Sharp divisions amongst Central Commerce Unions on Labour Codes

Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 25

Sharp differences among the Central Trade Unions (CTUs) surfaced on the issue of the four Labour Codes laws during a “consultative meeting” convened by Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar which was attended by some and boycotted by others on Thursday.

It was “Tripartite” meeting-consisting of representatives of workers, employers and the government. It was convened to finalise the “rules” under the Codes for their implementation.

The Codes have been enacted into laws by Parliament. They can be implemented only after the notification of the proposed Rules.

As many as 10 Left-leaning and the ones traditionally opposed to BJP, boycotted the meeting, but the RSS-affiliate BMS—the biggest among the unions—and three others attended it.

Those who skipped the meeting are INTUC, AITUC, CITU, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF.

On the contrary, besides BMS, factions of INTUC and TUCC and NFITU attended the event.

During the meeting, the BMS demanded that the wage definition limiting allowances to 50 per cent of total salary should not be frozen under the Wage Code.

BMS national functionary Pawan Kumar, who attended the meeting, said it was also demanded to scrap of spread over to 12 hours (working hours against the present about nine hours).

Also, the family should consist of six units to calculate minimum wages.

The BMS also rooted for reinstatement of Wage Board for Journalists, etc.

It also protested against proposed categorisation of “metro”, “non-metro” and “rural” rates as they will promote regional inequality leading to migrant workers to metros for higher wages.

Concerning the Code on Industrial Relations, the BMS protested against the restriction on unions’ activities at workplaces.

CITU’s national secretary Amitava Guha said that the 10 unions did not attend the meeting because the government tried to wrap up the discussions in just one day.

The four Codes relate to Wages, Industrial Relations, Social Security, and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions.

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