Bombay Parsi Punchayet ((BPP) trustee Viraf Mehta states BPP chairman Yazdi Desai acted unilaterally in writing to the government asking for the trust to be exempted from paying bonus. He said all the six trustees were unaware of the exemption application: “Yazdi acted without the knowledge nor consent of any of the Trustees. This cannot be presented as the view of the Board. At best, this is Yazdi’s personal view.”
Mehta added, however, the board had decided to pay the bonus, a statement corroborated by BPP trustee Noshir Dadrawala who sent an app to Parsiana stating that “bonus will have to be paid else it would be a breach of our signed agreement.”
Parsiana has sent WhatsApp messages to Dadrawala and BPP trustee Kersi Randeria at 1.55 p.m. inquiring if Desai ”Consult(ed) his co trustees when filing the exemption from bonus application?” Dadrawala replied “No” but added “In Any case as per last signed agreement I feel bonus will have to be given by around Diwali or eight months before close of FY (financial year) 2017-18 as per law. Bonus is an entitlement.”
Randeria had not replied till 7.20 p.m.
The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) has filed an application “seeking exemption from payment of bonus under the provisions of section 36 of the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965.” The eight-page application dated September 16 with seven pages of annexures was signed by BPP chairman Yazdi Desai and addressed to the Secretary, The Government of Maharashtra, Industries, Energy and Labour Department. After stating the BPP is a registered charitable trust involved in amelioration of poverty, the letter claims “in view of the precarious financial position of the Punchayet, it is unable to make any disbursement of bonus to its employees for the calendar years 2017 and 2018.” The total bonus amount due comes to Rs 76,81,525 for 330 employees. “Currently, the amount of funds lying to the credit of the Punchayet is approximately Rs 41,29,382.03 as on August 14, 2018 which amounts are required towards payment of wages and salaries of the employees on a month to month basis and for meeting other routine administrative expenses,” Desai states.
According to him “the current annual cost towards salary and wages of the employees amount to Rs 10,44,87,636” which works out to Rs 87,07,303 per month. This means the Rs 41lakhs in the BPP coffers would cover less than half a month’s salary. A new wage agreement was due in January 2018 and the BPP alleges if the Mumbai Mazdoor Sabha’s present demands were acceded to, an annual “net burden of Rs 3,44,09,264” would be added
According to the Union’s general secretary Dhunji Naterwalla, the BPP has deducted one day’s salary from their employees for taking mass casual leave on August 21 to protest the non-payment of bonus before the Parsi New Year (August 17) as has been the custom. This, despite an unfair labor practices complaint being filed in the Industrial Labour Court.
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