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The central trade unions heartily congratulate the working class of the country for their overwhelming and enthusiastic response to the unprecedented three day joint ‘mahapadav’ near Parliament on 9-11 November 2017. The exemplary discipline exhibited by the workers, from different states and different organisations, during the entire duration of the three days ‘mahapadav’ was highly significant and noteworthy. The massive participation of women workers including scheme workers, vendors, domestic workers, construction and home based workers as well as large number of young workers was another significant feature of the ‘mahapadav’.

Lakhs of workers from all over the country representing all the sectors of our economy have demonstrated their anger against the anti worker, anti people and anti national policies being pursued by the BJP led government at the centre. The ‘mahapadav’ has also once again displayed the determination of the working class to intensify the united struggle brushing aside the machinations of the communal divisive forces trying to disrupt their unity.

The central trade unions deplore the attitude of the BJP led government in totally ignoring the sufferings of the workers due to its policies and its stubborn insistence in going ahead with the very same disastrous policies. In such a situation the central trade unions have no other option but to intensify their struggle to reverse the anti worker anti people anti national policies of the BJP government to force their reversal.

Towards this objective, in the light of our 8th August, 2017 National Convention of workers held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi the central trade unions call upon the entire working class of the country to prepare for a prolonged agitation including strike. If the Government does not change its attitude, the CTUs will be forced to explore for the country wide national indefinite strike. In the meanwhile, prolonged agitations and actions will continue in the next phase of our united trade union movement. As a follow-up of this workers/employees’ 3 days padav, we take following activities in the coming months:

· Complete joint district level conventions by the first week of January 2018
· District level ‘Satyagraha’ in the last week of January; the common date for all districts to be decided by the state level joint meeting of central trade unions and industrial federations
· Sectoral/ industry level joint strike whenever the government takes measures at privatisation
· Protest actions on the day of presentation of Union Budget if it contains anti worker measures
· Central trade unions to meet soon after presentation of Union Budget to plan future course of action


New Delhi – 11th November 2017

Thursday, 09 November 2017 15:50

Lakhs of workers storm Delhi

The thousands of workers who stormed the national capital and assembled at Parliament Street in the national capital Delhi, to participate in the first day of the three days ‘mahapadav’ on 9th November 2017 enthusiastically endorsed the call of the speakers to intensify the struggle against the anti worker, anti people and anti national policies of the BJP led government and prepare for a countrywide indefinite general strike if the government fails to concede their demands.

Workers from all over the country representing many sector - public and private, permanent employees and contract, casual workers, state and central government employees, banks, insurance, telecom, railways, defence, and the various schemes of the government of India participated in the ‘mahapadav’ on the first day.

Ashok Singh (INTUC), Gurudas Dasgupta (AITUC), HS Sidhu (HMS), Tapan Sen (CITU), Satyawan (AIUTUC), G Devarajan (TUCC), Manali (SEWA), Rajiv Dimri (AICCTU), M Shanmugam (LPF) and Ashok Ghosh (UTUC) addressed the gathering in the first session presided over by Sanjay Singh (INTUC), Ramendra Kumar (AITUC), Raja Sridhar (HMS), Hemalata (CITU), RK Sharma (AIUTUC), Naren Chatterjee (TUCC), Sonia (SEWA), Santosh Rai (AICCTU), Subbaraman (LPF) and Shatrujit Singh (UTUC).

Leaders of the federations spoke in the second part of the first session. It was most significant that the leaders of the two major national federations of the railway employees - Shiv Gopal Mishra, general secretary of All India Railwaysmen’s Federation and Raghavaiagh, general secretary of National Federation of Indian Railwaymen - have announced that they would join the indefinite strike whenever the joint trade union platform gave the call. Leaders of several other all Industrial federations including Venkatachalam, general secretary of All India Bank Employees’ Association, Subhash Lamba, additional general secretary of All India State Government Employees’ Association and secretary of Electricity Employees’ Federation of India, KK Divakaran, general secretary of All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation, C Sreekumar, general secretary of All India Defence Employees’ Federation, Jagdeesh Sreemali, VS Dahiya, GR Shiv Shankar, Ravi Sen, Peelimuthu, Kalyan Sengupta, also joined them in endorsing the call addressed the huge gathering and announced they would join the indefinite country wide general strike whenever the joint trade union platform took the decision. Thampan Thomas (HMS), Vijay Pal Singh (AIUTUC), Anil Sharma (TUCC), Sonia (SEWA), Mahendra Parida (AICCTU), Natarajan (LPF) and Thomas Joseph (UTUC) also addressed

