HMS leader sees labour consolidation

Sustained attempts of the Modi government to amend labour laws in favour of employers had resulted in consolidation of workforce in the country, said Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, general secretary, Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), on Friday.

Addressing the 33{+r}{+d}triennial convention of HMS here, Mr. Sidhu said that the NDA government, which came to power with loud assurances for betterment of common people, was engaged only in protecting the corporate interests. It brought about a series of amendments to labour laws like Factories Act, Industrial Disputes Act, Trade Union Act, Apprenticeship Act and Contract Workers’ Act without discussing issues of organised labour with trade unions. This was in violation of International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and hence all national trade unions had decided to work together under a Joint Action Committee.

The JAC would hold a national convention on May 26 to decide on direct action “to challenge the anti-labour government,” Mr. Sidhu said.

There was labour unrest in different sectors due to the uncertainty looming large over employment, caused by amendments to labour laws, disinvestment, foreign direct investment and privatisation.

Labour unions were either gearing up for a strike or had already declared their intention to go on strike, Mr. Sidhu said.

Panudda Boonpala, Director, ILO, affirmed that effective labour law reforms could be ushered in through tripartite talks and called for promotion of increased women participation in labour market and trade union movement.

Lakshman Basnet, general secretary, South Asian Regional Trade Union Council, regretted that the gains of 100 years in terms of social justice, social security and social equilibrium had been lost in a few years’ time due to globalisation. The three day-deliberations started with a women’s convention, chaired by Champa Verma, national secretary. In a resolution passed at the meet, the HMS Women Committee noted that globalisation had increased problems concerning opportunities for employment, livelihood, training and equality.

The general secretary of Tamil Nadu HMS, K. A. Raja Sridhar, wanted the trade union to focus on issues concerning the voiceless in the unorganised sector.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 8:26:59 PM |

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