The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has called upon the Kerala Government to ensure a congenial atmosphere for entrepreneurs by curbing aggressive trade unionism.

For generating new employment opportunities, it is necessary to strengthen existing industries and attract new investments. The fact that all the comparable States have recorded higher economic growth rates than Kerala over time underlines the importance of promoting investments in the State.

Recent protests

The industry body’s revelations come in the wake of recent incidents of strike and trade union protests in Kerala that have turned the spotlight back on the State’s business-friendliness. Many of the agitations and protests have resulted in unwarranted conflicts at workplaces and led to the closure of many industrial units.

Putting the loss to the State’s exchequer at around ₹4,400 crore in the recent all-India strike on March 28 and 29, CII said it is high time that the political leadership discouraged these practices of bandh or hartal employed for strike. Instead, it should encourage creative and concurrent methods in line with the progressive image the State wished to project.

While the Government is taking measures to improve the ease of doing business ranking, bring in investment and generate more employment, the trade unions have been acting on the contrary driving away business.

Need strict laws

Laws must be enacted to restrict undue interference of trade unions in labour disputes. The government must create a congenial atmosphere for investments and take measures to end conflicts between businesses and unions.

“All trade union activities that disrupt any business activity should be banned in Kerala. We should make Kerala Future-Ready by taming the trade union activities,” CII said.