Center’s call to repeal controversial labor codes gains momentum

He alleges that the social security benefits available to some workers in the organized sector will be diluted by granting relief to employers in respect of their social security contribution obligations. In addition, it seeks to establish government control over the accumulations available through social security funds from the Employees Provident Fund Organization, the Employees State Insurance Corporation, and the Cess Fund. under the social protection program for construction workers, to which the government does not contribute. Generalized social security schemes have been left to the discretion of the executive.

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code of 2019, which replaces 13 labor laws, failed to even stipulate the basic human working condition of eight hours of work a day and left the decision to the appropriate governments, suggests the SOR.

Concepts such as daily working hours, weekly working hours, period of work, rest intervals, overtime and allocated hours which are well defined in the Factories Act 1948 and all laws relevant, shall be deleted by this Code, according to the SOR.

The Code will make the already afflicted condition of contract workers who make up nearly half of the productive workforce miserable akin to slavery, SOR adds.

The SOR is concerned that the Code will cause an increasing replacement of regular workers with contract workers affecting productivity and operational efficiency.

Sector-specific provisions relating to “working conditions in the particular sector/profession/work process and related matters in plantations, beedi and cigars, mining, construction, motor transport, dockworkers, promotion of sales, working journalists, etc. were also integrated and diluted.

Crucial provisions regarding the responsibilities and obligations of major employers have been removed, and the powers and role of the statutory tripartite council on contract work etc. have been reduced, says the SOR.

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