‘Proposed amendments to labour laws will erode workers’ rights’

The Mysore district Committee of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to bring in the proposed amendments to the Industrial Disputes Act, the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act and the Factories Act, as the BJP government in Rajasthan has done.

The amendments will erode labour rights if enacted, it said. It added that if the Prime Minister brings in amendments to the Industrial Disputes Act and Factory Act on the lines of the Rajasthan government, a a large number of workers employed in industries and factories across the country would be affected.

As per the proposed amendments, the managements of industries and factories that have less than 300 workers can close down units or lay off employees without government consent.

The AITUC added that Mr. Modi should not “blindly” follow measures initiated by a State government without examining it thoroughly in the national perspective, it said.

H.R. Sheshadri, general secretary of the Mysore committee of the AITUC, has in a statement here today said that the proposed changes would make employers even less answerable to workers and diminish the negotiating strength of workers.

The amendment proposes a limit of three years for raising an industrial dispute and increases the minimum number of workers required to register a trade union from 10 to 30 per cent of workers employed. He said that several trade unions have started preparations to stage a nation-wide agitation if the BJP government ventured to bring in amendments at the behest of capitalists.

Mr. Sheshadri said labourers and employees all over the country would welcome the move if the new government set Rs. 10, 000 as the minimum wage and directed all factories, industries and business houses to strictly implement minimum wage to its employees.

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