H Mahadevan (AITUC), Raghunath Singh (CITU) Shyamlal (AICCTU), Bashir Abud (LPF) replaced their colleagues in the presidium in the second part of the first session. The second session was presided over by Gurnam Singh (INTUC), C Singh (AITUC), SN Pathak (HMS), Anadi Sahu (CITU), Shiv Shankar (UTUC), Lataben (SEWA), Shyamal Prasad (AICCTU), Basheer Ahmed (LPF) and PG Prasanna Kumar (UTUC)

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Joint Call of Central Trade Unions and Independent Federations

The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, comprising Central Trade Union Organisations and all major industry/establishment wise federations have decided to stage three days’ mass dharna before Parliament against the anti-worker, anti-people and anti-national policies of the Central Govt on 9-11 November 2017. The Joint Trade Union Platform represents workers and employees from all major sectors of industries and services viz., coal, steel, transport, telecom, petroleum, electricity, port & docks, engineering, construction, scheme-workers etc and employees of Central Govt and state govt, Railways, banks, insurance, defence production, etc. This ‘mahapadav’ is intended to demand the government to concede the unanimous demands which the joint trade union movement has been raising since the last over eight years. It is a step towards preparation for the next higher phase of united struggles including indefinite countrywide strike action, if the government continues to ignore the demands of the workers and proceed with its pro corporate agenda.

The anti-people and anti worker policies of Govt at the centre are inflicting horrific miseries and hardships on the crores of common people from every walk of life. Unemployment is getting aggravated with every passing day, calling the bluff on the Modi Govt’s promise of generating additional two crore employment every year. In fact employment generation has already turned negative following the increasing phenomenon of closure and shut-down of industries. Demonetisation, under the utterly false pretext of curbing black money, had further depressed wages and perpetuated closure of industries. It has shattered the entire economy, particularly the unorganised sector, the SME sector and the small traders and peasants in turn adversely impacting the lives, wages and earnings of crores of toiling people. Even after one year, the economy is yet to recover from its damaging impact. Hasty implementation of GST had further aggravated the miseries of people through fuelling price rise and jeopardising services, trade and various occupations. Despite the sharp fall in international price of crude oil, the government refuses to pass on the relief to the common people; instead, the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas are continuously increased resulting in cascading effect on the prices of all essential commodities.

The Govt has been arrogantly ignoring the 12 point charter of demands including minimum wage, social security and workers’ status and accompanying benefits for the scheme workers; it is going ahead with privatisation and mass scale contractorisation. The constitutional and statutory provisions for ensuring ‘same wages and benefits for same work’ are being denied to contract workers despite Supreme Court’s categorical judgment. The Govt has recklessly embarked upon privatisation of all public utility services like health, education, transport, Indian Railways, financial services electricity, water etc through multiple routes including whole sale outsourcing. It has allowed 100% FDI in almost all sensitive sectors including defence production, railways, oil, minerals, port and dock etc. It is destroying indigenous production capabilities to serve the interests of MNCs, under the dubious veil of “Make in India” slogan. The national interests are being severely compromised through such disastrous moves.

In addition, in order to promote “ease of doing business”, the Govt has embarked on arrogant pro-employer amendments of all labour laws aimed at imposing conditions of slavery on the working people. Already, the text of the Code on Wages Bill, Code on Industrial Relations Bill, Code on Social Security Bill, Factory (Amendment) Bill etc are in public domain. All these are designed to push the overwhelming majority of workers and employees out of the regulatory purview of most of the labour laws, curb workers’ right to form unions and protest/agitate including right to strike, and dismantle whatever existing meagre social security provisions.

Simultaneously, the communal forces, with the open and active patronage of the Govt and ruling polity are carrying out a dubious divisive and disruptive campaign to spread hatred among people, killing innocent people, particularly from the most downtrodden sections. The country is witnessing the conspiracy to create unprecedented disruption in the unity of the toiling people of the country. Trade unions are fighting against such disastrous designs of spreading poison of disruption in the society.

