Congress slams Modi government's 'anti-labour' policies
| Friday, September 2, 2016 - 21:41
New Delhi: Supporting the trade union strike and their demands, the Congress on Friday slammed the Narendra Modi government for its "anti-labour and anti-farmer policies" saying that it was hurting workers "under the guise of labour reforms".
The nationwide day-long strike on Friday by Left-affiliated trade unions against the BJP-led central government's "anti-labour" policies affected normal life in several states, including West Bengal, Karnataka and Communist-ruled Kerala and Tripura, but saw minimal effect in the national capital and Mumbai.
"Barring BJP's trade union wing Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), all trade unions called a strike and presented a 12 point charter of demands. Congress supports the trade unions and the demands of the workers. This government has shown itself to be anti-poor, anti-farmer and anti-labour," said Congress senior spokesperson Ajay Maken.
"If we look at the charter of demands, most of them are against the anti-labour decisions of this government. Under the guise of labour reforms, this government has been hurting the workers in India. The unions had demanded a minimum wage of Rs 18,000, while the government has agreed to only Rs 9,100," he added.
"Under current the laws, if an organisation has less than 100 employees, they can be removed. But, Modi government wants to make the number 300. This move will affect the job security of numerous workers across India," said Maken.
"Also by increasing the membership requirement for recognising a trade union from 15 per cent to 30 per cent is going to hurt the unions. We have seen how short-term contract labourers are dominating the manufacturing sector. About 30 per cent of ministry's workforce are contract labourers."
Maken also said the current laws offer protection to 20 or more contract workers. "In a move to help crony capitalists, the government proposed to increase this number from 20 to 50 contract labourers," he added.