CITU Condemns Anti-Worker Measures On the Pleas of Promoting Garment Sector
THE CITU, in a statement issued on June 23, has strongly denounced the anti-labour measures in the so-called special package for the textile and garment sector approved by the union cabinet without any consultations with the trade unions. After announcing sweeping changes in the FDI norms, the government has come out with this ‘special package’ for the textile and garment sector. It is atrocious that the finance minister tries to woo investors by pointing out at the ‘rising wages in China’. It is clear that by this that he invites investors to utilise the cheap labour in our country with a veiled commitment to make that cheaper, so that they can reap more profits. It is even more appalling that these measures are claimed to ‘help in social transformation through women empowerment’ while what they would actually lead to is enslavement of the workers in the garment sector. Can hypocrisy and deception go further, CITU questioned. The government has put forward the bogus argument that the garment industry is ‘seasonal’, to find a plea to introduce the ‘fixed term employment’ and facilitate ‘hire and fire’ of workers as per the convenience of the employers. It is to be recalled that the erstwhile NDA government issued the notification on fixed term employment which was strongly opposed by the entire trade union movement and had to be rescinded during the UPA regime in 2004. CITU condemns the attempts of the BJP government to introduce fixed term employment once again. Increasing the overtime cap from existing 50 hours in a quarter to 96 hours and simultaneously talking loud about employment generation is another deceptive and fraudulent manoeuvre sought to be perpetrated on the people and the workers. As per this special package, provident fund would be made optional for the employees earning less than Rs 15,000 per month, indicating the persistent attempts of the government to pave the way for demolishing this time tested social security scheme. The package also provides other concessions to the employers like the government utilising people’s money in national exchequer to pay the employers’ share of PF contribution, flexibility of labour laws, duty draw back etc. It is nothing but part of the neoliberal design of the BJP led government that seeks to promote the interests of the big corporations and multinational companies by imposing burdens and attacking the rights of the workers. CITU demands the government to immediately withdraw the anti worker measures in the ‘special package’. It calls upon all the workers to oppose these measures of imposing slavery on the workers through massive participation in the joint countrywide general strike on September 2, 2016.