Are teachers considered as workmen?


Teachers play an important role in the development of society. Its purpose is to nourish young children intellectually and morally to become good Samaritans in the future. Therefore, it is a very noble profession and the teachers cannot be called workmen under the Industrial dispute act. In the case of Raj Kumar Vs. Director of Education & Ors. [Civil Appeal No. 1020 of 2011], it was held that teachers are not workers and cannot raise dispute under the Industrial Dispute Act.

But the position of a trainer is not clear to that context. Section 2(s) of the Industrial Dispute Act provides definition for a workman. It says that a worker is deemed as a person who works in any industry to perform any “manual, unskilled, qualified, technical, operational, administrative or supervisory work” for wages or remuneration.
It is no where mentioned that a trainer also qualifies a teacher and cannot raise disputes under the Industrial dispute act. However, the plain and dictionary meaning of a trainer is a person who teaches skills to people or animals and prepares them for a job, activity, or sport.

The literal rule of Interpretation says that where there is no clear meaning to a word then the literal or dicionary meaning of that word is to be taken into account. Thus, taking into account the meaning of a trainer, a trainer is regarded as a teacher. In such a situation, the complaint before the labour commissioner would not be maintainable and for proper remedy you have to file you complaint before a civil court of competent jurisdiction or the High Court of the concerned state.

Reference: The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
Section 2(s)

Raj Kumar Vs. Director of Education & Ors. [Civil Appeal No. 1020 of 2011]



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