Trade union leaders are meeting finance minister Arun Jaitley on July 19
GN Staff | July 15, 2015
Opposing the NDA government's labour reforms that are aimed at improving ease of doing business and to give a push to 'Make in India' initiative, 11 national trade unions will observe nationwide strike on September 2.
The unions, including BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, are against amendments related to retrenchment, lay offs and closure of units.
"The proposals are pro-corporate and favour employers. We are opposing them. Amendments should be made after consulting the trade unions," said G Sanjeeva Reddy, president, Indian National Trade Union Congress.
Some of the demands of the trade union leaders are immediate steps to check rising prices, strict enforcement of basic labour laws, Rs 15,000 per month as minimum wages, government employees status to anganwadi and mid-day meal workers, no FDI in railways, defence and other strategic sectors and regular workers wages for contractual employees and pension for all workers.
There are more than 10 lakh workers under the central government, including Aanganwadi and mid day meal workers. And over 5 lakh workers are working on contract in public sector.
"Government should bring a system of fair price shop and control the price rise. The distribution system should be streamlined. And if it is not able to control the prices, the wages should be revised in every six months," demanded Reddy.
The trade union leaders are meeting the central sub committee headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley on July 19 to discuss their charter of demands.
The NDA government's labour reforms will be part of the agenda for discussion at the Indian Labour Conference (ILC) scheduled on July 20 and 21. Reddy says if the government is ready to change its stand on their demands the trade unions will call off the strike.
ILC provides the government its suggestions after holding discussions on wide range of issues. During the UPA regime, the government held six labour conferences.
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This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub
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