Commerce unions divided over guidelines framed underneath labour codes


Differences surfaced among Central Trade Unions with regard to the “consultative” meeting convened by Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar on Tuesday to discuss the government’s draft “rules” framed under labour codes. The two codes, which have been passed by Parliament, are on industrial relations, social security and occupational safety health & working conditions (OSH).

While 10 unions, dominated by those leaning to the Left, boycotted the meeting in protest against the ministry’s alleged plan to hold it through video-conference, the BMS, TUCC and NFITU attended it.

During discussions, the BMS opposed the proposal for lowering the cap on earned leave in the OSH draft rules.

The rules proposed a cap of 240 days on earned leave, 90 days for journalists and 120 days for sales representatives. BMS leaders demanded raising the limit of earned leave to 300 days for all.

“The proposal to lower the cap is a great loss for those who have sacrificed their right for leave and worked for their employers,” BMS national functionary Pawan Kumar said. The BMS’ other demands include increasing the eligibility criteria of EPF scheme from a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000 to make it on a par with the ESI scheme.

“The rules should provide that ESI benefits continue to be provided to the employees even after crossing the Rs 21,000 salary cap,” the BMS said. — TNS

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