Advice regarding minimum working hours
I run a factory in Nashik, Maharashtra. Total No. of employees are 94.
I mainly supply to State Electricity Boards. Due to pandemic and lockdown, do not have sufficient orders in hand.
Currently have orders of 40% of the manufacturing capacity of the plant.
Normally, we run 2 shifts of 8 hours each, a total of 16 working hours a day.
Now, due to reduced orders, have been running 2 shifts of 6 hours each a day, and have been making payment of wages proportionately. The wages for 6 hours of duty are well above the minimum wages prescribed.
This arrangement was mutually decided and agreed upon by the management and the workers.
Have been following this pattern for the last 5 weeks.
Now, the workers have joined and brought a Trade/Labour Union to the company.
The Union is demanding for 8 hours shift.
We neither have the orders in hand nor the financial capacity to pay for 8-hour shifts.
My questions are:
1. What actions can the Union take if I do not agree with their demands? Can they go on strike? Would such a strike be legally justifiable?
2. Is there any law which provides for minimum working hours in a day/week?
3. What legal options do I have in my hand?
Asked 5 months ago in Labour