BROTHER HARBHANJAN SINGH SIDHU’S INTERVENTION AT 16 ILO ASIA PACIFIC REGIONAL MEETING HELD AT BALI INDONESIA

 

GENERAL SECRETARY, HIND MAZDOOR SABHA, SHRI HARBHAJAN SINGH SIDHU ALONG WITH ALL OFFICE BEARERS AND ACTIVISTS OF HIND MAZDOOR SABHA PAYS TRIBUTES TO OUR GREAT LEADER COMRADE UMRAOMAL PUROHIT FORMER CHIEF ADVISOR AND GENERAL SECRETARY OF HIND MAZDOOR, SECRETARY JCM AND PRESIDENT AIRF ON THE 3rd DEATH ANNIVERSARY.

 

Discussion on DG Report- ITUC Intervention dated 8th December 2016

I join previous speakers to congratulate to Brother Guy Ryder on his Re Election as Director General ILO I have full faith in his dynamic leadership and am confident that all the decisions taken  at ILO level will be implemented at ground level. I also endorse the speech of Mr Filex Antony, President , ITUC-AP delivered in the plannary session on 7th December 2016.

 

He explained the reality at the ground level. I render my support to the Report of DG-ILO to achieve the inclusive growth with social justice and  decent job for all.

 

I share the reality at ground level for implementation of the unanimous decision of ILO by the member countries but sorry to mention that in my country India. Government has  diluted the Trade union and workers rights. The Government has embarked on the change of Labour laws without any consultation with trade unions as spokesman of the Government of India has admitted in his speech 7th December 2016 in the plannary session that Government of India has decided to convert 44 central labour laws into 4 labour codes. India has a workforce of  480 millions out of that only 6%  are in organised sector and remaining 94% in unorganised sector (Informal Sector) who are compelled to work in most unhygienic, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions, what to talk about creation of decent job. The Government has taken a decision to ban on new creation of post in the organised sector Since 1991 and has imposed compulsory 3% surrender of post every  year. Which has resulted in informalisation of organised sector.

 

In informal sector there is no social dialogue, employer not paying even minimum wage, no implementation of any labour law, under the pressure of the Domestic and Global corporate houses labour laws are being made flexible, to facilitate employers in “hire and fire” that’s why Government of India amending all labour laws in the name of “ease of doing business” snatching the all legitimate rights of the workers. They are forced to work 12 hours a day without any safety and health protection. Government has amended the Factory Act, Industrial Dispute Act, Contract Labour Regulation and abolition Act,  Apprenticeship Act to replace even contract workers by the  apprentices, because they will only get stipend which is much less than the minimum wage and they have no right to form the union or join the union as member. Government is violating  ILO convention 144 on tripartite which India has ratified. India has also ratified ILO Convention on Inspection and ILO Convention on Night duty to women employees. Present Acts of Indian Government are in violation of ILO Convention 87 and 98 Freedom of Association and collective bargaining. I am also quoting the recommendation of UN assembly as under.

 

  • Meet their obligations to respect the rights to Freedom of Peaceful assembly and of association that includes respecting the rights of all workers to form and join trade unions and labour associations and to engage in collective bargaining and other collective action including the right to strike.
  • Reframe anti union policies and practices and reprisals against workers who exercise their peaceful assemble and association rights.
  • Implement the guiding principles on business and human rights by among other things making policy commitments to respect peaceful assembly and association rights and conducting due diligence in reaction to human rights in respect of global supply chains.

 

 

I would also remind to DG ILO when you visited India there was a flash news that “ILO big boss has given his thumbs approval up to the government labour reforms”. When I brought it to your kind notice you were kind enough to take congnigence and after checking, you were again kind to inform me that it was mischive on part of Press. Ultimately the news was removed from ILO Official website. With regards to the ILO as well as U.N decision to protect human rights and workers rights I am quoting the unfair labour practices going on at Indira Gandhi Airport New Delhi where 10 thousand employees are working under diffident contractors. They are working more than 12 hours per day not getting minimum wage and also not allowed to form the union, glaring example of unfair labour practice is Maruti Suzuki, India Ltd Manesar Gurgaon Haryana India which is not respecting our National Labour Laws and engaging contract workers more than the regular employees, not giving the minimum wage, not allowing them to form union. Workers were demanding to absorve them against the regular vacancy and allow them to form the union and on this issue there was peaceful demonstration in front of company. Management called their bouncers and police force and suddenly there was fire due to electric short circuit, one manager died due to suffocation and around 147 employees were arrested on the charge of the murder of the one manager, they were arrested and sent to jail. The ugly incident happened on 12th July 2012. The lower court refused the bail, calling workers as “ultras”. The Honourable High Count Haryana and Punjab also refused bail saying if bail is granted “it may adversely affect foreign investment” The Supreme Court also not granted bail, it just advised High Court to expedite the hearing. The present position is that majority of them could get bail but few are still in the jail. The management not ready to resolve the issue. We demanded the release of employees and they be taken back on duty with all consequential benefits. Another case of unfair Labour practice is DHL German Multinational company also not allowing workers to the form union. The workers initiating formation of union were sacked, removed, terminated and placed under suspension. Management not ready to listen the employees.

 

I am thankful to ILO ACTRAV Office, ILO DWT New Delhi, for holding three seminars in  different parts of the country ie New Delhi , Chennai and Bhubaneswar. Inviting academic, Lawyers, Students, Trade unions, deliberated and examine all the labour law amendments, thread bared there after ILO New Delhi office prepared consolidated report on amendments, their impact on workers, workers point of view and sent to the Government of India but govt. of India is not ready to listen ILO. Hence I request DG ILO to take-up, this matter at appropriate level so that it can be resolved amicably. It will be relevant to mention here that 10 National Trade Union Centres with the support of big federation like Railway., Coal, Bank, Port and Dock, Postal, Defence etc formed a national platform to fight the attack on labour rights and also prepared a 12 point charter of demand consisting of control of price rise, payment of price indexed minimum wage of Rs.18000/- p.m.. Minimum Rs.3000/- Pension to all unorganised workers, stop disinvestment from Govt. and Public Sector Undertakings, abolish contractualization, all contract workers should be paid salary, all benefits at par with regular employees of the industry, ratification of ILO Convention 87, 98 alongwith other core Conventions etc. Organised 5 one day strikes in last 5 years. The last  was on 2nd September 2016 in which 2 hundred millions workers participated though out the country representing all sectors but Government is adamant not listing to the all Central Trade Union Organisations.

May I request the DG ILO to intervene in the matter using his good offices and to stop violation of labour rights in India. 

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