CITU DENOUNCES ANTI-LABOUR AMENDMENT IN LABOUR LAWS BY RAJASTHAN GOVT

Press Release                                                                                                                         
 
28th July 2014
                                                                                                                                               
 
                                                           
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions condemns the move to bring about anti-labour amendments in Industrial Disputes Act, Factories Act and Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act by the BJP Govt in Rajasthan on which Amendment Bills have already introduced in Rajasthan Assembly. CITU calls upon to organize countrywide protest at the earliest against such corporate driven onslaught on working people by the Rajasthan Govt at the behest of the capitalist class.
 
The amendments proposed in Industrial Disputes Act aim at empowering the employers to retrench workers at will, without prior permission of the Govt in all establishments employing up to 300 workers, and also deny the trade union in any establishment to represent the grievances/demands of the workers unless they have at least 30% membership strength among the workers of the concerned establishment. Moreover almost all protective clauses on contract labour, particularly the responsibility of the principal employer have been proposed to be deleted. Also the employer is being empowered to attribute any failure in production or operation as a failure of the workers as the provision is being made to widen the definition of “go-slow” in the Act. The changes in the Industrial Disputes Act will empower the employers to freely retrench the workers at will in overwhelming majority of the industrial establishments in the country, freely engage workers on contract in permanent perennial jobs and denying them all rights to statutory wages and social security, and victimize the workers at their whims and fancies.
 
The amendments proposed to Factories Act increase the threshold limit of employment for the factories operating without power from 20 to 40 and for the factories operating with power from 10 to 20 for the purpose of being covered under the Act. Moreover the Govt made provisions that without prior written permission from the state government complaint for violation of law against the employer cannot receive cognizance by the court. Punishment provision for violation of labour law has also been proposed to be relaxed. These changes will lead to pushing out a large number of factories and workers out of the coverage of almost all basic labour laws.
 
The amendments proposed to Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act also removes all contractors employing up to 49 workers out of the purview of the coverage of the Act. This will in effect throw out vast section of contract workers out of the coverage of almost all labour laws.
 
In fine, the amendment proposals to labour laws by the BJP Govt in Rajasthan is aimed at establishing a jungle raj in workplaces giving the capitalist class complete freedom to loot and exploit the workers. In fact, the enforcement of labour laws in Rajasthan had all along been worse with the numerous complaints of violation of all labour laws pertaining to minimum wages, contract labour, PF, ESI, working hours, unlawful retrenchment etc have been piling for years without any redressal in almost all the industrial areas in the state. These amendment proposals of the state government are designed to legitimize or legalise all those violations by the employers class.    
 
If the overactive move by the BJP Govt in Rajasthan to amend labour laws in the most obedient service of the employers class, both domestic and foreign, is any indication, the working people throughout the country as a whole are going to face a severe onslaught on their rights and livelihood in the days to come from corporate-servile polity in power at the centre. Already such move is reported to be afoot in respect of number of labour laws.
 
CITU calls upon the working people of the country and all trade unions irrespective of affiliations to organize protest such corporate driven retrograde changes in labour laws by the Rajasthan Govt and prepare for united countrywide struggle to resist such onslaught on their rights and livelihood.
 
(TAPAN SEN)
General Secretary
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