It is rightly said that no great human creation could be achieved without the efforts of the workers. Simply put, a worker is anyone who offers their work for any job. In the legal field, this term takes on a more precise definition. Everyone who is a worker has the right to take industrial action. Section 2(s) of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 (`the Act`) defines a worker as `any person (including an apprentice) employed in any industry for the purpose of performing manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, administrative or regulatory work, express or implied, and includes any person who has been dismissed, licensed or licensed in connection with: or as a result of the dispute. However, the meaning of this term has been interpreted and broadened by the Supreme Court in several judgments. In the case of Arkal Govind Rajrao v. Ciba Geigy of India Ltd, In this case, the complainant, who worked as a stenographer and accountant and was subsequently promoted to assistant in the defendant company, was dismissed after approximately 10 years of service on the grounds that he was not a “worker” within the meaning of section 2(s) of the Act. The Labour Court ruled in favour of the respondent and concluded that the complainant was a contractual staff member because, in addition to clerical activities, he also carried out supervisory and administrative activities and other miscellaneous tasks such as checking bank reconciliations, etc. This led to an appeal to the Mumbai High Court, which was dismissed. The applicants then appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiff was a worker within the meaning of the law. It has been found that in determining whether a person is a “worker” or not, it is important to assess which primary tasks are performed by the person and which secondary tasks are. The status of a person should be decided only on the basis of the main function, the fact that the person also performs additional functions should not change his position in accordance with the law. In the present case, in addition to his main office activity, the complainant also exercised supervisory functions. Because of his main activity, he obtained the status of “worker” in accordance with the law. This was a landmark decision that gave a clear meaning to the term worker and curbed the abuse of the provisions of the law by employers to their advantage. This case also confirmed that a person who carries out purely supervisory or managerial activities cannot be considered a worker within the meaning of the law. However, the mere designation of a person to a supervisory position is not sufficient to exclude him or her from the sphere of “worker”; It must be demonstrated that the person has effectively performed supervisory or managerial functions, as in the case of Delta Jute & Industries Ltd. Staff Association and v. State of West Bengal. Another category of work excluded from the realm of the “worker” is work that involves a creative or imaginative application of the mind.
This type of work is not considered manual/clerical/operational or technical work. However, the Supreme Court has been flexible with respect to this exception. One example is Chandrasekhara Sharma v. C. Krishnaiah Chetty Jewellers Private Limited, in which the tactic used by a salesperson to persuade customers was not considered creative work. Significantly, the law does not discriminate on the basis of hours of work. In addition, there should be a necessary contractual relationship between the employer and the person considered to be a “worker”. In Ved Prakash Gupta v. M/S Delton Cable India (P) Ltd, it has been held that a person employed as a manager or administrator is not a worker. The Honourable Supreme Court of India has ruled that the definition of employee in section 2(s) of the Act also includes a part-time worker within its scope, provided that he works under the supervision and control of a designated employer. He has the right to protection under § 25 . “The Labour Court found that she was not a worker.
Proof of this is that he supervises the work of the maintenance department as a maintenance engineer and carries out the work through installers and turners, etc., who are his subordinates. It is also stated that he grants leave, initiates disciplinary proceedings, etc. It also has the power to make temporary appointments. We believe that the Labour Court is correct in concluding that the applicant is not a worker. In Management of May and Baker v. Its workers, the panel of three judges, have decided that in order to be called a “worker”, a person must be employed in a job that falls within the four areas of “manual, regulatory, bureaucratic or technical”.  Shuchi, Which employees does not fall under the scopet of Industrial Dispute Act, 1947, Legal Services India (20 mai 2021, 16:24), www.legalservicesindia.com/article/422/Which-employees-do-not-fall-under-the-scopet-of-Industrial-Dispute-Act,-1947.html#:~:text=%22Workman%22%20is%20any%20person%20(,act%20in%20relation%20to%20an.