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

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. 

 

 

 

Comrade Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, General Secretary, Hind Mazdoor Sabha India is attending, The 16th ILO Asia Pacific Regional Meeting in Bali, Indonesia from 6-9 December 2016.

Speaking during ITUC Intervention on Discussion on DG Report Comrade Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, General Secretary Hind Mazdoor Sabha referred serious dilution and abrogation of Trade Union and workers right, self certification, unilateral anti worker amendments in labour laws by both Union and some State Governments, He specifically mentioned the denial of Freedom of Association under ILO Convention 87 and Collective Bargaining Convention under 98 in Maruti Suzuki India Limited Manesar, Haryana. This issue has been raised by HMS at all available International forums but no progress made. Comrade Sidhu Said India has ratified Convention 144 but avoiding meaningful Tripartite discussions. It has also ratified conventions pertaining to inspection but discouraging inspection,. There is heavy social dialogue deficit and great wage differential between a casual/contract worker and a regular one.

 

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Brief of Tripartite meeting called by ILO on 23rd to 25th at Geneva

 

Tripartite Meeting on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to organize Convention 1948 (No.87) in relation to the right to strike and the modalities and practices of strike action at National level from 23rd to 25th February, 2015 at Geneva

 

Dear Comrades,

 

As you are aware that during ILC meeting in 2012 the employers group challenged the authority of the Supervisory mechanism of ILO and also raised the issue that “Right to strike” was no where mentioned explicitly under ILO Convention 87. Attempts were made for an amicable consensus through the  Swiss Govt. but Employer Group did not agree. The ILO then proposed to refer the dispute to the International Court of justice which was also rejected by the Employer’s Group. The employer group raised the same issue in ILC during 2013 and the dead-lock continued.

 

ILO convened a 3 days special Tripartite meeting from 23rd to 25th February, 2015 at Geneva to get some consensus among the tripartite members before the ensuing Governing Body meeting in March 2015. I was invited as workers representative from India. During the discussion on 23rd February, 2015 in Workers Group a Joint Statement on behalf of workers and employers group was presented which mentioned right to take industrial action by workers and employers in support of their legitimate industrial interest. There was no mention of “Right to Strike”.in the Joint Statement. The Statement was put for discussion in Workers Group  I raised the objection on the draft of the Statement  on the ground that there was no mention of “Right to Strike” and by using the word ‘right to take industrial action by workers and employers’ the statement was empowering and encouraging the employers for industrial action. This was not the objective of the  meeting.  I made it clear in my address in Workers group that I had a mandate of all Central Trade Unions in the country during a conclave held on 18.2.2015 at New Delhi which unanimously resolved to defend the “right to strike” .My stand was supported by several workers representatives (The copy of the Joint Statement of workers and Employers Groups enclosed – Appendix-I).

 

Government Group also came with a statement  which recognized that the right to strike is linked to the freedom of association which is fundamental principles and right at work of the ILO (copy enclosed – Appendix-II ).

 

After another round of discussion the Govt. Group came out with another statement suggesting a comprehensive tripartite discussion at the next session of the Governing Body of ILO to be held in March 2015.The group desired that the statement issued on 23rdFebruary should reflect in the outcome and report of the meeting. (Appendix-III)

 

In the outcome note of the meeting the ILO office concluded that Joint Statement from workers and Employers group and two statements from Government Group and all statements made during the Tripartite meeting will be included in the report of the meeting. (Appendix-IV)

 

Purpose of reporting the proceedings to you is to apprise you the update

Harbhajan SinghSidhu

General Secretary

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HMS INITIATIVES TO CREATE AWARENESS AMONG WORKERS REGARDING THE HIV/AIDS

Hind Mazdoor Sabha conducted campaign  as a part of VCT@ work initiative campaign in different locations of Delhi for contractor workers working for Railways through contractor who are not on role of Indian Railways, Vendors, Head Load Workers, Construction Workers Home based workers Rag pickers etc.

10 Awareness/Sensitization cum Voluntary Counseling /Test Camps have been conducted by 31.12.2010 and more than 700 union activists sensitized on the subject as per details given below:-

Total number of workers reached during the campaign came to 2174 as against a target of 1500.Despite very cold cooperation by DSACS the number of workers actually tested reached 407 as against a target of 150.

