrator or Tribunal in the course of any investigation or enquiry as to a trade union or as to any individual business (whether carried on by a person, firm or company) which is not available otherwise than through the evidence given before such authority, if the trade union, person, firm or company in question has made a request in writing to the authority that such information shall be treated as confidential, nor shall such proceedings disclose any such information without the consent in writing of the secretary of the trade union or the person, firm or company in question, as the case may be:
Provided that nothing contained in this section shall apply to disclosure of any such information for the purpose of a prosecution under section 193 of the Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).

43. Raising of industrial disputes.- No industrial dispute shall be deemed to exist unless it has been raised in the prescribed manner, by a collective bargaining agent (or an employer).

44. Prohibition of serving notice of strike or lock-out while proceedings pending.- No notice of strike or lock-out shall be served by any party to an industrial dispute while any conciliation proceedings or proceedings before an arbitrator or a Labour Court or an appeal to the Tribunal under sub-section (3) of section 38 are or is pending in respect of any matter constituting such industrial dispute.

45. Powers of Labour Court and Tribunal to prohibit strike etc.- (1) When a strike or lock-out in pursuance of an industrial dispute has already commenced and is in existence at the time when, in respect of such industrial dispute, there is made, to, or is pending before, a Labour Court or an application under section 34 the Labour Court may, by an order in writing, prohibit continuance of the strike or lock-out.

(2) When an appeal in respect of any matter arising out of an industrial dispute is referred to a Tribunal under section 38 the Tribunal may, by an order in writing, prohibit continuance of any strike or lock-out in pursuance of such industrial dispute which had already commenced and was in existence on the date on which the appeal was preferred.

46. Illegal strikes and lock-out- (1) Strike or lock-out shall be illegal if-

(2) A lock-out declared in consequence of an illegal strike and a strike declared in consequence of an illegal lock-out shall not be deemed to be illegal.

47. Conditions of service to remain unchanged while proceedings pending.-
(1) No employer shall, while any conciliation proceedings or proceedings before an Arbitrator, a Labour Court or Tribunal in respect of an industrial dispute are pending, alter to the disadvantage of any workman concerned in such dispute, the conditions of service applicable to him before the commencement of the conciliation proceedings or of the proceedings before the Arbitrator the Labour Court or Tribunal, as the case may be, nor shall he,-

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), an officer of a registered trade union shall not during the pendency of any proceedings referred to in sub-section (1), be discharged, dismissed or otherwise punished for misconduct, except with the previous permission of the Labour Court.

47A. Conditions of service to remain unchanged while application for registration pending.- No employer shall, while an application under section 5 for registration of a trade union is pending, alter, without prior permission of the Registrar, to the disadvantage of any workman who is an officer of such trade union, the conditions of service applicable to him before the receipt of the application by the Registrar.

47B. President and General Secretary not to be transferred.- Neither the President nor the General Secretary of any trade union shall be transferred from one place to another without his consent.

48. Protection of certain persons.- (1) No person refusing to take part or to continue to take part in any illegal strike or illegal lock-out shall by reason of such refusal, be subject to expulsion from any trade union or to any fine or penalty or to the deprivation of any right or benefit which he or his legal representatives would otherwise have been entitled, or, be liable to be placed in any respect, either directly or indirectly, under any disability or disadvantage as compared with other members of the trade union.

(2) Any contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1) may be made the subject-matter of an industrial dispute, and nothing in the constitution of a trade union providing the manner in which any dispute between its executive and members shall be settled, shall apply to proceedings for enforcing any right or exemption granted by sub-section (1). In any such proceeding, the Labour Court may, in lieu of ordering a person who has been expelled from membership of a trade union to be restored to membership, order that he be paid out of the funds of the trade union such sum by way of compensation or damages as the Court thinks just.

49. Representation of parties.- (1) A workman who is a party to an industrial dispute shall be entitled to be represented in any proceedings under this Ordinance by an officer of a collective bargaining agent and, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) and sub-section (3) any employer who is a party to an industrial dispute shall be entitled to be represented in any such proceeding by a person duly authorised by him.

(2) No party to an industrial dispute shall be represented by a legal practitioner in any conciliation proceedings under this Ordinance.

(3) A party to an industrial dispute may be represented by a legal practitioner in any proceeding before the Labour Court, or before an Arbitrator, with the permission of the Court or the Arbitrator, as the case may be.

50. Interpretation of settlement and awards.- (1) If any difficulty or doubt arises to the interpretation of any provision of an award or settlement, it shall be referred to the Tribunal constituted under this Ordinance.

(2) The Tribunal to which a matter is referred under sub-section (1) shall, after giving the parties an opportunity of being heard, decide the matter and its decision shall be final and binding on the parties.

51. Recovery of money due from an employer under a settlement or award.-
(1) Any money due from an employer under a settlement, or under an award or decision of the Arbitrator, Labour Court or Tribunal may be recovered as arrears of land revenue or as a public demand upon application by the Government if it is moved in that behalf by the person entitled to the money under that settlement, award or decision.

(2) Where any workman is entitled to receive from the employer any benefit, under settlement or under an award or decision of the Arbitrator, Labour Court or Tribunal, which is capable of being computed in terms of money, the amount at which such benefit shall be computed may, subject to the rules made under this Ordinance, be determined and recovered as provided for in sub-section (1) and paid to the workman concerned within a specified date.

