Trade unions write to Labour Minister, call meeting to discuss labour codes ‘farce’

The unions said that they want a physical meeting instead of the proposed virtual meeting.

Trade unions write to Labour Minister, call meeting to discuss labour codes ‘farce’

Image only for representational purposes

Ravi S Singh

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 11

As many as 10 Central Trade Unions (CTUs) on Monday decided to keep away from a Consultative meeting which has been convened by Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar on Tuesday to finalise the Rules under two labour codes, calling it “farce”.

The proposed meeting is “tripartite” consisting of representatives of workers, employers and the Union Labour Ministry.

It is to discuss on provisions of the rules to be framed under Code on Social Security, and Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions.

The unions’ are sore on account of government’s move to hold the meeting through video-conference.

They want it to be held physically so that they get ample opportunity to put across their views effectively.

Also, they are miffed with the meeting’s agenda of taking up two Codes on one day, which they allege would not suffice for meaningful discussions.

These unions are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC. They are ideologically opposed to the BJP. A good number of them are Left-leaning.

Responding to the invitation for the meeting, the Joint Platform of these unions in a letter to Gangwar said the virtual meeting was an effort to avoid substantive discussion on the issue.

These unions had boycotted one such meeting last month regarding the other two Codes: on Wage and Industrial Relations.

After their objection, the government had changed tack and held physical meeting, but these unions skipped it. It was attended by four Unions, including the BMS.

The protesting Unions are, in effect, against the Codes which were passed by the Parliament.

“We have been critical of adoption of labour codes by flouting all Parliamentary norms without discussion in absence of the entire opposition from the Parliament and without Tripartite consultations,” their Joint Platform stated.

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