Enshrined in the Constitution of India, Article 41 of the Directive Principles of State Policy states that: The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.

Right to work is an unenforceable right, not a fundamental right. The manner in which the sacked employees of Jet Airways went about protesting their “unceremonious sacking,” made me wonder whether the Indian Constitution has been amended to the effect that “ Right to work is a fundamental right (birth right).”

I couldn’t digest the fact that a multi-national corporation was arm twisted (blackmailed / whitemailed – take your pick) into reinstating around 1900 of its staff, barely a day after they were sacked (pink-slipped).

Some of the legal eagles have pointed out emphatically that Jet would have “force landed” into a soup over the issue of sacking its employees as they had not given a proper termination notice and compensation. They also pointed out that the sackings were completely illegal as there was no notice nor was government’s permission taken to sack 800 employees.

Correct me if I am wrong, Jet Airways is a not a public sector company. So the question of taking the government’s permission is absolutely ridiculous.

A Jet Airways spokesperson re-iterated that the sacking of the employees was done legally. There was no violation of legal or labour ministry guidelines at any point in time. The company had paid a month’s salary while showing the door to the employees, including the probationers.

Then in must be truly a change of heart for Naresh Goyal, Chairman of Jet Airways, unable to see the sufferings, pain, and insecurity in his employees’ eyes, to order the reinstatement of sacked employees with immediate effect.

Or is it? A number of political outfits have staked their claim that they have been the major influencers behind Goyal’s decision to take back the sacked employees. Aviation minister Praful Patel puts it discreetly that it was his stern warning did the trick. Also doing the rounds is that Raj Thackeray’s (MNS) involvement made Jet Airways to blink. Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena too is claiming undue credit.

I do wonder whether this fiasco would put off other MNC’s looking to set shop here in India. Here the private corporations are forced to dance to the tunes of whims and fancies of the local politician cum goonda. Corporate policies are as good as toilet paper in a dustbin.

So if you are working for a MNC (and it happens so that, it is here in India) and get pink slipped; where the company describes it as a part cost cutting measure in response to the global melt down. Don’t worry. All you have to do is to vociferously protest against it in the streets, make sure either the MNS or the Shiv Sena take note of it. That’s it. You are back to the office the next day!

Two things: I am an Indian and it happens only in India. Boy! Am I lucky or what.

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