Earlier, the employees had gone on a day long mass leave on November 7 in spite of the best efforts of the company. It had affected power supply in Nandanvan and Wathoda areas.
The SNDL employees have formed a union, which is affiliated to the leftist Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation (MSEWF). Since then the employees have been demanding their rights denied to them by Spanco, the earlier majority stake holder in SNDL.
SNDL had produced a letter sent to it by the unions claiming that it was an evidence of the fact that the employees were threatening to go an indefinite strike, which was patently illegal. The court observed that the letter only mentioned that the employees proposed to go on mass leave as a part of agitation and prima facie did not show any intention of going on a strike as alleged by SNDL.
As the respondents - the leaders of the SNDL employees - were not present in the court, the industrial court stated that it was not possible to determine whether the decision to go on mass leave amount to an illegal strike. However, in public interest especially in Diwali season it was desirable that distribution of electricity should be smooth and hence the union leaders should not abet or instigate any strike.