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Trade unions to protest against proposed labour laws

Trade unions to protest against  proposed labour laws
Trade unions are up in arms over the Labour Ministry’s proposals to allow firms with up to 300 workers to retrench employees without prior permission of the government and make it tougher to form a trade union.

The proposals are part of the draft Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2015, prepared by the Labour Ministry to combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. Central trade unions, including the BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), are planning to protest strongly against the proposals.

“We will protest against this provision under which firms will not have to take prior permission for retrenchment under draft Labour Code on Industrial Relation Bill 2015,” Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh Zonal Organising Secretary Pawan Kumar said. 

At present, firms employing 100 or more workers are required to seek government’s permission for retrenchment under the Industrial Dispute Act. “We will also oppose the proposal to make it tougher to form trade unions. Our President B N Rai will attend the tripartite consultation on the bill on May 6. 

The union is unanimous on opposing the government’s proposal,” he said. At present, any seven or more members of a trade union can apply for registration of the Trade Union.

The proposed provision in draft code provides that 10 per cent of workers shall apply (be applicant) for registering a trade union. In cases where 10 per cent of workers is less than 7, at least seven workers are required (to apply) for the purpose and where the 10 per cent of workers exceed 100, hundred workers shall be sufficient for registering the trade union. 

“We have been opposing this when this was being implemented in Rajasthan. We will oppose it on May 6 meeting. They cannot make law stringent for forming trade unions,” Hind Mazdoor Sabha Secretary A D Nagapal said. “When Rajasthan Government had sent the state bill with the provision (retrenchment) for Presidential assent, then Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has assured us that it will not be done. 

But now they want to amend the central law, which would be be applicable to entire country,” he added. 

All India Trade Union Congress Secretary D L Sachdev said, “We will strongly oppose the proposal to exempt firm with up to 300 employees from seeking permission from the government to retrench and new provisions which would discourage formation of trade unions in India.”

He suggested that government should constitute a tripartite committee with employees’ and mployers’ representative on board along experts to study the bill in detail before firming up the 
draft bill.” 
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