 

The programmes were conducted with the active cooperation of ILO, New Delhi office and DSACS.  Before every camp a Street Play was organized and explained the risk areas and prevention through a Team from Nischay Human Right Association.

Shri Rajendra Kumar, Coordinator also explained different modes of infection and appealed workers to remain vigilant. He said early deduction of infection will help a person in proper treatment. advised workers to take full advantage of the campaign and enroll for voluntary testing.

Addressing the gathering Shri Anand Swaroop, Director Education, Hind Mazdoor Sabha explained that the most vulnerable group for HIV/AIDS virus is the working class specially under the age group of 15 to 45 year. He said that International Labour Organization, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Govt. of India, NACO, DSAC all are engaged in awareness campaign. Central Trade Unions are also playing a significant role. Hind Mazdoor Sabha has its own HIV/AIDS policy. He appealed workers to come out for early voluntary testing to avoid any further complications.

 Consultation/Sensitization Workshop:

A consultation/sensitization workshop of Trade Union Activists of Hind Mazdoor Sabha under ICTC @ work initiative was organized at Northern Railwaymen’s Union Office, Coach care Center G.B.Road, New Delhi on 8.11.2013.

Com.Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, General Secretary, Hind Mazdoor Sabha/Assistant General Secretary, All India Railwaymen’s Federation was the Chief Guest. In his address Com.Sidhu said the initiative might not be directly connected with  financial demands but comes under the social responsibility of the trade union. Hind Mazdoor Sabha has been sensitizing its office bearers rank and file on the issue and has been actively involved in all national and international activities as an effective stake holder. The organisation has its own HIV policy since long. He appealed workers to extend full support to the campaign. Com.Sidhu said the migrant workers constitute majority of unorganized workers who represent 94% of the total labour force of the country and are deprived of even basic amenities and are compelled to work under very pathetic working conditions with no social security.

CREATE AWARENESS AMONG WOMEN
CAMPAIGN AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE

A campaign against Work place sexual harassment on women was conducted by Hind Mazdoor Sabha Rajasthan State Unit through Comrade Champa Verma, Chairperson, All India HMS Women committee and Secretary, HMS.

The basic objective of the campaign was to raise general awareness on sexual harassment against women in work place, to equip them with the available legal procedures, to complain and deal with sexual harassment at work place and also to strengthen trade union’s capacities to address sexual harassment at work place.

The following activities were planned and conducted.

A trainers training programme under the campaign was organised at Kota, Rajasthan on 6th December 2013 with thirty women participants drawn from different sectors.

Ms. Champa Verma, Chairperson, All India Women Committee, Hind Mazdoor Sabha and the campaign coordinator inaugurated the programme and delivered the key note address emphasizing understanding sexual harassment at work place

The campaign group prepared the posters, hand bills got it printed and distributed among the workers. Posters were pasted at different places. Hoardings were also fixed at important locations.

Experience sharing session: An experience sharing programme was organised on 17 December,2013 at Kota with 40 local leaders who shared their experiences and the cases of sexual harassment of women at work.

Com. Champa Verma, Chairperson, All India women committee, Hind Mazdoor Sabha in her inaugural address explained the objective of the campaign. She also shared her own experiences and explained various legal provisions for combating the sexual harassment at work place.

Joint Trade Union Meeting: A Joint trade union meeting to discuss various aspects of sexual harassment of women at work place was organised at Kota on 24th December, 2013.The meeting was participated by the representatives of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), LIC and NGOs with 37 activists from different sectors.

Public Meeting: A public meeting was organized at Divisional Railway Manager, Kota office on 30th December 2013 with more than 300 participants working in various establishments.

Com. Champa Verma, Secretary, Hind Mazdoor Sabha and Chairperson, All India Women Committee, Hind Mazdoor Sabha addressing the participants said that women were harassed at every place right from her home to market, work place and the society at large. She explained various measures taken by the Government, women Organizations, judicial direction to check sexual harassment. She motivated women to give up shyness in reporting any such crime and to be hold.

