Vol. XL No. 51 December 18, 2016

CITU Protests against Anti-Worker Decision Of Central Government

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in a statement issued on December 10 has denounced yet another retrograde decision of the Narendra Modi government to benefit the employers’ class at the cost of workers, while making loud noise on its so-called pro-people postures.

It is reported that in the name of boosting employment generation and exports, the union cabinet has given approval to certain unilateral changes in labour laws and Employees Provident Fund scheme which will only benefit the employers’ class and business houses and harm the workers.  

The cabinet has decided to provide for additional 3.67 percent share of employer’s contribution to EPF in the garment-apparel sector in addition to 8.33 percent granted by its previous announcement couple of months ago. Thus the government is going to bear the entire amount of the employers’ contribution obligation to EPF to the tune of 12 percent in the concerned sectors. (PIB, December 7, 2016)

Simultaneously the cabinet is now proposing to make EPF contribution of the employees optional for those earning less than Rs 15000 per month, not only for the garment-apparel sectors but for the entire made-ups sector in manufacturing, on the plea of increasing the take-home pay of the employees.  And in this case, the government is not going to pay for the employees’ contribution in EPF in line with what they have done for employers’ contribution.

These changes are being made without any consultation with trade unions.  The whole exercise of the government seems to be to finally dismantle the social security schemes available to workers. 

Media reports also say that the amendments to EPF schemes and labour laws are being approved even without the knowledge of the labour department.  This has been going on for some time.  Even the decision taken under the chairmanship of labour minister in tripartite bodies was changed by the finance ministry and workers had to go on struggle to revise these decisions.

CITU registers its strong protest over the unilateral decision being made by the government in the labour related matters and demands withdrawal of all such decisions and to hold proper consultations with the trade unions on all labour matters.