52. Any act or function which is, by this Ordinance, required to be performed by or has been conferred upon a collective bargaining agent may, until a collective bargaining agent has been ascertained under the provisions of this Ordinance, be performed by a registered trade union which has been recognised by the employer or employers.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, a registered trade union means such registered trade union which has a membership of at least one-third of the total number of workers of the establishment concerned.

 PENALTIES AND PROCEDURE

53. Penalty for unfair labour practices.- (1) Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 15, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand Taka or with both.

(2) Any workman who contravenes the provisions of section 16, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two hundred Taka or with both.

(3)A trade union or person other than a workman which or who contravenes the provisions of section 16, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to two thousand Taka or with both.

54. Penalty for committing breach of settlement.- Whoever commits any breach of any term of any settlement, award or decision which is binding on him under this Ordinance, shall be punishable-

55. Penalty for failing to implement settlement, etc.- Whoever wilfully fails to implement any term of any settlement, award or decision which it is his duty under this Ordinance to implement, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five hundred Taka or with both, and, in the case of continuing failure, with a further fine which may extend to two hundred Taka for every day after the first during which the failure continues.

56. Penalty for false statement, etc.- Whoever wilfully makes or causes to be made in any application or other document submitted under this Ordinance or the rules thereunder any statement which he knows or has reason to believe to be false, or wilfully neglects or fails to maintain or furnishes any list document or information he is required to maintain or furnish under this Ordinance or the rules thereunder, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred Taka, or with both.

57. Penalty for illegal strike or lock-out.- (1) Any workman who commences, continues or otherwise acts in furtherance of an illegal strike shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to two hundred Taka or with both.

(2) Any employer who commences, continues or otherwise acts in furtherance of an illegal lock-out shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand Taka or with both, and in the case of a continuing offence, with a further fine which may extend to two hundred Taka for every day after the first during which the offence continues.

58. Penalty for instigating illegal strike or lock-out. Whoever instigates or incites others to take part in or expends or supplies money or otherwise acts in furtherance or support of an illegal strike or an illegal lock-out, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine, which may extend to one thousand Taka or with both.

59. Penalty for taking part in or instigating 'go-slow'.- Whoever takes part in, or instigates or incites others to take part in or otherwise acts in furtherance of a "go-slow" shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred Taka or with both.

Explanation.- In this section, 'go-slow' means an organised, deliberate and purposeful slowing down of normal output of work by a body of workmen acting in a concerted manner, but does not include the slowing down of normal output of work which is due to mechanical defect, break-down of machinery, failure or defect in power supply or in the supply of normal materials and spare parts of machinery.

60. Penalty for discharging officer of trade union in certain circumstances, etc.- Any employer who contravenes the provisions of section 47, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five thousand Taka or with both.

61. Penalty for embezzlement or misappropriation of funds.- Any officer or any other employee of a registered trade union, guilty of embezzlement or misappropriation of trade union funds shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and shall also be liable to fine, which shall not exceed the amount found by the Court to have been embezzled or misappropriated. Upon realisation, the amount of fine may be reimbursed by the Court to the trade union concerned.

61A. Penalty for activities of unregistered trade unions.- Whoever takes part in, or instigates or incites others to take part in the activities of an unregistered trade union or of a trade union whose registration has been cancelled or collects subscription except enrolment fee, for the fund of any such trade union, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred Taka or with both.

61B. Penalty for dual membership of trade unions.- Whoever enrols himself as, or continues to be, a member of more than one trade union at the same time shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred Taka, or with both.

62. Penalty for other offences.- Whoever contravenes, or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Ordinance, shall if no other penalty is provided by this Ordinance for such contravention or failure, be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred and fifty Taka.

62A. Penalty for non-appearance or non-representation before a Conciliator.- A person who fails, except for reasons satisfactory to the Conciliator, to comply with the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 30 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred Taka or with both.

63. Offences by corporations.- Where the person guilty of any offence under this Ordinance is a company or other body corporate, every Director, Manager, Secretary or other officer or agent thereof shall, unless he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or consent or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence, be deemed to be guilty of such offence.

64. Trial of offences.- No Court other than a Labour Court or that of a Magistrate of the First Class shall try any offence punishable under this Ordinance (and no prosecution for an offence punishable under section 53 or 62A shall be instituted except by or under the authority, or with the previous permission of the Director of Labour or an officer authorised by him in this behalf).

65. Indemnity.- No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against any person for anything which is, in good faith, done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Ordinance or any rule.

65-A. Registrar, etc. to be public servants - A Registrar, a Conciliator, the Chairman of a Labour Court and the member of the Tribunal shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860).

66. Powers to make rules.- (1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rule for carrying out the purposes of this Ordinance.

(2) Rules made under this section may provide that a contravention thereof shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred Taka.

67. Repeal and savings.- (1) The following laws are hereby repealed, namely:-

(2) Notwithstanding the repeal of any law by sub-section (1), and without prejudice to the provisions of section 24 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (X of 1897)-

(a) every trade union existing immediately before the commencement of this Ordinance, which was registered under any such law, shall be deemed to be registered under this Ordinance and its constitution, shall in so far as it is not inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordnance continue in force until altered or rescinded; and

(b) anything done, rules made, notification or order issued, officer appointed. Court constituted, notice given, proceedings commenced or other actions taken under any law, shall be deemed to have been done, made, issued, appointed, constituted, notice given, proceedings commenced or other actions taken, as the case may be under me corresponding provisions of this Ordinance.



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