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RSS Labour Wing Objects to Provisions in Proposed Labour Codes, Urges Govt to Look Into Objections of Trade Unions

In a letter addressed to the government, BMS president Saji Narayanan objected to the first two drafts of the Labour Code on Social Security as some of the provisions appeared as “anti-worker” during consultation.

Aditya Sharma | News18.com@aditya_shz

Updated:June 13, 2019, 1:43 PM IST
RSS Labour Wing Objects to Provisions in Proposed Labour Codes, Urges Govt to Look Into Objections of Trade Unions
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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the labour wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has conveyed to the government its objections on some provisions of the Labour Codes. It has urged the government to incorporate the objections of trade unions on the Labour Codes before it is placed before Parliament.

In a letter addressed to the government, president of BMS, Saji Narayanan, objected to the first two drafts of the Labour Code on Social Security as some of the provisions appeared as "anti-worker" during consultation.

"The third draft was totally rejected by all trade unions and we ask the Ministry of Labour to redraft the second draft considering the objections," the letter said.

Narayanan reminded the government that the "spirit of synergy as proclaimed by the Prime Minster should not be lost while reforming labour laws".

However, the letter also hailed some aspects of the Labour Codes like the Labour Code on Wages and Labour Code on Social Security, calling them "historic and revolutionary, since for the first time the last worker in the country will be benefitted by them".

At present, only 7 percent of the total working population has any benefit like minimum wages or social security coverage, it added.

The BMS president has urged the government to pass the Labour Code on Wages Bill in Parliament at the earliest.

The Modi government on Wednesday announced its decision to reform labour laws and plan to introduce a new legislation in Parliament that will club 44 labour laws into four codes on wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare, and industrial relations.

The decision was taken at a meeting on Tuesday headed by Home Minister Amit Shah and was attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce & Industry and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, and Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar.

Among other major objections, the BMS has urged the government not to merge and dismantle the ESI, EPF and other six central welfare schemes with the new unorganised sector scheme and fund which are working well at present. Instead, it recommends that the government should subsidise social security for the unorganised sector.

The RSS's labour wing also opposed the privatisation of huge social security fund in order to protect the economy from MNC insurance and PF companies from siphoning funds to risky yet lucrative share markets.

Rejecting the controversial Industrial Relations Code, the BMS asserted that the code will only "create jungle law in industrial sector".

"Many of the existing workers’ rights are being curtailed, like government deciding the criteria of office bearers of trade unions, restricting the right to strike, allowing arbitrary dismissal of workers, excluding apprentices, raising the exclusion of Chapter VB from 100 to 300 workers and the like provisions," the letter said.

The farmers outfit also wrote against the dilution of safety provisions in the Labour Code on Occupational Safety and Health, and working conditions.

The letter said, "The code covers only a section of workers and puts threshold limits on coverage, which is against the spirit of Codification. Trade unions are not properly represented in the Safety Board. Inspector system is withdrawn and is replaced by facilitator which is against ILO mandate. Provisions on working hours, leave and allowances are diluted.”

The Labour Ministry, in line with the recommendations of the second national commission on labour, had taken steps in 2018 to formulate four labour codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and welfare; occupational safety, health and working conditions by amalgamating, simplifying, and rationalising the relevant provisions of the existing central labour laws.

The government was clear on its stand that the changes will not indulge in a no hire and fire policy while providing flexibility on labour laws.

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