Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Press Trust of India | New Delhi July 18, 2016 

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya today met central trade unions to apprise them about steps taken with regard to their 12-point charter of demands. 

Central trade unions are pushing for the 12-point charter of demands and have proposed a nationwide strike on September 2 to press for the demands, including minimum monthly wages of Rs 15,000 and minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000.

The minister, who met unions after a gap of 10 months on the issue, told the representatives that the government was working on eight of their demands and had progressed well on seven issues. 

The Labour Ministry has also indicated that it may soon organise meeting of the ministerial panel on labour issues headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to deliberate on the demands. 

The panel had several rounds of meeting with trade unions in August last year to understand their view point on various labour issues, including amendments in labour laws. 

As many as 10 central trade union excluding RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) have give a call for a day-long nationwide strike to protest against unilateral labour law amendments and not paying heed to their charter of demands. 

The unions have been asking government to consider their key demands, including minimum monthly wage of Rs 15,000, assured pension of Rs 3000, no foreign direct investment in sectors like railways, defence and insurance, among others. 

After the meeting, Dattatreya said, "We have spoken to trade unions. They have 12 demands. We are working on their eight demands and progressed well on seven demands." 

The minister further said, "We have met some of their demands like Bonus Act, minimum monthly pension and also about minimum wages where we are at advance stages." 

During the meeting he told unions that their are certain court cases regarding implementation of amendment in Bonus Act, which will soon be transferred to the Supreme Court for speedy disposal. 

Explaining further he said, "The proposal regarding minimum wages has been sent to Law and Justice Ministry. We will sent this proposal for Cabinet approval to fix a universal minimum wage." 

About providing relief to contract workers, he said, "We have also worked on social security of workers. We will also work on providing job, wage and social security to contract workers." 

However, the trade unions gave no assurance to the Labour Ministry regarding their strike call on September 2. 

The representatives of BMS said that they will take a call on joining the strike in its meeting scheduled on August 10. 

Last year, BMS had opted out of the strike observed on September 2, 2015, in view of government's assurances to meet certain demands out of 12-point charter of demand.


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