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Let States handle TU verification: HMS on IR Code rules

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on May 24, 2021

Harbhajan Singh Sidhu

The draft rules are in favour of employers and deprives workers’collective bargaining ability

Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), a Central Trade Union, has said told the Union Labour Ministry that the draft rules of Industrial Relations Code are an attempt to deprive the workers to a large extent of their collective bargaining rights.

HMS general secretary Harbhajan Singh Sidhu said that the Centre intends to limit the scope of collective bargaining in the industries and rules are drafted to facilitate the employers for hire and fire.

Opposing the proposal to allow employers appoint a verification officer to check membership of trade unions in industrial establishments, Sidhu said the officer should not be chosen by employers without any consultation with the trade union. He said the draft rules are in favour of employers, who can now indirectly influence the membership verification process. “It gives scope for raising doubts specially over the independent nature of the duties discharged by the chosen verification officer,” he said in the response. He said the State Labour Departments should have a role in verification of memberships as is the practice in some States.

He added that section 6(2) says the verification officer will prepare minutes of the meeting held with participating trade unions and allot symbols to the trade unions. “In case no decision could be taken regarding date, time, mode of voting, place of voting, allotment of symbol, date, place and time of counting or similar other matter the decision of the verification officer shall be final. It also gives extreme power to verification officers,” he claimed.

He reminded the Union Labour Ministry that the first set of draft rules for IR code released in October 2020 left the issue of formation of rules on to trade unions to State government. “The government’s present approach seems to be ad hoc and not comprehensive leaving code and rules ‘vitally incomplete’.

Published on May 24, 2021

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