From Our Correspondent
Welcoming the UPA government'sannouncement of no further disinvestment of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the country'slargest labour organisation, has urged the Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, to make it a budgetary commitment. In his pre-budget discussion with the Finance Minister, Udairao Patwardhan, general secretary of BMS, asked the government to announce the Sixth Pay Commission for Central Government employees in the budget and also ward off the fear of reducing retirement age of government employees from 60 to 58 years. He also demanded clear cut guidelines in the budget as to how the government would sort out the problems of PSU employees.
For the nationalised bank employees, the BMS urged the government to direct the IBA to sign wage revision settlement reached at the seventh bipartite meeting, strictly on merit or on financial position, leaving other issues to be sorted out at the individual bank level. “This budget should give a clear signal to the employees that the government does not intend to harass them.”
The BMS told the government to bring in a legislation to ensure the participation of labour in management on which favourable signals were received from the employers at the 37th session of the Indian Labour Conference. On the issue of contract labour, the BMS demanded a change in the contract labour regulations with vigour. “Low wages, insecurity in service, absence of social security are such elements that needs to be done away with,” the memorandum said, demanding stern action against the exploitation of workers in call centres, BPOs, IT sector, private sector banks, etc. The memorandum also wanted that the Employees Provident Fund contribution should be regained at 12 per cent, and urged the government to come out with a scheme to revive the four lakh sick industrial units. Demanding a package for the sick sugar industries in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, it also urged that the retail markets should not be opened to multinational companies.