Unions to protest against industrial relations code
The Union cabinet approved the Industrial Relations Code, 2019 that proposes to retain the threshold of 100 employees to impart flexibility to firms for retrenchment, but it has a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notificat...
The Union cabinet had on Wednesday approved the contentious Industrial Relations Code, 2019 that proposes to retain the threshold of 100 employees to impart flexibility to firms for retrenchment, but it has a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification.
Most industry bodies welcomed the proposed legislation while unions opposed it.
“Government will take no time in changing the threshold through a notification as the intent is to take away all the rights of the workers in the name of simplification of labour laws,” alleged AK Padmanabhan, vice president of Centre of Indian Trade Unions.
Trade unions will hold nationwide strike on January 8 against proposed labour law changes through various codes as part of the government’s efforts to improve ease of doing business in the country and attract more private investments. Unions, however, allege that the codes are part of the government’s move towards massive privatisation and flawed economic policies that have already resulted in severe slowdown in the economy.
Amarjeet Kaur, general secretary of of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), said the government’s move to “bulldoze” trade unions’ view will be resisted. “They are introducing changes which have always been opposed (by workers) without consulting us,” she said, rejecting the government’s claim that extensive stakeholder consultations were held on the approved IR Code.
RSS-affiliate Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), though, played down the provision for changing the worker threshold via simple notification. “It is merely a face saver for the government as employers would have accused them of bowing down to the pressure of trade unions,” said Vrijesh Uppadhyay, general secretary of BMS.
BMS is of the view that changing rules at any stage, even though a notification, will require deliberations. “We will continue to oppose any change in the threshold,” Uppadhyay said.