All India General strike on September 2, 2015.
This National Convention of Workers consisting of BMS INTUC AITUC HMS CITU AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC. LPF and All lndia Federations of Banks, Insurance, Defence, Railways, Central/State Govt. Employees and other Service Establishments held on 26th May 2015 under the banner of joint platform of all the Central Trade Unions of the country along with independent national federations of all sectors and service establishments expressed deep concern over anti worker, anti-people and pro-corporate actions of the present Government at the Centre in pursuance of the policy of globalisation.
The government aim in aggressively pushing through sweeping changes in labour laws is nothing but to push out overwhelming majority of workers out of the coverage of all labour laws and to drastically curb the trade union rights. During this period the government has been over-busy in amending all labour laws to empower employers with unfettered rights to 'hire and fire' and stripping the workers and trade unions of all their rights and benefits besides aggressively pushing through almost unlimited FDI in strategic sectors like railways, defence and financial sector.
Unions have been opposing certain proposed labour law amendments which allows hire and fire, makes it tougher to make labour unions and diluting existing social security not available to the workers at different fora. Under the proposed Industrial Relations Code Bill 2015, the employers with up to 300 workers would not require government permission for retrenchment, layoff and closure.
The Convention also expressed dismay over the Govt’s total inaction in implementing the consensus recommendations of 43rd, 44th and 45th Indian Labour Conferences on formulation of minimum wages, same wage and benefits as regular workers for the contract workers and granting status of workers with attendant benefits to those employed in various central govt schemes. On the contrary, the Govt drastically curtailed budget allocations to all those centrally sponsored schemes meant for poor peoples’ welfare.
The Convention supported the decision of the constituents of JCM of Central Govt. employees to go for indefinite strike from 23rd November, 2015 and will decide at appropriate stage, the form of solidarity action to be taken. The National Convention called upon the trade unions and working people irrespective of affiliations to unite and make the countrywide General Strike on 2nd September a massive success.
Issue of minimum wage: The 15th ILC had, in 1957, provided a formula for calculating minimum wages and the 44th ILC had endorsed it. But the government, instead of accepting the formula, hit upon a floor-level wage of Rs.160 per day, which is much less than the demand of the trade unions that Rs.15,000 should be the minimum/floor-level wage. Our demand before the 7th Central Pay Commission is Rs.26000. Then only the cascading pay hike to officers is our minimum expectation. When Government itself is for the minimum wage of Rs.4800/ for unorganised workers then how can Central Government employees expect Rs.26000/ as minimum wage?
The Central Government employees and officers are being promised bigger pay and allowances in Fiscal 2016-17 as the Finance Minister stated in February 27th in the parliament. The 7th Pay commission impact may have to be absorbed in 2016-17, The Finance Ministry and the 7th Central Pay Commission are not committing anything, after the above announcement made by the Finance Minister. It is painful to note that so many rumours have been floated by the various interests. But our struggle only brings good results.
Payment of Bonus Act: There was no consensus on the amendments to the Payment of Bonus Act, where the trade unions held the position that all ceilings under the Act, the eligibility ceiling, the calculation ceiling and the maximum per cent of bonus payable, needed to be removed while employer representatives did not agree to this, arguing that this would lead to a spurt in industrial relations issues. According to them, while making changes to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, the productivity of workers and paying capacity of the employers should be taken into account. They were not even in favour of the indexation of cost of living for the purpose of fixing the ceiling and calculation of bonus.
Wrong Policies of Present Government: Some of the wrong policies of the present Government are:
A. not implementing the recommendations of the 43rd, 44th and 45th ILCs; reforming labour laws for the convenience of employers; unilateral enactment of the Apprenticeship Act and other laws;
B. allowing the Rajasthan government to effect changes unilaterally in the Factories Act and other labour laws which motivated other States like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana to follow the same line; removal of inspectors and allowing self-certification, which was a gross violation of the ILO’s conventions; not ratifying four conventions of the ILO;
C. not accepting the 12-point charter of demands of the trade unions;
D. not fixing Rs.15,000 as the minimum wage or floor wages; imposing changes in social security laws; and allowing the Finance Ministry to change the provisions of some labour laws.
Grievance redressal mechanism for Gazetted Officers. The Gazetted Officers of Central Government have been insisting upon a suitable mechanism to redress their grievance in order to resolve the issues with the Government. But present situation is that the Government itself engaged to derail the existing mechanism available to workers and employees in favour of corporate and employers in the name of attracting investments and facilitating congenial environment to industrialists.
CHARTER OF DEMANDS:
1. Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of public distribution system and banning speculative trade in commodity market.
2. (a) Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation. (b) No ban on creation of new posts. Fill up all vacant posts.
3. (a) Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measure for violation of labour laws. Withdraw the anti-worker Labour Law (b) No labour reforms which are inimical to the interest of the workers.
4. (a) Universal social security cover for all workers. (b) Scrap PFRDA Act and re-introduce the defined benefit statutory pension scheme.
5. (a) Fix minium wage with provisions of indexation. (b) Effect wage revision of the Central Government Employees from 01.01.2014 accepting memorandum of the staff side JCM; ensure 5-year wage revision in future; grant interim relief and merger of 100% of DA; Include Gramin Dak Sevaks within the ambit of 7th CPC. Settle all anomalies of the 6th Central Pay Commission.
6. (a) Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs. Stoppage of contractorisation in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work. (b) No outsourcing, contractorisation, privatization of governmental functions; withdraw the proposed move to close down the printing presses, the publications, form stores and stationery departments and medical stores Depots; regularize the existing daily-rated/casual and contract workers and absorption of trained apprentices.
7. Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund; increase the quantum of gratuity.
8. (a) Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting applications; and immediate ratification of ILO Convention C 87 and C 98. (b) Revive the JCM functioning at all level as an effective negotiating forum for settlement of the demands of the Central Government Employees.
9. (a) Against FDI in Railways, Insurance and Defense.(b) No Privatisation, PPP or FDI in Railways, Defense Establishment and no corporatization of postal Services
10. Remove arbitrary ceiling on compassionate appointment.
11. Ensure five promotions in the service career.
The main attacks are that the non-implementation of the consensus recommendations of the agreements arrived at previous Indian Labour Conferences, notably the 43rd, 44th and 45th. The first item on the agenda of the current ILC concerned the implementation of the conclusions/recommendations of the last three ILCs, particularly on contract labour, minimum wages, scheme workers and tripartite mechanism. The 7th Central Pay Commission report as promised for 28th August this year would be further delayed by one month. Now let us put pressure on the 7th Central Pay Commission and the Government of India to accept our justified demand’s of Central Government Employees such as minimum wage of Rs 26,000/- with effect from Jan 2014, fitment formula of 3.72 , five promotion scheme , date of effect of the 7th CPC from 1/1/2014 etc. if the 2nd September 2015 strike by the Central Government Employees is a success, then we can get more financial benefits from the 7th Central Pay Commission and the Government of India apart from other important issues of unwanted labour reforms will be solved.
The entire working people including Central Government and financial sector employees are going on strike on 2nd September to protest against the policies of Government which is making common people’s life miserable. We being very conscientious section of the working people it is our bounden duty and responsibility to be with striking employees.
The confederation endorses/supports the strike call given by central trade unions, All lndia Federations of Banks, Insurance, Defence, Railways, Central/State Govt. Employees, other Service Establishments and calls upon its affiliates to actively involve with the striking Employees. The extent of participation in strike and observance of solidarity action will be decided based on local conditions.