Trade Unions to march to Parliament on Dec 12 over labour issues

Written by Raj Kumar Ray | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 29 2013, 21:10pm hrs
LabourerCentral trade unions will march to Parliament on December 12 to protest disinvestment in PSUs, delays in tightening contract labour laws.
The UPA government faces fresh turbulence on reforms and disinvestment as the central trade unions are planning a march to Parliament on December 12 to protest disinvestment in PSUs, delays in tightening contract labour laws and raising the minimum wages of workers.

G Sanjeeva Reddy, who heads the coordination committee of all trade unions and is president of Congress-backed INTUC, told FE that all trade unions will participate in the protest march. We are trying to meet the prime minister as well on the 10-point demand, he said.

The proposed protest march to Parliament on December 12 comes ahead of stake sales in Coal India and Indian Oil Corp, which are crucial for the government to meet the disinvestment target of R40,000 crore for 2013-14.

In May, the apex trade union body submitted to the PM a 10-point charter of demand which includes halting of disinvestment, raising minimum wage limit almost three times to R10,000 per month for industrial workers, a universal social security cover for all workers, assured pension for the entire working population, same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work and concrete steps to contain inflation.

The trade unions also demanded that the government should announce concrete measures for employment generation, removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus and provident fund, increase the quantum of gratuity and compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days and immediate ratification of the ILO Convention No 87 and 98.

Though the prime minister had constituted a group of ministers headed by AK Antony to look into the demands, the GoM has sought more time to address the issue. They have not come back to us or convened another meeting, said DL Sachdev of Left-leaning AITUC.

All major trade unions including INTUC, AITUC, BJP-backed BMS and CITU are going to participate in the protest. Some of the leading trade unions attached with PSUs such as Coal India are also likely to participate in the protest march, said Ramendra Kumar, secretary of Indian Mine Workers Federation, which is protesting the CIL disinvestment.