Shri Bhupender Yadav ji
Hon’ble Minister of Labour & Employment
Govt of India
Shram Shakti Bhawan
New Delhi 110001
Sub: Submission by the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions on certain issues pertaining to Labour and Working People of India, requesting urgent intervention.
The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Independent Federations/Associations, in its meeting held on 23rd September 2022 in New Delhi, unanimously resolved to draw the following serious issues of the working people of India and their united movement for your urgent intervention and immediate action:
1. Holding Indian Labour Conference (ILC): The last ILC – i.e., the 46th Session of the highest tripartite forum was held on 20-21st July 2015. Since then ILC has not been held during the last seven years, although it is binding on the Government to hold it at least once every year. We urge you to ensure that it is convened at the earliest. And for deciding the agenda of ILC, the meeting of the Standing Labour Committee, comprising representatives of all Central Trade Unions and Employers’ Organisation also needs to be convened immediately.
2. The unanimous recommendations of 42nd, 43rd, 44th and 45th ILCs, regarding the formula for deciding Minimum Wage, on the issue of same wage and benefits for the contract workers doing the same or similar jobs as the regular workers, treating the Scheme Workers (Anganwadi, mid-day-meal, ASHA etc) as workers with attendant benefits of statutory minimum wage and social security – were all reiterated by the 46th Indian Labour Conference. But no action has been taken by the Govt to implement these recommendations despite being a party to those recommendations. Immediate steps are required to be taken to ensure implementation of those unanimous recommendations of successive ILCs.
3. Scrap the Labour Codes: The four Labour Codes have been enacted by repealing 29 existing Labour Laws, thereby drastically curtailing whatever rights and protective provisions were there for the workers in those 29 Labour Laws. The Labour Codes impose more derogatory working conditions on the workers and almost open-endedly empower the Govts and employers to further curtail labour rights and benefits arbitrarily at their whims and fancies. Suspension of labour laws by certain State Governments has not shown any economic gains either. All the Central Trade Unions have been consistently opposing the Labour Codes almost in one voice and submitted, both jointly and individually, written letters/ memoranda detailing their reasoned objections to the various provisions in the drafts circulated by the government, that are against the interests of the workers. We collectively urge upon you not to notify and implement the Labour Codes. We demand that they should be scrapped. The entire issue should be revisited and renegotiated with the trade unions representing the workers.
4. Withdraw Essential Defence Services Act, 2021as assured on the floor of the Lok Sabha by Shri Rajnath Singh, the Raksha Mantri.
5. Structured meeting jointly with all the central trade unions: During the intervening period, you had meetings one to one with most of the Central Trade Unions. Almost every Central Trade Union has demanded to hold structured joint meetings with all the Central Trade Unions at regular intervals, which is not being done by the Govt for quite a long period. We urge upon you to start the practice of regular structured meetings with Central Trade Unions to deal on the issues/problems faced by the workers.
6. Increase in Minimum Pension in EPS-1995: Increase in minimum pension under EPS-95 is long overdue, the last hike being in on 1-9-2014, that too mostly notionally. The issue has been discussed in the tripartite CBT of EPFO number of times but no action has been taken by the Govt in that regard. We urge upon you to please initiate action in the matter increasing the minimum pension admissible to all pensioners under EPF-95 in consultation with the trade unions.
7. Universal Pension Scheme for the Unorganised Sector workers: The Govt must alsoput in place a fully funded scheme to ensure universal pension to vast section of unorganised sector workers, as the much propagated contributory New Pension Scheme has been proved to be a total failure in ensuring the pension rights for the unorganised sector workers.
8. Scrap NPS—Restore Old Pension Scheme for both central and state government employees: We demand that the New Pension Scheme imposed on the Govt employees both at the Centre and in the States be scrapped and the Old Pension Scheme be restored at the earliest.
9. Complete Stoppage of the Move to Privatise the PSUs: Scrap the National Monetisation Pipeline Scheme: The measures being taken by the government to privatise the public sector undertakings, and also government departments through corporatisation are not at all in the interest of our national economy. The trade unions have been opposing and agitating against these measures. We are also strongly opposed to the latest National Monetisation Pipeline Scheme aimed at handing over the entire infrastructure sectors of the economy to private corporates virtually free to earn revenue from them without their making any investment. We urge upon the Govt through you to refrain from such destructive exercises of privatization and NMP.
10. There are many other burning issues. The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions has been agitating /struggling since long on the 12 point charter of demands of which you are aware. We urge upon you to initiate dialogue with the Central Trade Unions to consider those demands at the earliest.
Almost all the Central Trade Unions, while meeting you one to one have already presented most of the above issues. We urge upon you to please intervene and initiate steps to resolve those long standing issues in consultation with the Trade Unions in the interests of fairness and propriety.