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Worker, employer bodies seek changes to draft labour rules

The codification of laws on wages, social security, occupational safety and industrial relations into four codes is expected to be implemented in the next financial year.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The majority of the Central trade unions on Thursday boycotted the Labour and Employment Ministry’s consultation on the draft rules for the four labour codes enacted by the government in 2019 and 2020, terming the exercise a “farce”.

The codification of laws on wages, social security, occupational safety and industrial relations into four codes is expected to be implemented in the next financial year, for which the process of framing rules is underway. Ten out of the 12 Central trade unions declined to attend the meeting called by Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar. While the Code on Wages Rules and the Industrial Relations Code Rules were discussed on Thursday, the discussion on the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Rules and Social Security Code Rules would be discussed on January 12.

In a statement, the joint platform of the 10 unions said the exercise was being undertaken “only to meet the criticism that this government at the Centre is violating tripartite consultations”. In a letter to Mr. Gangwar on Tuesday, they wrote that the single-day meeting on all four codes with several unions and employers organisations would not be enough for a fruitful discussion.

The letter was signed by the All India Trade Union Congress (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.

AITUC general secretary Amarjeet Kaur told The Hindu that the joint platform would move the International Labour Organization against the “violation of tripartite consultation process”.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-linked Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, which attended the meeting, demanded that the definition of wages that limits allowances to 50% of total salary should not be frozen; the calculation of minimum wages should be done keeping in mind a family of six units; and a national minimum wage should be set, as opposed to the proposed rates for metro, non-metro and rural areas.

The Confederation of Indian Industry director general Chandrajit Banerjee welcomed the progress towards labour law reforms.

“I believe that the various initiatives taken by the government in introducing the labour codes will contribute to catalysing the growth and development of economy. I am sure these reforms will address the dynamic needs of businesses and enable industry to generate large-scale employment while also attracting investments,” he said in a statement.


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 1:38:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/workers-employers-bodies-seek-changes-to-draft-labour-rules/article33412796.ece

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