January 24, 2021

CTUs Rejects Govt Move to Frame Rules on Labour Codes

THE joint platform of central trade unions(CTU) have outrightly rejected the move of the government to frame rules on the labour codes which were passed in the Parliament without any discussion with the central trade unions or in the Parliament when all the opposition members of Parliament were absent as they were on boycott demanding the withdrawal of expulsion of some MPs.

Some MPs had even given in writing to the government that the labour codes should not be placed in a hurry and that there is a need for serious discussions on such an important matter with trade unions and also inside the Parliament which concerns the life of more than 50 crore (500 million) workforce of the country. But the government went ahead flouting the parliamentary norms and bypassing the tripartite consultation in violation and disregard to the international commitments on international labour standards and the ILO conventions of which India is a signatory. The CTUs have already opposed the arbitrary decision taken by the government to tinker with 40 labour laws and reducing these laws into four codes.

In the physical meeting held on January 20, convened by the ministry of labour and employment, the ten central trade unions have categorically stated the following:-

1.  When the central trade unions have already rejected the four labour codes, the trade unions are not in a position to discuss the rules being framed on these four labour Codes.

2.  The fact is that the proposals given by the CTUs on these four labour codes when these were put in the public domain without any prior consultation was not given any cognizance by the government.

3.  Moreover, the draft labour codes which were posted in the public domain and the ones, which were approved by the cabinet and subsequently passed in the parliament flouting parliamentary procedures and norms, was totally different.

4.  The recommendations made by the parliamentary standing committee on three labour codes was also rejected by the government.

5.  The government is not serious either on bipartite discussions or tripartite discussions in accordance with the ILO conventions. The government is rushing to push the implementation of all these codes under pressure from the corporate and employers’ organisations.

The central trade unions have demanded that all the four codes should be put on hold and then discussions should start with them on each of the labour code afresh in the true spirit of bipartite and tripartite consultations. The CTUs said that “we do not accept this meeting as consultation but a farce to camouflage consultations.”  The CTUs also protested against the non-holding of the Indian Labour Conference for the past five years.

The 10 central trade unions that are part of the above statement which was released on January 20, include; INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC.