Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Delhi, Jul 21 (PTI) A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about evolving consensus on labour laws, the 46th Indian Labour Conference today recommended tripartite consultations on changes in such laws, a development that may delay further reforms in the sector.

At the conclusion of 2-day meeting, ILC has suggested to the government that all amendments to labour laws should be discussed at the tripartite forum which has representatives of trade unions, employers and government.

Summing up the deliberations, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said: "We have to take forward discussion under tripartite mechanism. The Prime Minister has also asked us to adopt this approach."

While inaugurating the conference yesterday Modi had said, "Efforts would be made to modify labour laws through consensus." He also stressed that the consultation process with trade unions would continue.

Modi's assurance had failed to cut ice as the trade unions remained adamant on one-day strike on September 2 in support of their 12-point charter of demands. They are protesting against government's "unilateral and anti-workers amendments" under labour law overhaul.

Dattatreya suggested that there may be delay in bringing certain proposed bills to amend labour laws in Parliament but government would adopt the tripartite mechanism.

The 46th ILC said that any labour law amendments or enactments should take into account three things -- rights and welfare of workers; sustainability of enterprises and job creation and industrial peace.

It also recommended that labour laws need to be relooked and updated in a time bound manner.

Labour Ministry has planned to push the Small Factory Bill, Child Labour Bill, a Bill to amend the EPF Act and another Bill to amend the Payment of Bonus Act during the onging Monsoon Session.

The ILC could not firm up a unanimous view on the issue of amending Payment of Bonus Act for removing conditions on payment ceiling, eligibility limits and decision to minimum bonus without linking to loss when the performance indicator satisfy grant of bonus.

The trade unions wanted to remove all ceilings whereas employers' representative were of the view that it will create industrial relation issues. State governments said that 8.33 per cent of existing minimum limit of bonus should continue.

Under the amendment bill, government has proposed to increase wage ceiling for payment of bonus to Rs 20,000 from Rs 10,000.

Expressing concerns over non-implementation of the conclusions of 43rd, 44th and 45th conferences, particularly on contract labour, minimum wages, scheme workers and tripartism, ILC has recommended that concrete measures should be undertaken to expeditiously implement those suggestions in letter and spirit. .

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