The Govt’s response to the 12 point charter of demands, in the meeting with all central Trade Unions called by the Labour Ministry on 7th November 2017, remains virtually negative on all counts reflecting their bias against the interests of the mass of the working people.

In totality, the policies of the Govt are destructive towards the interests of the workers, farmers and the common people at large and also against the national interest.

Representing the workers who generate the GDP and the wealth for the country, the true patriotic people concerned about welfare of all sections of toiling people, the Joint platform of united trade union movement is in a struggle to save the people and the country and force a reversal of the anti-people and anti-national policy regime. This determination is getting reflected in numerous struggles, agitations and strikes in various sectors of the economy, both organised and unorganised, during the intervening period. Lakhs of workers from all over the country and across the sectors are going to converge in the massive three days dharna before the Parliament on 9-11 November 2017 to pave the way for further heightened resistance struggle in the days to come to reverse and defeat the anti-people and anti-national policy regime in order to save the country and the people.


Central Trade Unions Express Shock and Grief over the Fatal Accident at NTPC, Uchahar
Demand Independent Probe and Adequate Compensation for the Victims

The joint meeting of Central Trade Unions held on 4th November 2017 at New Delhi expressed serious shock at the major accident at the Uchahar project of NTPC in Uttar Pradesh on 1st November 2017, killing 33 employees till 3rd November 2017. Hundreds of workers including contract workers have been seriously injured, many of them sustaining more than 70 per cent burns and still battling for life with grave uncertainty.

Central Trade Unions express their deep and heartfelt condolences to the families of all those killed in this serious accident.

Various reports including statements from workers indicate gross negligence of authorities resulting in the explosion of the Boiler. There are reports of snags appearing in the operation of the Boiler compelling the management to operate well below capacity immediately prior to accident. The accident also exposes serious deficit in putting in place safety measures at the workplace to prevent accidents.

The Central Trade Unions demand that high level Inquiry into the accident by independent agency to identify the reasons as well as to fix the responsibility in order to bring the erring personnel to book besides ensuring measures to prevent re-occurrence of such fatal happenings.

The Central Trade Union demand that medical treatment till complete cure of all those injured including the contract workers must be ensured by NTPC; not less than Rs 50 lakh compensation should be paid to the families of all the deceased employees; monetary compensation to those severely injured that has been declared should be enhanced multiple times; employment in permanent roll of the company should be given to a dependent of those deceased and also incapacitated owing to injury, including those among contract workers.

The Central Trade Unions also express solidarity to the entire workforce including the officials on the spot in this trying moment.

Signed by

Issued by
A R Sindhu
For Central Trade Unions

Thursday, 02 November 2017 15:56

Letter to Minister for Labour and Employment


Shri. Santosh Kumar Gangwar
Hon’ble Minister for Labour and Employment
Government of India
Shram Shaki Bhawan
New Delhi 110 001


We thank you for your invitation to a meeting to discuss matters related to our demands.

However we are constrained to express our inability to attend the meeting for the following reasons:

· The notice was not sent to all the central trade unions which have been jointly raising the demands with the government since the last several years. We strongly protest the deliberate measure to exclude INTUC, part of the joint trade union movement that has been raising the demands. This is nothing but an ill intentioned move to divide the unity of the trade unions and the workers. We advise the government to desist from such divisive tactics.

· The notice for the meeting has been sent less than 48 hours from the scheduled time of the meeting making it impossible for us to attend it. (For a meeting at 04.30pm on 03.11.2017, the invitation letter No.Z-20025/75/2017-Coord dated 01.11.2017 was sent to us at 6.24pm)

· In addition to INTUC, some other central trade unions also did not receive the notice at all. AITUC has received the invitation only today (2nd November 2017) at about 11am. This shows the non serious attitude of the ministry towards the major demands of the entire working class of the country

In view of the above, we request you to call another meeting with adequate time and proper information to all the central trade unions to discuss the 12 point charter of demands jointly raised by the entire trade union movement of the country.


Monday, 30 October 2017 07:40

Universal social security for all workers

The trade unions are demanding universal social security for all workers.