CAMPAIGN FOR REGISTRATION OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS IN CONSTRUCTION WORKERS WELFARE BOARD

Hind Mazdoor Sabha has been organising informal sector workers through its affiliate unions throughout the nation. Building and construction workers play an important role in the overall development of the nation. Several measures have been taken by the Central/State Governments for the welfare of unorganized workers but because of lack of knowledge the real beneficiaries are sometimes deprived of their legal rights. Hind Mazdoor Sabha has undertaken a campaign in collaboration of ILO, New Delhi Office to make them aware of their rights and duties and also to motivate them to unite either by joining an already existing union or by forming a new union, Campaign was aimed to cover around 10000 workers and motivating around 5000 construction workers in identified districts to register them under the Building and Construction Workers Welfare Board, Jharkhand.

Following activities were to be conducted under the campaign:

 

Dissemination of information providing details of the benefits of the Act. Posters, banners and hand notes prepared, printed and distributed/ pasted in the identified areas.

Training workshops  for trade union activists were organised one in each identified district, (total 5) for trade union officials engaged in the process of registering workers under Building and Construction workers Welfare Board in order to ensure that they were fully aware of the benefits the respective welfare board was providing to its members and also to make them fully equipped with the procedural mechanisms and provisions for getting workers registered and securing access to benefits. The district level labour officials were also invited to the Workshop.

Five such Workshops were organized and covered 12,700 workers

  • In Ranchi Four camps at different localities such as Lalpur Chowk, Morabadi, Gari Gaon Basti (Kokar) and Ghaghro were organised. More than 2200 workers Registered. Duly filled forms obtained but workers could not deposit Rs.110/- per head in SBI, Ranchi Branch as stipulated in the Board procedure.
  • RamGarh on 8/12/2013: More than 1000 workers were covered in Registration Camp organised at Gola Road, Ram Garh. More than 800 duly filed in forms alongwith photographs were signed for registration.

Experiences/observations:

  • Though the period for the campaign was very short yet the campaign group worked on war footing. They could successfully liaison with other State departments such as Labour Department, Panchayati Raj Department and also the workers at grass root level.
  • The campaign group could contact the Print and Electronic Media also and got their best cooperation.

Problems:

Most of the target group workers were not having ID Proof.

They were not in a position to pay the cost of the five colour photographs to be affixed on the application form.

The workers were expected to deposit a registration fee of Rs.110/- per head in State bank of India, Ranchi Branch - Bank account of State Labour Welfare Board. Most of the workers were not in a position to deposit the same. Hence the whole lot of duly filed forms is lying with the union.

The campaign coordination Shri Sudhir Kumar Sahai has pointed out this problem at a very early stage which was brought to the notice of ILO vide this office email dated 19th November, 2013.

Shri Anand Swaroop, Director Education, HMS also discussed the matter with Mr. Ravichandran when he met Mr.Ravichandran.

Suggestions:                                                                           

  • Employers may be advised to pay the registration fee

                                    or

  • State Welfare Board may either waive off the Registration fee or meet it from its funds as they have sufficient funds at their disposal.

Campaign to raise the awareness on Social Security Scheme for Sanitation and Manual Scavenging Workers

Hind Mazdoor undertook a campaign to raise the awareness among sanitation workers and manual scavenging workers with the following objectives.

a)    To raise the awareness amongst ;local level workers in their trade union sanitation workers and manual scavenging workers on the existing Social Security Schemes and their legal entitlements by reaching the information to 2000 persons.

b)    To develop campaign material in local language pamphlets, brochures etc. for information dissemination and publication.

c)    Organise meetings/workshops and awareness camps.

d)    Facilitating registration of 300 beneficiaries.

Hind Mazdoor Sabha organised following activities –

a)    Preparing/printing/distribution/displaying publicity material :- Publicity material on various measures taken to eliminate manual scavenging and welfare measures was collected from various sources, compiled , prepared/ translated and distributed by the campaign group in identified districts. Material included posters/pamphlet/flex boards/ hoarding/ wall paintings etc.

b)    Organized meetings/workshops and awareness camps.

The campaign group organised the following activities –

Awareness camp at Allahabad on 25.12.2013 the camp was attended by more than 130 workers. The programme was inaugurated by Shri M.P. Srivastava, Assistant Labour Commissioner. Shri Rama Kant Kanaujia representing Panchayati Raj Department was the Chief Guest. Shri Ajay Kumar Hela was the guest of honour. The speakers gave detailed information regarding rights of sanitation workers and workers engaged in manual scavenging which was very useful for the participants who took keen interest in the programme.

