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Posted at: Sep 13, 2018, 9:12 PM; last updated: Sep 14, 2018, 5:45 PM (IST)

Labour law amendments: Despite trade unions’ boycott, govt pushes through agenda

Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 13

The Union Labour Ministry on Thursday pushed through some proposed amendments to labour laws at a meeting that left-leaning trade unions boycotted—a development that is likely to fray their already tenuous relationship.

The Tripartite Consultation’s stated agenda was to discuss the central government’s proposed amendments to the Trade Union Act, 1926. Although the central government claims the amendments would “legalise” trade unions, left unions accuse the government of trying to weaken the country’s trade union movement.

The meeting that Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, who heads the Tripartite body, had convened saw three trade unions, including RSS-affilate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Central and state governments and representatives of employees in private sectors attending it.

All three adopted the amendments. 

BMS national functionary Pawan Kumar said the Labour Ministry would now review the amendments and send them to Law Ministry to draft it into the law for Cabinet’s approval.

“As far as the tripartite consultation is concerned, the matter has been dealt with. The trade unions that did not attend the meeting had made certain suggestions. It’s now up to the government to accept them or turn them down,” Kumar said, adding that legalising trade unions would help make Centre and state government’s recognise them regardless of political affiliations.

The Delhi High Court had previously questioned the central government’s attempts at the process due to absence of legal provisions, making the government resort to amendments.

The unions that boycotted Thursday meeting were AITUC, INTUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC.

AITUC’s functionary Vidyasagar Giri said his union boycotted the meeting because of the government had yet to respond to its objection that the proposed amendments were vaguely worded.  
Also, the Ministry allegedly not inviting the INTUC for the consultation was another sticking point. 

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