Today a very small section of workers, mainly in the organised sector only are covered by social security benefits like provident fund, ESI, medical benefits, maternity benefit, accident compensation, gratuity, pension etc. Given the tardy enforcement mechanism, encouraged by the governments themselves, even fifty percent of the workers in the organised sector, particularly the contract workers, are also deprived of their legitimate social security benefits.

Despite contributing to over 60% of the country’s GDP, the unorganised sector workers do not get any social security benefits. Some segments of the unorganised sector workers like the beedi workers, construction workers, mine workers, cine workers etc are of course statutorily entitled to some social security benefits. But not even 30% of these workers are covered in practice because of the total absence of effective enforcement machinery for these schemes, either at the central level or in the states.

Ensuring ‘ease of doing business’ for the employers has become a priority under the neoliberal policies. For the present Modi led BJP government, this appears to be the determining factor of government policy. Enforcement of labour laws is the first casualty of such a policy. During the last one and a half decade, hardly 25% of the fund collected through cess for the construction workers’ welfare scheme was spent on providing benefits to the construction workers. The situation related to beedi workers and others is not much different.

The BJP led government’s high decibel advertisements proclaim that its Code on Social Security is going to cover the entire workforce including the rickshaw pullers and domestic workers.

But cover with what? There is no answer. No specific social security scheme is proposed.

Who will be covered exactly? Establishments will have to be registered for the workers to be covered. The threshold number of workers will be decided by the government. What will be the threshold level? This BJP government has raised the threshold level of employment under the Factories Act to 40. That means that more than 72% of factory workers who were being covered by the Factories Act will now be thrown out. Will the factories with less than 40 workers be eligible for registration under the Code on Social Security? Will the workers of these establishments be eligible for whatever benefits are provided under this Code? No answer.

What is clear is that the government is not contributing a single paisa for social security for the workers. (Except of course spending some thousands of crores of rupees on advertisements, to secure its own future and to benefit the owners of corporate media) Unorganised workers will have to contribute at the rate of 12.5% of their wages for the social security benefits. If the employers are not identifiable, the workers are categorised as self employed and they have to contribute 20% of their earnings.

15 existing social security legislations –

• Employees State Insurance Act
• Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, the
• Employees Compensation Act
• Maternity Benefits Act
• Payment of Gratuity Act
• Unorganised Workers Social Security Act
• Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act
• Beedi Workers Welfare Cess Act
• Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act
• Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines and Chrome Ore Mines Labour Welfare Cess Act
• Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines and Chrome Ore Mines Welfare Fund Act
• Mica Mines Labour Welfare Cess Act, the
• Limestone and Dolomite Mines Labour Welfare Fund Act
• Cine Workers Welfare Cess Act and
• Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, - are amalgamated into this Code on Social Security.

The entire fund with the existing central funds like the EPF, ESI, CMPF, Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Fund etc, amounting to around Rs 12 lakh crore, along with the huge amount that will be collected from the unorganised workers and self employed, will be placed at the disposal of the National Council of Social Security, to be chaired by the Prime Minister. This will then be made available for speculation in the share market to satisfy the finance capital lobby.

Is this social protection or blatant deception?

Remember, the erstwhile UPA government had enacted the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act in 2009. No new social security benefit had been formulated under that Act; neither during the tenure of the UPA government nor under the present BJP led Modi government. No funds were allotted for the social security schemes under this Act; either by the then UPA government or by the present BJP government. Only some already existing social security schemes, most of them meant for BPL people were made applicable to the unorganised workers. The present government made even the National Social Security Board constituted under the Act totally non functional. Some of the old schemes were discontinued and launched with new names.

Cutting down social welfare expenditure and pampering the big corporates, big business and finance capital – is the hallmark of neoliberal policies.

CITU and other central trade unions (except the BMS, which called the Code on Social Security ‘historic and revolutionary piece of legislation!) are determined to expose this fraud on the workers.

The mass dharna near Parliament on 9-11 November 2017 is part of this effort. We appeal to the workers irrespective of affiliations to be prepared for bigger struggles till we achieve universal social security for ALL.

We shall Fight! We shall Win!

Stop disinvestment and strategic sale of public sector undertakings – this is one of the major demands of the joint trade union movement.

Why does the government want to privatise and dismantle the public sector, in the first place?

