Mallikarjun Kharge Assure Central Trade Union Leaders to Brief Prime Minister about issues Raised by them
Appeal to the Central Trade Unions not to Inconvenience the General Public and the Workers and to Withdraw the Notice for the Proposed Strike.
The Union Minister for Labour & Employment Shri Mallikarjun Kharge and the Minister of State for Labour & Employment Shri K.Suresh today met the representatives of eleven major Central Trade Unions here at Shram Shakti Bhawan in New Delhi to discuss the proposed country-wide General Strike on the 20th and 21st February, 2013. Senior officers of various Ministries also attended the meeting.
The representatives of Central Trade Unions reiterated their demands for the Government to take concrete measures to contain price rise, to ensure employment generation, strict enforcement of labour laws, universal social security for unorganized and organized workers, stoppage of disinvestment in central and state public sector undertakings. Some of the specific issues raised by them related to payment of minimum wages of Rs.10,000/-, abolition of contract labour, payment of equal wages and benefits to contract workers at par with regular workers, removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund, increasing the quantum of gratuity, assured pension for all, compulsory registration of trade unions within 45 days and immediate ratification of the ILO Convention No. 87 and 98.
The Minister for Labour & Employment thanked the representatives of trade unions for the keen interest shown by them to address the problems faced by workers and common people in the country. He explained the various initiatives taken by the Government to tackle these important issues in a sympathetic and time-bound manner. He particularly highlighted the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Labour & Employment to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, National Floor Level Minimum Wage to workers and to the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970 to make its enforcement stricter and labour-friendly. The steps taken by the Govt to provide for a minimum pension of Rs.1000/- to the EPF subscribers were explained. On the enforcement of labour laws the Minister clarified that both the Central and State Governments take effective measures for inspection of workplaces and prosecution is launched wherever irregularities are detected.
The Minister reiterated that enacting labour legislation involves a tripartite process and employers, employees and State Governments are to be consulted. Therefore, it is a time-consuming process. The Govt is taking all necessary steps to enact various laws and amendments in consultation with the various stakeholders.
The Minister informed the representatives of the Central Trade Unions about the various steps taken by the Government to control inflation, arrest price rise, promote investment and ensure industrial growth which will lead to greater employment opportunities. On disinvestment it was clarified that even after disinvestment Govt will retain 51% of the shareholding and management control of Central Public Sector Enterprises and partial disinvestment will not affect the public sector character of the CPSEs or their labour and employment policy.
The Minister assured the Central Trade Unions that he will bring these developments to the notice of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh . The representatives of Central Trade Unions requested that a final settlement of all the pending issues should be done without further loss of time. The Minister reiterated the sincere efforts being made by the Government to address the problems of the working class and the people. He appealed to the Central Trade Unions not to inconvenience the general public and the workers and to withdraw the notice for the proposed strike.
The following Trade Union Leaders were present in the meeting:
S/Shri A. N. Dogra (BMS), G. Sanjiva Reddy (INTUC), Gurudas Dasgupta (AITUC), H.S.Sidhu (HMS), Tapan Sen (CITU), R.A. Mittal (HMS), R.K. Sharma (AITUC), G.Devarajan (TUCC), A.K. Padmanabhan (CITU), D.L.Sachdev (AITUC), Rajiv Dimri(AICCTU), S.K.Roy, AICCTU), M.Hhanmugam (LPF), Ashok Ghosh (UTUC) and P.J. Raju (UTUC).
The Various Ministries/Departments Officiers representatives were as under:
S/Shri Dr. M. Sarangi, Secretary Labour & Employment; Ravi Mathur, Secretary, Deptt. of Disinvestment (DOD); D.S.Dhesi, AS, Commerce; Pramod Aggrawal JS, DOD, Sudha Krishnan, Joint Secretary, D’o Expenditure; Atul Chaturvedi, JS,DIPP; S.Sahu, Addl. Dev. Commidssioner, MSME; B.K.Sanwariya,CLC, M/o Labour & Employment, Shailesh Kumar Singh, JS,M/o Coal and B.S.Negi,CMS (Admn.) M/o Rural Development.