‘IR Code rules against ILO conventions’

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2021

Ignore unorganised sector, do not reflect present day problems, feel CTUs

As the deadline for feedback on the draft rules of Industrial Relations Code ended on Friday, two more trade unions, AITUC and TUCI, submitted separate responses that the proposed amendments do not reflect the present day problems of the workforce and will hamper the rights to form unions and to negotiate with the employers and the governments.

‘Lockdown issue’

AITUC general secretary Amarjeet Kaur said that it is “unreasonable, unjust and unfair” to ask for suggestions and objections on such rules at a time when Covid-19 is surging at such high levels in the country. “Most trade union offices are required to be shut due to lockdown and the personnel and the documents are not within reach. As such, this consultation is a mere farce and a showpiece,” she charged.

She asked the Centre to reveal the intention behind proposing section-based rules. “It may lead to disharmony and consequent hurdle in smooth running of the industrial establishments,” she said.

Kaur said the government, as an equaliser between the powers of employer and workmen, ought to have final say in matters relating to recognition of trade unions as a negotiating/collective bargaining agent. “The proposed rules also overlook provisions of ILO Conventions 87 and 98. They leave out the unions in unorganised sector, where there may not be an ‘establishment’ defined in these rule, such as agricultural workers, domestic workers, scheme workers,” she said.

She suggested that in an industrial establishment, where there is a negotiating union or negotiating council, the employer shall provide all the following facilities to the negotiating union or negotiating council to enable them to undertake defined roles, besides exempting them from duty for any work connected with an industrial dispute, including but not restricted to attending court, attending the lawyers office, preparing documents, discussing with the workers, etc. besides holding talks with the management.

TUCI leader MK Thankappan said in his response that the Registrar of Trade Unions at the Centre or in the respective States shall appoint an officer of Labour Ministry for verification of membership of the Trade Unions in the industrial establishment. He said such an amendment is essential to safeguard the sanctity of the referendum, the impartiality and transparency of the verification officer, to keep up the vigilance to maintain industrial peace devoid of unnecessary disputes and to ensure the strict and timely implementation of the provisions of the code.

Published on June 04, 2021

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