labor codes: unions urge the Center to scrap labor codes that are against the interests of workers

The common platform of 10 central unions, except RSS affiliate Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, has urged Labor Minister Bhupender Yadav to scrap the four labor codes, saying they are against workers’ interests.

In addition, they sought government intervention on the issue of raising the minimum pension and holding the Indian Labor Conference, among others. These decisions were taken at the meeting of the common platform of trade union centers and independent federations and associations last month.

“Labour codes impose more derogatory working conditions on workers and allow governments and employers almost without limit to further restrict labor rights,” the CTUs said in a joint memorandum submitted to Minister Yadav on Thursday.

“We collectively urge you not to notify and implement labor codes. We demand that they be removed,” they said, suggesting that the whole issue be revisited and renegotiated with unions representing workers.

The 10 unions include the Congress-backed INTUC, CITU and leftist AITUC and others like AIUTUC, TUCC, HMS, SEWA, LPF, AICCTU and UTUC.

The CTUs further requested the Minister to convene the Indian Labor Conference at the earliest, as this has not been held since 2015, despite the government’s responsibility to hold the ILC once a year. The last CIT took place in July 2015.

“The meeting of the Standing Labor Committee, made up of representatives from all central trade unions and employers’ organizations, must also be convened immediately to decide on the agenda for the CIT,” the CTU said in the letter.

The CTUs also reiterated their request for the implementation of the recommendations of previous CITs on minimum wages. “No action has been taken by the government to implement these recommendations, although it is a party to these recommendations. Immediate steps must be taken to ensure the implementation of the ILC recommendations on minimum wages” , said the CTUs.

The CTUs also urged the Center to increase the minimum pension under the employee pension scheme while introducing a fully funded universal pension scheme for the benefit of the majority of non-unionized workers in the country, saying the tradesmen’s pension n failed to take off.

“We urge you to step in and take action to resolve these long-standing issues in consultation with unions in the interests of workers,” the CTU concluded.

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