CITU denounces the BJP Govt in a hurry to “pay-back” their corporate bosses through their hectic move of so called labour-law reforms which are all designed to replace the existing labour laws by four labour codes meticulously removing and/or grossly diluting all rights and provisions of protection for workers in the existing labour laws.

On Wednesday, 10th July 2019, the Union Labour Minister along with others has announced through Press Conference along with a PIB release that the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill 2019 has been cleared by the Union Cabinet. The Bill repealed 13 existing  Labour laws and selectively picked up the provisions advantageous to employers only from these Acts for incorporation of the Code Bill while grossly diluting and/or tampering all the provisions pertaining to rights and protection of the workers in general. Even on Health and Safety related matters, the Code has so articulated the provisions as the workers and their unions cannot assert their opinions and rights for proper enforcement or establish the accountability of the employers for violation of even the basic health and safety provisions  which is a common and daily  phenomenon in the workplaces across the sectors throughout the country leading to loss of lives and disabling injuries almost every day. Such a move on the part of the Govt, totally ignoring the vehement and concrete opposition of all the central trade unions against such anti-worker and pro-employer exercise is totally condemnable and must be opposed tooth and nail.

In the said Press Conference dated 10th July 2019, the Minister boastfully stated that the BJP Govt is magnanimous enough to clear the Code on Wages Bill 2019 and also decide a National Floor Level Minimum Wage of Rs 178/- per day (Rs 4628/- per month for 26 days) below which no state govt will be allowed to fix the minimum wage for workers. This announcement exposes the bluff by itself.   To compel the state govt in that regard there must be statutory arrangement and the Code on Wages Bill does not have such provision.

Secondly boasting of magnanimity the Govt in declaring floor level minimum wages at Rs 178/- per day (Rs 4628/- per month) is utterly shameless and ridiculous. Already in 31 locations of the country, states and union territory together, the existing minimum wage rates are way above Rs 178/-per day. This announcement of the Govt will directly provoke and inspire the concerned state govts and employers to further suppress the minimum wage to lower it to so called National Floor Level for EASE of LOOT by the employers 

The Govt did not bother to implement the concrete formulae of Minimum Wage (based on 2700 calorie intake etc) decided unanimously by 15th Indian Labour Conference along with the Supreme Court Judgment in the Raptakkos Brett case in 1992, which was again unanimously recommended by 44th Indian Labour Conference and unanimously reiterated by 45th and 46TH Indian Labour Conference (2014) in which Govt of India was a party. According to the said formulae, the Minimum Wage works out to Rs 18000/- per month (Rs 692.3 per day) as on 2016 as recommended by the 7th Pay Commission. Further the Labour Ministry headed by the same Labour Minister had appointed an Expert Committee in January 2018 to decide the Minimum Wage and its methodology. The said Expert Committee even after tampering the ILC recommendation of 2700 calorie intake to make it 2400 arbitrarily, and also calculating the food and other requirement on the basis of 2012 prices, did recommend a minimum wage ranging from Rs 375/- to Rs 447/- per day (Rs 9750/- to Rs 11,622 per month). But the red eyes of the employers/corporate lobby did not allow the so called magnanimous Govt to decide the floor level minimum wage as per the recommendation of its own Expert Committee and the servile Govt ended up with shameless announcement of Rs 178/- per day. This what is the real face of the so called inclusive development of all touted the BJP Govt in its second incarnation.

CITU condemns such anti-worker decision and move of the BJP Govt  on Minimum Wages and Labour Law Reform and calls upon the workers and their unions of all affiliations  to unitedly oppose and resist such disastrous move and prepare for countrywide united struggle in the days to come.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary 

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