After a bitter struggle the Labour Class earned a small relief-restricting the working time to 8 hours. They won the right to form Unions and Associations. Our Constitution grants the right to form Associations/Unions as one of the fundamental rights to every citizen. The existing labour laws and rules are based on this principle. This guarantee by the Constitution is now under attack.
A simple Glance at the labour reforms proposed for consideration in ensuing winter session of parliament is shocking. If the proposals earn the status of law all the hard earned labour rights, particularly the restrictions of working hours and the right to form Associations/Unions would be annihilated. This will, undoubtedly, affect us also. Already our officers were overexploited on the plea that they are part of the management and cannot form Associations. In this situation, these labour reforms spell the worsened situation to Officers. Hence it is imperative that we oppose these labour reforms and ensure that these are not allowed to destroy the fabric of the fundamental labour rights. All officer organizations are requested to bring suitable pamphlet in these regard.
The 7 CPC is expected to submit its report by last week of August 2015. The Government has totally ignored the genuine demands such as DA merger and grant of Interim Relief which will have an adverse impact on the final pay packet that would accrue to the Central Government employees as a result of the 7 CPC recommendations. It is not sure whether the Government would implement the recommendations of the 7 CPC report. Certain sources indicate that the Government would like to sit over the report for some time.
The entirety of the working class in India will go on one day strike to oppose the policies of the Government on 2nd September 2015. The CCGGOO came to the inescapable conclusion that the Gazetted officers in various Central Government departments have no option but to support the struggle of rest of the working class, building up own, independent struggles, simultaneously.
Rally round under the banner of CCGGOO and initiate action to form the State Level CCGGOO. The State Level leaders should come forward to create a common platform for Gazetted Officers in each State and it would give strength to Apex Level CCGGOO.
Spare time to form the State level body by identifying fellow Gazetted officers’ organasations, whether it is big or small, for unifying all Gazetted Officers under one Confederation is the primary task.
A SIMPLE GLANCE AT LABOUR REFORMS
- Factories and Establishments with less than 40 workers will be exempted from applicability of 14 important labour laws like Industrial Disputes Act, Minimum wages Act, Payment of wages Act, Factories Act, Employees Provident Fund & Misc. provisions Act, Employees Insurance Act, Gratuity Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Payment of Bonus Act, Workman Compensation Act, etc.
- In Industrial Dispute Act, provisions seeking for permission to lay off, retrenchment is being raised from 100 to 300 workers. i.e. in factories with upto 300 workers, employer can freely lay off or retrench.
- Strike is being made almost impossible in all establishments.
- In Trade Unions Act, the existing provision of 7 workers applying for registration of a trade union is being changed to 100 workers.
- No outsider can become the office bearer of trade union of organized sector workers and in unorganized sector only two outsiders could be there as office bearers in place of existing provision of 50%.
- In Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules, provision for employment of Fixed Term Employment is being introduced.
- In Minimum Wages Act – instead of fixing the minimum wage as per 15th International Labour Conference norms and subsequent Supreme Court judgments, a new concept of National Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMW) is being introduced. The floor level minimum wage will be Rs.3400- 3500 only per month.
- Normal working hours of 8 hours is being deleted and Government is being given power to define normal working day.
- Application of EPF Act and ESI Act is being made optional
- Factories Act will exempt factories employing 20 workers (with power use ) and 40 workers (without power use)
- Women are being compelled to work in night shifts and overtime hours are being increased.
- Apprentices Act has already been amended allowing flexibility on number of apprentices to be trained and trade variation making it easy for employers to replace permanent and contract workers by apprentices who are not entitled to even minimum wage.
- Child labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act has already been amended allowing children to work on family and household work and thereby legalizing deployment of children on such avocations denying the right to education to such children.