Addressing the gathering Shri Ram Lal Saroj, Village Pradhan said that manual scavenging is inhuman it should be stopped immediately. Government was also committed to end this inhuman practice. A law has been enacted and has come into force w.e.f. 6.12.2013. It provides the rights of workers engaged in sanitation and manual scavenging. The dry toilets have been banned. There are some penal provisions on violation of the Act. The Act also deals with the rehabilitation of sanitary and manual scavenging workers once they come out of the century long in human practice. Act also provides some financial assistance to sanitation workers and workers engaged in manual scavenging. The meeting was attended by 55 workers.

The campaign group organised foot March on 12.01.2014 and spread over the message to thousands of people, pamphlets were distributed, posters pasted, banners displayed and Hoardings were fixed. The March was led jointly by Comrade Bhola Nath Tiwari, Vice President, Hind Mazdoor Sabha and Campaign Convenor and Shri Brij Mohan Hela the Co- convenor of the campaign.

14th January is being celebrated as Makar Sankranti by millions of people in the country. People try to have bath in Ganga and other rivers on this day. Campaign group organized corner meeting and door to door meeting on this occasion at Bada Mahalla , Allahabad which has  inhabitants of more than 400 families of sanitation workers.

Regional Corporator Shri Akilul Rahman in his address explained various provisions of the new Act and appealed workers to unite. The programme was compered by Shri Brij Mohan Hela. More than 300 families were covered in door to door contact.

Campaign Group organized a foot march for `awareness of sanitation workers and workers engaged in manual scavenging on 25th January 2014 at Bada Mahalla in Allahabad where most of these workers stay. The foot march started at 10 A.M. The sub groups were formed which explained various rights of these workers and measures taken by the Government for rehabilitation of sanitation workers and manual scavenging workers. Large number of workers belonging to Hela, Dhanu and Valmiki communities which are engaged in the above work participated in the Foot March.

Trade Union Campaign for Registration of Construction Workers in Construction Workers Welfare Board Rajasthan

Hind Mazdoor Sabha undertaken a campaign to increase the number of workers registered with the Construction Workers Welfare Board Rajasthan by strengthening the capacity of its affiliate union to facilitate smooth registration in the Welfare Board.

Hind Mazdoor Sabha Rajasthan State Council executed the campaign in five districts namely Kota, Jhalawar, Sikar, Baran and Sawai Madhopur were identified and following activities were organized:

  • Five Training Workshops for Trade Union activists (One in each identified district).
  • Five Registration Camp/Registration Mela (One each in identified district).

Training workshops for the activists of Hind Mazdoor Sabha proved very useful as they provided in-depth knowledge about the construction workers welfare board functioning. The campaign group could obtain very active support and cooperation from the State Labour Department whose presence was very much needed for filling up the form for registration.The workers were motivated by the activists of Hind Mazdoor Sabha to register themselves in Maximum number.

In rural areas it was observed that workers were very much interested in registration but the job has been given to B.Dos and their staff, when the campaign group contacted BDO and their staff, they explained that the work has been allotted to them with no infrastructure facilities or staff hence Registration work in rural area could not be undertaken. It requires specific instructions with all facilities at Block level.

 

Five districts were originally identified and only two activities per district were to be conducted but the HMS activists could motivate workers in Bundi district as well where registration mela was organized. Total workers registered 3284.      

More than 10,000 workers were covered under the campaign. The campaign activities may be extended in new areas and more activities can be organized in the identified districts.

The campaign has on one hand helped construction workers in getting them registered under the Board and on the other hand enhanced the union capacity, an increase around 5000 membership of the union has been recorded.

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Note on visit of Ms.Maria Helena Andre, Director, ILO-ACTRAV to India  -

Hind Mazdoor Sabha Office on 11/7/2014.

During her visit to India Ms. Maria Helena Andre, Director, ILO-ACTRAV alongwith Shri Raghwan, Desk Officer, ILO-ACTRAV. ILO New Delhi office, Invited Comrade Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, General Secretary, Hind Mazdoor Sabha for a conference on 9th July 2014 in the evening. The ILO-DWT for South Asia and Country Office, India hosted dinner in honour of the visiting dignitaries.