Privatisation is one of the major components of neoliberal policies, to which both the Congress and the BJP are committed – privatisation of public enterprises, public resources and public services etc. It is a method of handing over public property, property belonging to the people, to private corporates, so that they can amass wealth at the cost of the nation.

Privatisation process in our country was initiated under the Congress regime in 1991, when the neoliberal policies were officially introduced. Attempts to privatise the public sector undertakings, hand over control and management of public resources to private players continued since then. However, they had to retreat in the face of strong opposition from the united working class movement and the people; when the Left parties, who consistently opposed privatisation, had a strong presence in the Parliament.

Now, with the BJP government coming to power at the centre with its own majority in 2014, this process has gained momentum.

Soon after coming to power this BJP government dismantled the Planning Commission and replaced it with the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Ayog. The NITI Ayog was entrusted with the task of identifying public sector undertakings for disinvestment and strategic sale. It has identified 74 PSUs including 26 for downright closure and 10 for strategic disinvestment. It is pushing for disinvestment of PSUs till strategic sale is concluded.

The government has decided to sell off several sick and loss making companies with huge assets. If it finds no buyer, these will be closed off. In fact, many of these units were deliberately made sick by successive governments. Even today, these units can be made profitable by infusing the necessary capital and ensuring proper functioning. The huge assets that they possess can be utilised for this purpose. But the government does not want to do that. It is keen to hand them along with their assets to the private players at throw away prices.

This BJP led government has also decided to privatise almost all profit making public sector companies, most of them in the strategic and core sectors of the economy. Central public sector units in various sectors including defence, steel, power, general insurance, drugs and pharmaceuticals, aviation, heavy engineering and construction etc are targeted for privatisation. In the last three years, the government has stripped most of the profit making PSUs of all their reserves and surpluses. This was done purposefully to lower their market value so that they can be sold at dirt cheap price to the private companies.

The government is not only selling the shares in public sector; it has also decided to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in almost all the key sectors of our economy – in defence, railways, banking, insurance, pension funds, coal, petroleum, mining, power, telecom, civil aviation, satellites, construction, multi brand retail, pharmaceuticals etc. This will lead to the big foreign corporations dominating these sectors in our country. Ultimately our nation will lose control over these most strategic sectors of our economy. Our national sovereignty will be seriously affected.

The most outrageous are the attempts by this BJP led government, which claims to be the sole champion and custodian of ‘nationalism’, to privatise our defence sector and the railways. CITU has published a small booklet separately on the impact of defence sector privatisation on our national sovereignty and another on the anti people character of railway privatisation. It has also published a pamphlet detailing the public sector units that are being privatised. We request all CITU members and other workers as well to go through them.

But what we want to emphasise here is that privatisation of public sector is not something that concerns the public sector workers alone. It is not merely an onslaught on public sector workers, their rights and their jobs.

Public sector has been instrumental for our country attaining self reliant economy; in creating the industrial base of the country after independence. It was the public sector enterprises which built the major infrastructure of the country like power, transport including railways, roads etc when the private sector did not have the capacity or was not ready to take the risk of investing huge amounts of capital in these sectors, which do not provide immediate profits. Thermal, hydro and nuclear power projects, transport and communication, production of steel, defence equipment, ship building, oil, coal etc were set up in the public sector. The Research and Development taken up by the PSUs had a huge contribution in our technological and industrial advance.

It has played an important role in developing balanced regional growth. The townships constructed in the areas where the PSUs were located, many in remote underdeveloped rural areas, not only provided housing and other facilities for the workers like schools, hospitals, dispensaries, community centres, shopping complexes etc but also led to overall development of the entire area. Thousands of people in the surrounding villages benefited indirectly by getting employment and income opportunities by providing different services to the people in these townships.

By implementing the reservations for SC/ ST sections, PSUs provided employment and opportunities for development of these sections. Despite limitations, they have contributed to social justice. It helped in industrialisation including to the growth of private sector in the surrounding areas.

It has become fashionable for the advocates of neoliberal reforms to portray public sector as ‘white elephants’ eating away the scarce government resources. But the reality is otherwise.

There are innumerable instances of tax evasion, manipulation of accounts etc by the private sector establishments including the big corporates, national and multinational. Government figures themselves inform that every year, the national exchequer is robbed of not less than Rs 5 lakh crore through such manipulations. In 2015-16 alone, direct tax evasion amounted to Rs 6.59 lakh crore. But the government is not ready to take any action against them.

