There is a general talk about the labour reforms being necessary in the industry and business house especially in the context of FDI. There is also demand from the trade union that the labour reform is highly necessary because some of the labour laws are out dated. In the context of the demand from the employer and workers particularly the business communities it is necessary to examine the above subject deeply and some meaningful decision should be taken in this regard.
First, to examine the demand of the investors and the industrialist as they want the labour reforms in the form of hire and fire system and should permit the management to retrench the surplus workers whenever they feel. They also demand that the engagement of temporarily and contract labour in place of permanent workers and they do not want to talk about the social security net with regard to the retrenched employees or to carry the burden of higher wages to the contract workers/temporary staffs doing so, there should not be any strike, tool down etc. and disturb industrial peace.
Most of the employers do not want trade union activities in their company and the workers involved in trade union activities are victimised and harassed.
The trade unions also demand for reforms in the labour law which means more protection for the permanent workers and their jobs and the workers should be allowed full participation in the management and all should get bonus if the industry is making profits.
The trade unions further vehemently demands implementation of the labour reforms in the first instance of the contract workers who are working on the permanent nature of work and should be made permanent. They want to improve their salary and other perquisite, pension and bonus etc. for which review of labour laws is essential to give more job protection and security.
It is the strong view of INTUC that the Govt. should seriously think over about the labour reforms as key to economic reforms. Very often it was expressed by the government that it is necessary to bring the labour reforms into force but the Govt. is not willing to bring the reforms. According to them the “problem of the industry” should be equally shared by the workers and the management. There are a number of industries which were closed down without paying legal liabilities to the workers. There are number of industries which are not paying the normal regular wages. The workers are suffering and not extending co-operation to the industry/business.
The INTUC is serious about the labour reforms and considers that there must be some of understanding between the management and the workers/trade union about the labour reforms. The problems of the workers in the industry are very serious and it is required to sort-out the problems through mutual discussions. The INTUC further feels that there should be a proper analysis of each issue individually such as contract labour, job guarantee, Social Security etc. These 3 issues are come under one issue. Further to set up a tripartite committee, “protection of employment and protection of industries”. This can be discussed separately. And the third issue about social security net whereas the workers should be paid fair rate of retirement benefits, self-service benefits, health and housing, educational benefits etc.
The demand of the trade union about sharing the profit even for those who are today out of ceiling the bonus act need to be amended or through applying the “LAT” formula which was in vogue prior to Bonus act. a new methodology to make workers share the prosperity.
Working Committee of INTUC after thoroughly examining these issues and has decided to place before the Govt. of India suggestion to set up a high power committee to examine these issues, with 6 month so that the Govt. of India can take a pioneering decision about the labour reforms.