JCTU opposes amendments to labour laws

The Joint Committee of Trade Unions (JCTU) has urged President Pranab Mukherjee not to approve any new labour Bills or amendments to the existing labour laws as they are adverse to the interests of the working class.

In a press release issued here on Thursday, the forum also demanded that the Union government drop all proposed unilateral amendments to labour legislations.
JCTU, representing various trade unions, sent a memorandum with a set of 13 demands to the President through the Karnataka Raj Bhavan.

The forum has strongly opposed Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the domestic insurance sector. It has also flayed the contract system and outsourcing and demanded that the Union government regularise services of contract workers in a phased manner with wages and other benefits on par with regular workers in the industry.

The other demands included fixation of monthly minimum wage at Rs. 18,000, minimum pension of Rs. 3000 under the Employees Provident Fund and extend it to workers in the unorganised sector, no disinvestment of profit making PSUs and no privatisation of coal blocks.

The proposed amendments to the various labour legislation were so retrogressive that it took the working people back to 19th century, the memorandum stated JCTU reminded that the Rajasthan government had introduced the ‘hire and fire’ policy nearly two years ago, throwing away the very concept of job security to the wind. This would soon result in vanishing of permanent jobs and the contract system becoming universal.

The proposed amendments to the Factories Act, 1948 and proposed introduction of Small Factories Bill- 2014 would deny protection to the workers in small and medium size enterprises in the manufacturing sector.

If these amendments are accepted, then women would be compelled to work even during night shifts making them more vulnerable to crimes against them.

Also, the proposed amendments to the Contract Labour Act-1970 would lead to more and more contractualisation in the manufacturing sector leading to more exploitation of workers.

Amendments to Chapter V-B of the Industrial Disputes Act- 1947 will strengthen the hands of the employer unduly and place the workers under their mercy, the memorandum added.

‘Centre is anti-labour’

Alleging that the Union government was following anti-labour and pro-corporate policies, hundreds of workers took out a huge protest march in Hubballi on Thursday.

The protest was carried out in response to a nation-wide call given by JCTU.

The rally began from the Ambedkar statue opposite the Head Post Office and culminated at the mini vidhana soudha, which is home to the Hubballi tahsildar’s office. Holding placards and banners, the protesters urged the Union government to immediately drop the anti-labour and pro-corporate amendments proposed to the existing labour laws.

They also demanded minimum wages of Rs. 18,000, in toto implementation of the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, minimum pension of Rs. 3,000, withdrawal of ordinance allowing 49 per cent FDI in the insurance sector and withdrawal of the New Motor Vehicle Act.

They then submitted a memorandum to the President of India to the officials of taluk administration.


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