In contrast, public sector not only scrupulously pays its taxes but also makes huge contribution to the government through dividends, special dividends etc. In 2014-15 the PSUs contributed more than Rs 2 lakh crore to the public exchequer.

The public sector and their huge assets are the wealth of the nation. Strategic sale and privatisation mean handing over this wealth belonging to the people to private corporates, both domestic and foreign.

It is an attack on the basic fabric of our national economy. It is an attack on self reliance and the country’s manufacturing capability.

It is an attack on the entire people, an onslaught on SC/STs right to reservation in jobs. It is an attack on the entire society.

Hence struggle against privatisation cannot be considered the responsibility of public sector workers only and left to them alone. Entire trade union movement has to get involved fully in this struggle. Working class movement has to take the initiative in rallying the entire people in this struggle against privatisation.

No contractorisation of work of permanent/perennial nature!
Same wages and benefits for Same Work

Under the neoliberal regime, the number of contract workers has been increasing not only in the private sector but also in the public sector and in the central and state government departments. This has reached alarming proportions now.

Today, in most of the establishments in the private sector including in the Multi National Corporations (MNCs), the number of workers with the so called ‘non formal employment relations’ – contract workers, casual workers, temporary, part time workers, apprentices, trainees, fixed term employees etc – far outnumbers the permanent workers. The government is also adopting the same approach by handing over jobs of permanent and perennial nature to contract workers or outsourced workers. Majority of the small number of around 15.6% salaried employees today are on contract. It is found that on an average, 50% of the total workforce in the public sector units and over 70% in the private sector are contract workers.

Reducing the number of permanent workers and getting the same job done by contract workers and other such workers under the so called ‘precarious employment relations’ is one of the strategies adopted by the employers to increase their profits. In most of the establishments, the contract workers are paid only a fraction of the wages paid to the permanent workers even when they do the same job. For example, Hyundai Motors India Ltd in Chennai employs 2300 permanent workers and 8000 workers under ‘non formal’ employment relations including apprentices, apprentice trainees, contract workers etc who are all directly involved in the production process. While the permanent workers are paid a monthly wage of around Rs 35000, the contract workers, apprentices etc are paid between Rs 6000 and Rs 12000 a month.

These vast sections of contract workers, barring rare exceptions, are deprived of almost all the statutory benefits including minimum wages, social security benefits etc. Their employment is always under threat by the respective contractor and the principal employer. The situation continues to be the same despite the provisions in the Contract Labour (R&A) Act and the Supreme Court judgment that same wages and benefits should be paid to workers doing the same work. Contractorisation also denies the statutory right to reservation of the SC/ST workers. This is nothing but a creeping form of privatisation.

This has given rise to a grave situation in most of the workplaces where, under the same roof two sets of workers doing the same job but with vastly different conditions of employment are employed. Existence of such a situation for a long period poses a threat to the service conditions of the regular workers also. The wages and working conditions of permanent workers also come under attack. This is already happening in many establishments in the private sector. Today many employers place their counter demands and insist that they should be discussed first, whenever the unions give their charter of demands. Employers’ demands include reduction of wages, other benefits, increase in workload on the pretext of productivity targets etc.

Because of such practices, despite increase in profits for the employers, the average level of wages has been going down.

The CITU has long been struggling against such exploitation of the workers through contractorisation. It has directed all its unions of permanent workers to take initiative to organise the contract workers employed in their establishments; to include the demands of contract workers in their charter of demands. This is being done by several unions of permanent employees affiliated to CITU in various sectors. In several establishments contract workers are getting organised in trade unions braving severe repression and retrenchment. There are instances of contract workers’ unions fighting on their demands including going on strike and achieving successes. Thousands have succeeded in raising their wages and in getting regularised. However compared to the total and increasing numbers of contract workers, much more efforts are required to organise them.

The 43rd Indian Labour Conference held in November 2010 recommended appropriate amendment to the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act 1970 to ensure same wages and benefits to the contract workers for doing the same and similar nature of jobs as the regular workers. But till now the government has not taken concrete measures to implement it. This clearly indicates the unflinching dedication of the government to the employers’ interests.

