Millennium Post

TUs may call Sept 2 strike against ‘anti-labour’ Govt

Trade unions including BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) are likely to announce general strike on September 2, to protest against government’s indifference towards their 10-point agenda and unilateral labour reforms. The formal announcement for one day general strike on September <g data-gr-id="55">2,</g> is expected to be made here on Tuesday at National Convention of Central Trade Unions.

“As many as 11 trade unions including BMS were unanimous to go on a <g data-gr-id="52">one day</g> strike to protest against government’s unilateral labour reforms and indifference towards 10-points charter of workers organisations,” said a source who attended the meeting. The source further said: “The central trade unions will make <g data-gr-id="47">formal</g> announcement tomorrow regarding <g data-gr-id="53">one day</g> strike on September 2 and declaration on government anti-worker and anti-people <g data-gr-id="54">polices</g>.” 

In the wake of unions protest, the government has constituted an inter-ministerial panel on Saturday to hold “threadbare discussions” with representatives of unions on 10-point charter of demand and other issues being raised by them and for recommending measures to address those issues. The members of the panel <g data-gr-id="45">are:</g> Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh. 

Earlier this month, the Labour Ministry had convened a meeting of 12 central trade unions to discuss issues related to their 10-point charter and reservations against certain changes in labour laws. 

Besides Dattatreya, Goyal and Pradhan had attended the meeting with trade unions. The central trade unions’ 10-point agenda includes demands seeking government steps to deal with issues like price rise and unemployment.

Providing universal social security cover for workers and stopping disinvestment of PSUs are also part of demands. Later, the unions added two more demands --scrapping the decision to allow foreign investment in railways and defence and “unilateral” changes in labour laws. Unions have been opposing certain proposed labour law amendments which encourage hire and fire, makes it tougher to make labour unions and diluting existing social security net 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, <g data-gr-id="56">lay off</g> and closure. The bill also makes it tougher to form trade unions in the country. It proposed that 10 per cent of total workers would be required as <g data-gr-id="63">applicant</g> to register a trade union. It is proposed that the minimum number applicant shall be 7 and maximum number of <g data-gr-id="62">applicant</g> shall be 100. At present, 7 applicants are required to register a trade union. Meanwhile, in view of trade unions’ strong protest against certain changes proposed in labour laws, the government has constituted an inter-ministerial panel to discuss issues raised by them in their 10-point charter. 

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted a committee in which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh and myself are included,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said. He was addressing the media at the unveiling of an exhibition cum awareness meeting. 

10 lakh staff of 43 banks to get 15% pay rise
Around 10 lakh employees of 43 banks, including public sector banks, will get a 15 per cent hike in salaries, with the Indian Banks Association on Monday signing a wage agreement with employee unions and officers’ associations. The revision, applicable with retrospectively with effect from November 1, 2012, will benefit employees and officers in 43 banks including public sector banks, old private sector banks and a few foreign banks. The 15% hike would put an extra burden of Rs 4,725 crore on the banks. “The 15 <g data-gr-id="121">per cent</g> wage revision would cost banks Rs 4,725 crore as incremental salary and allowances in a year. If superannuation cost is included, then the total burden would be around Rs 8,370 crore,” IBA Chairman T M Bhasin said. 
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