Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya is believed to have briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi today on the proposed nation-wide stir by unions on September 2.
Dattatreya has also updated Modi on assurances given by the government on the 12-point charter of demands of the central trade unions (CTUs).
The labour minister has briefed the Prime Minister on the strike next month and the status of the charter of demands that includes a minimum wage of Rs 18,000, among others, a source said.
A senior union leader, who wished not to be quoted, said it is “too little, too late” and that the government’s “so-called fire-fighting mode” is of no use. “The strike stands,” he asserted, adding that the government has not done anything concrete on the assurances it had given in August last year, particularly in relation to minimum wage and amendments to certain labour laws, which are “not pro-workers”.
Dattatreya today also held a meeting of the advisory board on minimum wage, which remained inconclusive, another union leader said. “The meeting went without any progress. The minister asked us for our views on the minimum wage. There was no proposal from the government’s side,” he added.
Last week, Dattatreya and Power Minister Piyush Goyal had held extensive consultations and meetings with senior Labour Ministry officials as the CTUs declined the government’s offer to re-consider their proposed strike.
Both Goyal and Dattatreya are part of the five-member ministers’ panel on labour issues, which is chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, to talk to the CTUs over the demands.
The panel had held two rounds of discussions with RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) on August 16 and August 24, which has also been “severely criticised” by other unions for holding such “exclusive discussions”.
The panel last met all the unions on August 26-27, 2015. The unions had requested Dattatreya on July 18 this year to hold a meeting with the ministers’ panel to consider their points of view, but no such meeting took off.
In anticipation of some positive response, BMS is holding back its decision to join the stir on September 2. Last year, BMS had opted out of the stir (September 2, 2015) in view of the government’s assurances to work on nine out of the 12 demands.