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Draft Labour Code: Government says rights of workers to be protected

The proposed Code provides for hire and fire of employees and makes it tough to form trade unions.

Updated: May 07, 2015, 11.17 PM IST
NEW DELHI: Government today said rights of workers will be protected at all costs and views of all stakeholders will be sought in finalsing the Draft Labour Code on Industrial Relations.

Yesterday, the Labour Ministry had convened a tripartite consultation meeting on the Draft Labour Code on Industrial Relations.

The proposed Code provides for hire and fire of employees and makes it tough to form trade unions.

The Code is one of the initiatives of the government to subsume 44 labour laws into five broad codes, dealing with industrial relation, wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare.

The draft Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2015 combines Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.

The meeting, which was presided over by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, had representatives from central trade unions, employers' associations, labour department of state governments and central ministries.

"Meeting ended with the Minister assuring that the rights of the workers will be protected at all costs and views of the participants will be considered while finalising the draft Labour Code on Industrial Relations," an official release said today.

However, slamming the proposed Industrial Relations Code, labour unions had said the consultations in this regard were a "farce" as representatives of workers should have been involved at the drafting stage itself.

Central trade unions, including the BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) said they will strongly oppose the proposals, saying they deprive workers of their basic rights.

"As per the ILO convention 141, the interested parties should be consulted at time of drafting a legislation. The government is imposing this draft on us," All India Trade Union Congress Secretary D L Sachdev had said after the meeting yesterday.

The Labour Minister had also said that two members each from centre, state, trade unions and employers side would participate and submit a report in next 15 days.

He had also said that the report would be discussed in the next meeting. However, he did not specify the date of the next meeting.

The Minister has invited suggestions from participants on the initiative, wherein they provided with their suggestions for incorporation in the Labour Code.
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