Stop process of labour reforms: Unions to Govt

From ET Realty

Labour unions on Monday asked government to stop the process of labour reforms in the name of ease of doing business. In a 14 point memorandum submitted jointly by central trade unions to the government, the unions asked government to increase minimum wages to Rs 18,000 per month as recommended by the 7th Pay Commission, enhance the income tax exemption ceiling to Rs 5 lakh, extending the scope of employment generation scheme MGNREGA and increase the allocation to social sector schemes.

“The process of labour law reforms being pursued by the government to provide for unhindered “hire and fire” and for pushing the majority of workers outside the purview and protection of most of the labour laws–all for ease of doing business be stopped,” the unions said. According to the memorandum, no labour law amendment be undertaken without the consent of trade unions and workers who are the main stake holders and also the most affected.

The 15 point agenda was put forth by central trade unions at a pre-budget meeting with finance minister Arun Jaitely with special emphasis on the reversal of the economic policy trajectory. Key trade union representatives included Tapan Sen (CITU), Brijesh Upadhyaya, Saji Narayanan (BMS), Ashok Singh (INTUC), DL Sachdeva (AITUC), Harbhajan Siddu (HMS), Rajeev Dimri (AICCTU), Shankar Saha (AIUTUC) and Manali( SEWA)

“Minimum Wage linked to Consumer Price Index must be guaranteed to all workers. The 7th Pay Commission has worked out the minimum wage of Rs 18000 per month. Therefore, the minimum wage should not be less than Rs.18000/- per month,” the trade unions said through joint memorandum sub mitted to FM for consideration.

According to the unions, the scope of MGNREGA be extended to agriculture operations and urban areas as well and employment for minimum period of 200 days with guaranteed statutory wage be provided.

“Raising ceiling for the salaried persons and pensioners to Rs 5 lakh per annum and fringe benefits like housing, medical and educational facilities and running allowances in railways should be exempted from the income tax net in totality,” unions said.

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