On 10th July 2014 a National Consultative Conference with Trade Unions in India was organised at hotel Claridge, New Delhi which was attended by comrade A.D.Nagpal, Comrade Uma Shankar Mishra, comrade Mukesh Galav, Comrade Champa Verma and Com. Anand Swaroop. A lecture on “economic growth and workers power” was delivered and detailed discussions were held in the pre-lunch session.. During post-lunch there was a panel discussion on “Economic Growth, Emerging Labour Policy and Trade Union’s Role and Responsibilities”. Panelists included Dr. K.R. Shyam Sunder, Professor, HRM Area, X2RI Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur, Mr. Coen Kompier, ILO Standards Specialist, New Delhi, Shri Raghwan, ILO-ACTRAV Desk Officer for Asia and Pacific moderated the penal discussion. Workers side included representation from BMS, INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU. Hind Mazdoor Sabha nominees actively participated in the consultation.

Director ACTRAV visits HMS Office:


Director ACTRAV, Ms. Maria Helena Andre alongwith Shri Raghwan, Desk Officer, ILO-ACTRAV, Mr. Ariel B. Castro, Sr. Specialist on Workers Education Activities for South Asia, ILO, New Delhi, Ms. Christine Nathan, Consultant, visited HMS Office on 11th July, 2014. On arrival they were welcomed by Ms. Champa Verma, Chairperson, All India Women Committee, HMS and host of Women activists. The dignitaries were welcomed by Comrade Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, General Secretary, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Shri A.D.Nagpal, Secretary, HMS, Shri Rakhal Das Gupta, President, All India Railwaymen’s Federation, Shri C.A. Raja Sridhar, President, HMS, Tamil Nadu State Council, Shri J.R.Bhosale, Treasurer, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Ms. Champa Verma, Chairperson, All India Women Committee, HMS. The bouquets were offered to the guests.

General Secretary while explaining the present situation told that the workers were facing serious challenges due to globalization, liberalization and structural adjustment since 1991 when the Indian economy was opened to global competition. Lakhs of employees have lost their jobs. More than 3 lakh large scale industries have been closed down due to liberalized policy of Govt. of India in order to attract foreign investment. The then Govt. of India assured that globalization will provide more jobs, per-capita income would increase, poverty will end but more than 20 years experience shows that multinational companies have purchased only profit making companies like BALCO, Modern Fruits and others. Thereafter MNCs reduced the employees’ strength in the name of technological advancement and attracted workers through schemes like voluntary retirement scheme or compulsory retirement scheme. Millions of employees took retirement. MNCs are openly violating National Labour Lawsand are engaged in unfair labour practices. There is huge deficit of social dialogue in MNCs efforts are on to systematically informalies the formal sector with the result that formal sector is shrinking and informal sector expanding. There is ban on recruitment in Government offices and in Public Sector Undertakings No new posts are created against additional work load and assets on the contrary 3% surrender of posts continues.

All decent jobs are transferred to informal sector where no job security, no social security, maximum exploitation exist. In India 93% of the total workforce of around 47.5 crore is engaged in informal sector. General Secretary explained that for the first time in the history of Trade Union Movement in India all Central Trade Unions have come together and formed joint action committee for achieving the 10 point charter of demands which ;consists all genuine long pending demands of the working class  

  1. Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of public distribution system and banning speculative trade in commodity market
  2. Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation
  3. Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measures for violation of labour laws.
  4.  Universal social security cover for all workers
  5. Minimum wages of  not less than Rs 15,000/- per month with provisions of  indexation
  6. Assured enhanced pension not less than Rs.3,000/- p.m. for the entire working population

 

  1. Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs
  2. Stoppage of contractorisation in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work
  3. Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund, increase the quantum of gratuity

10.     Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions C 87 and C 98

We have a new Government at the centre after General Elections & BJP led NDA has a thumping majority of 333 M.Ps. In their Manifesto they have criticized the Congress led UPA Government for their anti labour policies and have promised to fulfill all legitimate demands of working class. Jobs would be provided to all unemployed youth, job security will be given, labour laws will be protected and implemented.  Every citizen will have a ;house ;with all amenities, price hike will be controlled but it is very unfortunate that within one month of this mandate Govt. of Rajasthan has moved an amendment in I. D. Act, Factories Act and Contract Act and Central Government too has proposed amendments in various Act. Which are anti workers and are brought to facilitate employers in “hire and fire”.

Leaders ;of all Central Trade Unions met the new Minister for Labour and Employment on 24/6/2014 and apprised him of the current situation, expressed their anguish against proposed amendments without consulting and taking organised labour into confidence. A Memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister was handed over to the New Minister for Labour & Employment.

