Joint Conference (Tripartite) on “Need and Importance of Ratification of ILO Convention 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of right to organize) and 98 (F.O.A. and Collective Bargaining)

A state level Tripartite Workshop was held on the issues of the Ratification of ILO Conventions 87 and 98 (Freedom of Association and Protection of Rights to organize & Right to organize  and Collective Bargaining ) and Conventions 138 & 182 (on child labour)  in Tea Plantation area of state of  West Bengal at 11:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. at Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad Hall on 21st June, 2011. The total representatives present from the Government, Employers and Trade Union were 91 in nos.

Prominent among those attended the conference were Labour Commissioner, Government of West Bengal Shri Amal Roy Choudhury, the Joint Labour Commissioner, North Bengal Zone, Md. Rizwan. The Deputy Labour Commissioner, Jalpaiguri Shri Rajat Kumar Pal. The Assistant Labour Commissioner, Siliguri,Sri Partha Bswas. The Assistant Labour Commissioner, Siliguri, Shri Rathin Sen and other Government officials were present in the workshop.

Mr. Monojit Dasgupta, Secretary General, Indian Tea Association (ITA). Mr. T.K.Chowdhury, Chairman, ITA West Bengal, Regional Committee. Mr.Shashank Prasad, Chairman, Tea Association of India (TAI). Mr V.K.Dhandania, TAI. Mr.Kalyan Basy, Secretary General TAI. Mr.R.K.Datta, TAI North Bengal Zone.Mr.S.Ghosh, TAI. Mr. Arijit Raha, Additional Secretary, ITA, Mr. P.K..Bhattacharjee, Secretary, DBITA ; Mr.Rana Jung, Chairman, DBITA, Mr, B.P. Chaliha, Secretary TBITA. Mr. Sanjay Bagchi, Deputy Secretary, DBITA. Mr. U.B. Das, Secretary, TIPA. Mr. S.K. Ghoshal, Chairman, TIPA. Mr. Amitangshu Chakraborty, Advisor, Indian Tea Planters Association (ITPA). Mr. Kaushik Dhar, Assistant Labour Officer, ITPA Mr. Amit Rajak, Deputy Secretary, TIPA; Mr. P.K.Sinha, Labour officer ,ITPA  and others from the Employers forum.

From the Coordination Committee of Tea Plantation of West Bengal Sri Chitta Dey and from the other Apex body ie. The Defence Committee for Plantation Workers Rights Sri Samir Roy, Convener, of the Defence Committee. Mr. Manohar Tirkey, Member of parliament, and the General Secretary, DCBWU(UTUC).Mr. Sripati Chakraborty, WBTGEA, Mr. Murari Mitra, Tea Employees.

Association of West Bengal(CITU), Mr. Mani Kr. Darnal, NUPW/INTUC. Mr. Pradip Debanath, A.W.B.T.G.L.U(AICCTU)Mr. Anichhur Haqure, General Secretary, ZCBWU(AITUC). Mr. Ziaul Alam, Assistant General Secretary, CBMU, WB(CITU), Mr. Binoy Chakaraborty of UTUC & 57 others mentionable trade union leaderships participated in the workshop.

At the beginning of the workshop, Sri Samir Roy, General Secretary, WBCMS(HMS)and Convener, Defence Committee for Plantation Workers Rights moved the Core Resolution which elaborately explained the main objectives of the Workshop. On moving the resolution Shri Roy pointed out that the Government of India many a time reiterated that the guarantees provided by the ILO Conventions 87 & 98 were by and large available to industrial workers in India through constitutional provisions, laws, regulation and practices. However, it is also observed that  a large number of laws have been enacted but securing justice has become a big problem because of conflicting provisions of laws discouraging an average Indian worker to approach the court of justice. Worst affected are the people at the lower strata of Indian society. Ratifying these Conventions will compel the Government to enact uniform legislations, which will help us bring employers and workers to the discussion table. It will give an International legal instrument to bring  up many of the demands i.e, better working condition, safety, hygienic and availability of medical care at workplace a reality. There will thus be lesser industrial grievances and disputes, leading to the lesser strikes and lockouts, eventually, higher production and productivity.

All the trade union leaders unanimously supported the Resolution and some of them expressed the view of necessity of the formation of “Joint Action Committee” of all the central trade unions to faster fulfillment of these demands.

The representatives of Employers Associations expressed that in Plantation industry the Trade union rights and collective bargaining rights are already established. The trade unions are already recognized and most of the industrial disputes and demands are either bilaterally or tri-partitely negotiated and settled.

 The Labour Commissioner, Mr. A. Roy Choudhury assured the house that he deeply perceived the letter and spirit of the entire deliberations and would informed the sentiment of the house at the appropriate level.     

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