The present BJP led government has gone several steps ahead in amending the labour laws in favour of the employers. It has amended labour laws exempting the implementation of Contract Labour (R&A) Act and promoting employment of workers under such precarious working conditions.

We demand that there should be no contractorisation of permanent and perennial nature of work. We demand that contract workers doing the same or similar job should be paid the same wages and other benefits.

The ‘mahapadav’ near Parliament on 9-11 November 2017 is to demand that there should be no contractorisation of permanent and perennial nature of work; and to demand that contract workers doing the same or similar job should be paid the same wages and other benefits.

It is against such anti worker and pro employers policies of the government. Not only contract workers, but permanent workers also have to join the ‘mahapadav’ in tens of thousands on each day.


Stop the anti worker amendment to the labour laws!
Ensure strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption!
Stringent punishment for violation of labour laws

Why do employers evade labour laws? Simple! To increase their profits!

But why does the government permit evasion of labour laws? Any ordinary citizen violating the laws of the land is generally taken to task by the law enforcement authorities. But not so in the case of labour law violations! Strangely it is the workers, who are being punished, victimised and implicated in false cases for demanding implementation of labour laws while no employer anywhere in the country is ever punished for non implementation of any labour law.

Worse, the government is amending labour laws against the interests of the workers and to make them favourable to the employers. Why?

This is a serious matter that needs to be considered.

All the statutory benefits that the workers have today – eight hours working day, minimum wages, equal remuneration, maternity benefit, bonus, social security benefits including provident fund and ESI, the right to form trade unions etc - have been achieved through hard won struggles of the working class. They were not granted out of benevolence or charity by either the employers or any government.

The present BJP led government has decided to merge the 44 central labour laws into 4 labour codes. The Minimum Wages Act, the Payment of Wages Act, the Bonus Act and the Equal Remuneration Act are merged into the Labour Code on Wages. The Industrial Disputes Act, the Trade Unions Act and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act have been merged into the Code on Industrial Relations. 15 labour laws related to social security of workers, including the Provident Fund Act, ESI Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Employees’ Compensation Act, Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, the Beedi Workers’ Welfare Cess Act etc are merged into the Code on Social Security.

The Code on Wages Bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha and the Code on Industrial Relations Bill is ready for introduction in the Parliament. The Draft Code on Social Security has been placed in public domain.

What will be their implications on workers? In one word, they will be disastrous. Because, they seek to take away the hard won rights of the workers.

CITU has published critiques of these amendments. Briefly, they are:

• The Code on Wages is totally silent on the formula for fixation of minimum wages as unanimously recommended by the 15th Indian Labour Conference along with the Supreme Court judgment in the Raptakos and Brett case, which was repeatedly reiterated in the 44th and 46th ILCs; it does not give the option to the workers on the method of payment of their wages, in cash or by other methods. Enforcement provisions including the system of inspection has been totally diluted in favour of the employers
• The Code on Industrial Relations is highly detrimental to the interests of the workers; it is in fact intended to impose slave like conditions on workers. Employers in establishments employing up to 300 workers can retrench them at their will, they need not take formal permission from the government; they can ‘hire and fire’ according to their needs. The Code makes forming trade unions by workers next to impossible; and going on struggles and strikes on their genuine demands almost impossible. In one word, it seeks to impose slave like conditions on the workers. Even people supporting workers’ struggles will be punishable with huge fines and imprisonment. At the same time employers are let off with light punishments for any violations on their part
• The government’s claim of ‘universal social security protection’ through the Code on Social Security is highly deceptive. The Code proposes not a single specific social security measure for the workers. What it specifies is that all the funds with EPFO, ESI, Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess etc will be merged and brought under the control of a national advisory board to be set up under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. Obviously this huge fund will be made available to the share market.

It is not only strange but also ridiculous that the BMS has acclaimed the Code on Social Security as a ‘historic and revolutionary piece of legislation’. Can any trade union really committed to the interests of workers ever praise such a retrograde and harmful proposal like this?

Now, why is the government doing this? Obviously, the government is more interested in helping the big corporates, both domestic and foreign, by improving its ‘ease of doing business’ index. The corporates, the employers’ class allege that the labour laws in India are ‘restrictive’, and demand that they should be given the right to ‘hire and fire’ workers according to their will, close or open factories according to their needs etc. They demand union free workplaces so that they can freely exploit workers without organised resistance, increase their profits and amass their wealth.

The reality is that in our country over 90% of the workers are not covered by labour laws at all. Overwhelming majority of the small proportion of workers who are legally covered by labour laws do not benefit because of poor or non implementation. The BJP government has already further diluted and weakened their implementation through computerised random inspections under its ‘Shramaiva Jayate’ programme. But the employers are not satisfied. They want workers to be further subjugated. Their dil mange more!

The BJP government at the centre feels obliged to satisfy them. It has amended the Apprentices Act. The definition of ‘workers’ has been changed in this amended Apprentices Act to include contract, casual and daily rated workers. Now the employers can deploy 30% of the total of such ‘workers’ as apprentices; pay them nominal amounts and increase their profits.

This BJP government has also passed the Labour Law (Amendments) Act. Any establishment employing 19-40 workers will be treated as small establishment. On the pretext of simplifying labour laws, these are exempted from filing returns and maintaining registers related to 16 major labour laws including Factories Act, Payment of Wages Act, Minimum Wages Act, Weekly Holidays Act, Contract Labour (R&A) Act, Building and Other Construction Workers Act, Equal Remuneration Act, Payment of Bonus Act, Plantation Labour Act etc. With today’s technology most of the establishments having large capital investment and huge profits employ less than 40 workers. It is estimated that over 72% factories in this country will now find it further easier to evade all these 16 labour laws.

The government of India has directed all the state governments to amend the labour laws in their states in the pattern of the BJP led Rajasthan state government.

It is clear that it is payback time for the BJP - to pay back those corporations who have helped the ruling party with big money during elections and continue to support it including through the media they own.

All the arguments about amendments to labour laws attracting investments and creating jobs are just humbug. International Labour Organisation (ILO) has reported about studies that have clearly established that it is not so.

It is against such predatory attacks on the basic rights of workers that the trade unions decided to intensify the struggle. The massive dharna near Parliament on 9-11 November 2017 should reflect our anger against such onslaught on our rights. To warn the BJP government that such anti worker policies will no more be tolerated.

Minimum wage of not less than Rs 18000 for all including scheme workers; link minimum wage with Consumer Price Index

How is it justified? The Seventh Pay Commission for the central government employees appointed by the BJP led government has recommended Rs 18000 as minimum wage. According to the Seventh Pay Commission, this was based upon the formula unanimously adopted by the 15th Indian Labour Conference (ILC) and the directions of the Supreme Court in the Raptakos and Brett case, which was reiterated by the 44th ILC in 2012 and again by the 46th ILC in 2015 (?).

The formula evolved by the 15th ILC for fixing minimum wage and the Supreme Court directions are as follows:

1) Per capita food intake of at least 2700 calories for a worker’s family comprising three units (2 adults and 2 children)

2) Per capita cloth of at least 18 yards per annum

3) Provision of housing as per minimum rent charged by government industrial housing scheme for low-income category

4) Fuel, lighting, miscellaneous expenditures to constitute 20 per cent of the total minimum wage.

5) The Supreme Court Judgment (1992) stipulated additional 25 per cent of the minimum wage for education, medical expense, recreation and provision of old age and marriage to be taken into account while fixing minimum wage.

The Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers has challenged this recommendation on the grounds that the minimum wage should be Rs 26000 on the basis of the ILC recommendation and Supreme Court directions at the prices prevalent in 2015 (?).

However, the BJP led government has accepted the recommendation of the Seventh Pay Commission and decided the minimum wage of Rs 18000 for the central government employees.

The ILC recommendations and Supreme Court directions for minimum wages are the same for all workers and employees. Prices are the same for everybody. In fact, prices of almost all essential commodities, particularly food, have increased since 2015.

Hence, the demand of Rs 18000 minimum wage is absolutely justified. The government should immediately concede the demand.

What the government is doing

Instead of amending the Minimum Wages Act accordingly, the BJP led government has introduced the Code on Wages Bill in the Lok Sabha, amalgamating the Minimum Wages Act, the Payment of Wages Act, The Bonus Act and the Equal Remuneration Act.

The Wage Code Bill has no mention of the 15th ILC formula and Supreme Court directions. ....

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