Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, President, BSNLCCWF met Shri A.M.Gupta, GM (Restructuring), BSNL C.O. today,31-03-2016, and pointed out about the non-implementation of minimum wage and social security measures like EPF, ESI etc. in many circles. He stated that various circulars have been issued to the circles in this respect and he is monitoring the same. Com. Namboodiri once again stressed the need for early implementation of labour laws for the contract workers.
The Central Trade Unions, including BMS, INTUC, HMS, AITUC, CITU have demanded to the central government that the minimum wage for the contract workers should be Rs. 18,000, as calculated and recommended by the VII Central Pay Commission. They submitted a 14 Point Memorandum to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on 4th January 2016, when the latter met them for pre-budget consultations.
The CTUs demanded to the Finance Minister that the ‘Hire and Fire’policy should be abandoned and there should be job-security for the workers. They strongly opposed the policy of arbitrarily amending the labour acts without consulting the CTUs. They pointed out that no labour amendment law should be moved with out consultation with and consent of the unions.
Further they demanded that the ‘ease of doing business’ should not be connected with the labour laws.
The meeting was participated by Tapan Sen(CITU), Vrijesh Upadhyay (BMS), Ashok Singh (INTUC), D.L.Sachdeva(AITUC), Harbhajan Sidhu (HMS) and leaders of other Central Trade Unions.
The 46th Indian Labour Conference held on 21st July 2015 at New Delhi has decided that the labour laws to be enacted should be first approved by the tripartite body of Government, employers’ organisations and trade unions. The Labour Minister, Bandaru Dattathreya, who presided over the meeting stated that such tripartite conference will be held shortly.
In this scenario, the labour bills proposed by the government like Wage Code Bill, Small Factories Act, Industries Code Bill, Factories Act, Child Labour Bill etc. will have to be discussed in the tripartite body, before they are presented in the Parliament.
With regard to the increase in the Bonus, no decision could be taken due to the strong opposition from the employers.
All the BSNL Executives as well as Non-Executives are aware of the injustice being done to the low-paid casual contract workers in BSNL and their exploitation by the contractor and those who support them.
The contract worker who is eligible for the wages as per the Labour Ministry Orders are being paid sometimes half of it, somewhere less than that. An unskilled worker in the C Class should get about Rs.7,000 monthly including DA. For semiskilled, skilled and highly skilled, as also in B class and A class cities, the rates are higher. But unfortunately, the hard earned wages of the contract labour is whisked away by the contractor or somebody else who support them. This is cruel, this is brutal.
BSNL employees have a great tradition of fighting against injustice and exploitation. They have opposed them, wherever they have seen it. But now, the injustice is in their own home, the BSNL. How can we tolerate this exploitation in our own home?
My request to each and every BSNL employee, whether non-executive or executive, to all the unions and associations, including that of ITS, is expose this exploitation and help the workers get their due wage. Take action against the contractors who are violating the laws. It is a pity that even after bringing hundreds of cases of violation of labour laws to the notice of the CMD BSNL and other top officers, not even one contractor has been blacklisted. This is a sad commentary on the administration. It is a moot question, whether the administration is on the side of the contractors who violate the law or on the side of law and the exploited workers who work for 10 to 12 hours for the cause of BSNL?
Let everybody have an introspection and come forward determined to end this injustice!
The BJP Government of Madhya Pradesh is on the move to issue an ordinance to curtail the existing labour laws in favour of the employers. It is in the model of the amendments passed by the Rajasthan Government.
In this case, these include amendments to the Industrial Disputes Act, Factories Act and the Contract Labour Act. Since the proposed ordinance involves changes to legislation passed by Parliament, the President’s prior assent is needed.
The proposed changes in the Industrial Disputes Act would allow companies in the state which employ up to 300 people to retrench workers or shut down the establishment without government approval. Earlier, only companies with less than 100 employees were allowed to do so.
Similar changes were enacted by the Rajasthan Government and was approved by the President on November 7.
One after another the state governments and the Central government ruled by BJP are aggressively trying to sabotage and change the labour laws against the workers and in favour of the employers.
One of the main demands of the National Protest Day on 5th December called by the 11 Central Trade Unions is against the change of labour laws against the interests of the workers.
Com. A.K.Padmanabhan, President, CITU has strongly protested against the anti-worker move of the M.P. Government.
As expected, the NDA government has kick started for amendment of the labour laws, which was one of the major demands of the corporates and employers. It is reported that the Labour Ministry is preparing proposals for amendment of Factories Act, Labour laws, Minimum Wages Act, Child Labour Act etc. The corporates have been continuously demanding to end the ‘Inspector Raj’, meaning the inspection by labour officers regarding the condition of the workers, implementation of the labour rules etc.
The Central Trade Union leaders who met the Labour Minister Naresh Singh Tomar a few days back have already expressed their strong opposition to any anti-worker amendments to the labour laws.
When even the labour acts are not being implemented by the corporates and even PSUs like BSNL, any liberalisation will doom the future of the low paid and unorganised workers who form 90% workers in the country. Such ‘liberalisation’ to maximise the profit of the corporates and big business has to be opposed and defeated.
Prime Minister at 45th ILC:
“The recent two day strike by trade unions focussed on a number of issues relating to the welfare of not only of the working classes,but also the people at large. These include demands on which there can be no disagreement”.
Com.A.K.Padmanabhan, President, CITU:
” These are nice words before elections. He is talking about social security, but who was preventing them from implementing them for the last nine years. Except the RSBY, all other things, including Rs. 1,000 minimum pension or Rs.10,000 minimum wage have not been implemented”.
Even what the government has decided, that is not being implemented even in BSNL, a PSU and despite bringing it to the notice of the Management and een Communications Minister, no action is being taken to get them implemented.