Labour Minister letter

Date: 19-1-2018

To

The Secretary

Ministry of Labour and Employment

Govt. of India, New Delhi,

 

Sub : Central Trade Union Views and Suggestions on the draft of the contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Amendment Bill No 163 of 2017.

Madam,

Reference to the Letter of Dy. Welfare Commissioner (HQ) dated 22 December 2017 a tripartite meeting has been convened to discuss the draft of the contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Amendment Bill 2017 on 16 Jan 2018 at 3 P.M. which was rescheduled to 19th January 2018 under the chairman ship of the Hon’ble  Minister of State (Independent change) Labour and Employment.

With great pain we would Like to say that the proposed bill was drafted without pre consultation of stake holder particularly most Vulnerable and affected contract workers representatives of the country. This act of bypassing pre-consultation with affected stake holder is against the principle of making or amending law based on natural justice.

The contract Labour (Regulation and abolition) Act 1970 was achieved by the Long struggle of the workers and on the basis of constitutional provision of fundamental Rights vested in article 19(1) and part IV of the constitution bearing the Directive principles of state policy and (Article 38) for promotion of welfare of the people and Article (39) freedom and dignity and equal pay for equal work.

We want to quote the statement of object & Reasons of Principal act that is Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act. 1970.  

It says that “The system of employment at contract Labour leads itself to various abuses”. It further states that “In the second five year plan the planning commission made certain recommendations, undertaking of studies of ascertain the extent of the problem of Contract Labour, progressive abolition of the system and improvement of Service condition of contract Labour where the abolition was not possible. The matter was discussed at various meeting of tripartite committees at which the state govt’s were also represented and the general consensus of opinion was that the system should be abolished wherever possible and practicable and that in cases where this system could not be abolished altogether, the working condition of the contract Labour should be regulated so as to ensure payment of wages and provision of essential amenities.”

The proposed amendment by the govt. in draft amendment Bill is not only an amendment but it seems that motive of the Government is totally diluting the main object of the principal act which cannot  be accepted and also further nullifying the judgement of the Honorable Supreme Court for Equal Pay for Equal Work

The Central Trade Union organisations totally opposing the motive & move of the Govt. to dilute the basic human right and main object of the principal act in the favour of national and International Corporates. These amendments will lead to ruthless exploitation of contract workers which cannot be accepted by the undersigned  Central Trade Unions. With these firm objections we are giving some section wise comments and suggestions for your kind consideration please.

Section/Sub Section/Clause/ Provision of Amendment Bill

Issue/Problem identified in the Section/Sub Section/ Clause / provision of Amendment Bill

Proposed/change that should be made

Reasons/ Remarks for proposed change

1)  Section 2, Sub Section (1)

In Clause (b)

Explanation 1 & Explanation 2 regarding definition of ