Passage of labour codes | Central trade unions plan protests

Santosh Kumar Gangwar.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Central trade unions called for protests across the country on Wednesday against the three labour codes passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, while organisations representing informal workers demanded that the unorganised sector receive the full protection of the social security, industrial relations and occupational safety codes.

While speaking in the House about the three codes, Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said all workers, including those in the informal sector, self-employed and gig or platform workers, would now be covered under social security schemes.

Ten Central trade unions planned to observe Wednesday as a day of protests against the “anti-worker codification of labour laws and other changes, against disinvestment and privatisation of public sector enterprises including 100% FDI (foreign direct investment) in some of the core sectors of our economy”, Amarjeet Kaur, the general secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), said on behalf of the AITUC, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the All-India United Trade Union Centre, the Trade Union Coordination Committee, the Self Employed Women’s Association, the All-India Central Council of Trade Unions, the Labour Progressive Federation, and the United Trade Union Congress.

Chandan Kumar of the Working People’s Charter, which advocates for informal sector workers, said the government was trying to retain colonial-era conditions. He said the codes had left out a large number of workers. Social security should have been made a universal right for the workforce, he said.

A statement by a group of civil society organisations and unions, including IT for Change and the Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers, on Monday said that while the Code on Social Security had empowered the government to formulate schemes for platform workers, the issue of lack of legal obligations on platform aggregators remained. They also called for data rights for platform workers, who had complained about manipulation of algorithms by companies in order to prevent them from meeting incentive-linked targets.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 4:11:24 PM |

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