Director ILO-ACTRAV appreciated our efforts to protect workers and gave assurance that ILO would stand by all the CTUO’s demands and also advised us to make a complaint to ILO against anti labour policies of the Government. She also congratulated for broader unity and solidarity of trade unions saying that it was the only alternate to save the working class.

Hind Mazdoor Sabha hosted a lunch in honour of the dignitaries in which top leaders participated.

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ITUC STRONGLY OPPOSES EMPLOYER GROUPS

Won’t Allow To Kill “RIGHT TO STRIKE”

Calls For Global Action on 18 February

Brussels-January 8: Ms. Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), has strongly  opposed the World’s Employer Groups who are trying to kill the “RIGHT TO STRIKE” and has called for Global Action on 18th February, 2015 to stop them. A message sent to all affiliates world over is reproduced below:

Hands off our right to strike

The world’s employer groups are trying to kill the right to strike. Join the global action on 18 February to stop them.

The right to strike is a powerful and fundamental foundation of democracy and economic justice. When employers refuse to negotiate with workers, when populations rise up against dictatorship, people can withdraw their labour to balance the dominance and privilege of the few with the power of collective action. Time and again this fundamental right is all that stands in the way of  injustice and exploitation.

The world’s employer groups are now trying to kill the right to strike. They want a global workforce that is powerless and passive. They want to remove the final bulwark against dictatorship. They intend to change the balance of power in the workplace and in society for the  worse, and forever.

Virtually every country in the world recognises that workers have the right to take strike action. Some 90 countries have it enshrined in their national constitutions, putting the rights established over many decades at the International Labour Organisation into law. Employers are trying to turn back the clock on over 50 years of international legal recognition of the right to strike, starting at the ILO and moving from there to pick apart national laws that guarantee this most fundamental of legal rights. They have tried to paralyse ILO procedures, holding its vital work to ransom in order to get their way. They have created a stalemate at the world’s labour body, and working people are paying the price as ILO judgments on vital employment issues are blocked.

There is a way out of the deadlock. The ILO’s rules say that when a dispute between employers, workers or governments cannot be settled at the ILO itself, then the International Court of Justice (ICJ) must be asked to rule on the dispute. But the employer groups are trying to block the rule of law by opposing the ICJ. They don’t want justice to prevail. They prefer to try and blackmail their opponents into submission.

Many governments support the union movement’s demand to follow the ILO Constitution and take the case to the ICJ. But some are sitting on the fence. Those governments, and, all the employer groups, must be called to account for their refusal to respect, international law and the crucial role of the ILO.

We must raise our voices to make this public.

For many people, procedures at UN bodies like the ILO are a long way from the daily challenges they face in their working life or in their quest to get a decent job. But if the employers succeed in eliminating the right to strike, the consequences will be severe for working people, and indeed for all who oppose despotism and slavery.

Only in the most totalitarian of dictatorships is the right to strike denied. If the employers get their way, it will be denied everywhere. All the achievements gained by organised labour in the past century will be at risk -reasonable working hours, fair pay, holidays and weekends, health and safety at work and freedom from exploitation and discrimination.

Throughout history, when employers and governments have refused dialogue and negotiation and’ instead imposed their will, workers have still taken the step and faced the risks of withdrawing their labour. That will not change. Workers will continue to take strike action when they have to -but the employer agenda would make them criminals.

Taking away the right to strike would turn us all into slaves. We will not allow that to happen.

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The ITUC General Council has designated 18 February 2015 as a day of action to defend the right to strike. All affiliates are requested to join in the 18 February actions, including the following suggestions:

*      Engage workers and the public in defence of the right to strike.

*      Obtain a public commitment from your Government to protect the ‘right to’ strike and refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice’.

*      Publicise the support or opposition of your Government and report it to the ITUC for global exposure.

*      Expose the opposition of your employer group to the right to strike and their consequent support for oppression of workers. Seek the public support of responsible employers who respect fundamental rights.

Special web pages have been set up for the February 18 Actions, where you can find resource materials, suggestions for activities, and reporting on what unions are doing around the world for 18 February: www.ituc-csi.org/18feb To send us information on your actions and requests for information, please email: 18feb@ituc-esi.org

 

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