BMS working committee meeting in Amritsar
THE 127th meeting of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh working committee held in Amritsar on March demanded the Government to lift the ban from recruitment against the existing vacancies. The meeting also demanded creation of posts for new assets and to regularise the services of existing/serving contract labour by revoking the surrendered post and creating posts for new assets.
The meeting also demanded to strengthen the labour enforcement machinery at the Centre and States by providing requisite manpower and other logistic facilities so as to ensure effective implementation of labour related legislations. It also demanded forthwith amendments in the Contract Labour (Regulation &Abolition) Act, 1970, providing for payment of wages and benefits to the contract labour at par with the employees recruited on regular conditions of service and to specify the wages and benefits payable to contract labour in the contract between the Principal Employer and the Contactor.
The working committee of the country’s largest labour organisation also demanded amendment in the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 to incorporate the norms of minimum wage fixation as per the 15-ILC and further approved and improved by the Supreme Court of India and to ensure compliance by minimum wage fixation machinery and to ensure implementation in respect of unorganised sector workers, in pursuance of the recommendations of the NCEUS (National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector).
According to BMS general secretary Shri Baijnath Rai the meeting deliberated extensively on the plight of workers in unorganized sector and felt that there has been an apparent shift in the attitude of the Government towards the workers, i.e. from Welfare State to Commercial State. He said in the name of sustenance in the global market and for measuring growth in terms of GDP and stock markets the Government closed its eyes and ears on the social impact of the brazen economic policies. The ban imposed from 1985 on recruitment against existing vacancies and creation of posts for the new assets in all offices, establishments of Central Government, all State Governments and their Public Sector Units and the permission for engagement of workers on the systems of casual, contract and outsource has converted formal employment in to informal employment.
He said joining the WTO and launching LPG policies and programmes from 1991 abated the informalisation of labour. This is being followed by the private sector employers. Such workers are now identified as ‘unorganised workers in the organised sector’ and Dr C Rangarajan, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of India described them as ‘working poor’. That with the uncontrolled price rise, these workers are living in sub-human conditions needs no elaboration. This is a deliberate creation of the Government of India, he alleged.
He said 93 per cent of the work force in unorganised sector is unable to make their both ends meet. Yet the Government is lacking in adequate steps to remedy the situation. A review reveals that by not providing necessary funds the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 has been pushed to inanimate state. He said the contract labour has been robbed off their hard earned wages at the hands of the contractor as the Government failed to enforce Sec. 40 of ESI Act and Para 30 of EPF Act which mandated the Principal Employer to remit the contributions towards these social security benefits to the authorities and not the contractor. The Government failed to amend the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 to incorporate norms for fixation of minimum wages as per the recommendations of 15th ILC which was upheld and further improved by the Supreme Court of India. Also, the Government failed to implement the recommendation of the National Commission for Enterprises in the unorganised sector for payment of wages to the unorganised workers at the norms of 15th ILC, he said.