The So Called Two days National Labour Conference at Tirupathi – Kept Labour Unions Out: A Ploy to Camouflage its Failure-rather Reluctance to Hold Tripartite Indian Labour Conference from 2015 onward

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the Govt’s desperate bid to mislead and confuse the people on its brazenly anti labour policies through so called two-day minister-bureaucrats conclave held at Tirupathi and naming it as National Labour Conference through widespread deceptive media campaign.

The Minister-Bureaucrats conclave  comprising state and central labour ministers along with bureaucrats held at Tirupathi can no way be called National Labor Conference in which the biggest stakeholders in the world of work- the workers and their unions are kept out. Behind such deceptive projection of the Tirupathi Conclave as National Labour Conference by the central ministers including the Prime Minister lies the desperate bid of the Govt to cover up the truth : its failure rather reluctance to hold tripartite Indian Labour Conference during last seven years since 2015- which is supposed to be held every year.

This novel exercise by the Govt at the centre is meant for misleading the people through its campaign blitz-crig not by facts but by misstatements that too by highest person in the governance, on the rights and conditions of labour who are actually producing and generating national wealth but are being squeezed and subjected to immense deprivation and distress only to fatten the purse of handful of private corporate and impose the conditions of slavery on the workers.

The inaugural speech delivered virtually in the said minister-bureaucrats conclave claimed through enactment of Labour Codes “to have abolished laws from the periods of slavery”. Fact remains just opposite. Through these draconian Labour Codes, mostly enacted rather bulldozed during the Pandemic Lockdown period without any discussion in Parliament meticulously diluted and eliminated most of the rights and entitlement related provisions for the workers in the existing 29 Labour Laws.  Labour codes seek to impose conditions of slavery on the entire working people and empowering the employers’ class with a vengeance. Even in respect of changes of most of the substantive provisions of all the four Labour Codes, the executives have been empowered open-ended, trampling underfoot the entire democratic legislative process through Parliament.

Most of these repealed 29 labour laws, through the process of their enactment and subsequent amendments due to the struggles by working people provided for, despite many limitations and loopholes, certain basic statutory rights for the working people on minimum wages, job security working conditions, social security safety, migration etc including rights to organize and collectively assert and represent. All these rights and entitlements related provisions stand totally diluted and eliminated in Labour Codes just to benefit and empower the private corporate/big business employers’ class.

The tall claim of the Prime Minister in his inaugural address that the Labour Codes “will ensure empowerment of the workers through minimum wages, job security, social security and health security” is patently untrue.  Loud noise made in his speech and also in deliberations in the Conclave on so called Flexibility in working conditions is nothing but a dubious design to completely banish the concept of statutory working hours, minimum wage, social security etc, and thereby are exempting the corporate employer’s class from all their obligations in all those aspects, thereby laying down the foundation of virtual slavery in workplaces. The inaugural speech has been so much lavish on women workers rights and opportunities, while shamelessly evading the Govt’s obligation in implementing the consensus recommendation of Indian Labour Conference in according workers’ status along with the rights of statutory minimum wage and social security to several lakhs of scheme workers in Anganwadi, Mid-day-meal, ASHA and other Govt schemes predominantly women. Neither the Govt is caring for arresting consistent drastic decline in women’s Labour Force participation throughout the country across the sectors. Hypocrisy is demonstrated at its peak in the so called Tirupathi Conclave.

It is not without reasons that the entire trade union movement is unanimously demanding scrapping of this draconian Labour Codes. We shall continue united fight against their project of imposing of slavery on the working people and resist the nefarious designs of the corporate masters through their agents in governance.

Tapan Sen,
General Secretary  

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