Vol. XL No. 44 October 30, 2016

Ensure Implementation of Equal Pay for Equal Work

THE Centre of India Trade Unions (CITU), in a statement issued on October 27, has welcomed the judgment of the Supreme Court of India reiterating the right of ‘equal pay for equal work’. The court delivered a judgement on this, on October 26.

This issue of denial of same wage for same and similar jobs was being raised for long by the trade unions. Despite having a law of Equal Remuneration Act – to ensure that there is no disparity in wages between men and women while doing the same job – disparities still persist in various sectors. The same issue continues, with the huge disparities in the wages and other benefits between regular workers and casual, daily-rated and contract workers doing the same work.

This issue was raised again and again by the trade unions with different governments at the centre. In the year 2009 and 2010, the Indian Labour Conference, the highest tripartite body in the country, had concluded on amending the Contract Labour (Abolition and Regulation) Act to ensure same wage for same and similar jobs. This was repeated again in the 46th Indian Labour Conference in 2015.

But the government has not done anything on that. This was one of the demands on which the trade unions in the country have been conducting struggles and organising country wide general strikes.

The CITU demands that at least now, with the Supreme Court directing that the principle of equal pay for equal work constitutes a clear and unambiguous right vested in every worker, the government of India and the state governments should ensure this principle. CITU demands that there should be no further delay in ensuring implementation of this.

The Supreme Court has highlighted certain principles for the implementation of this right of the worker. The government of India should also ensure that these principles enunciated by the Supreme Court should not be used for manipulations to deny this right.

The CITU calls upon all the unions and workers to be prepared for necessary struggles to get this right implemented in all sectors.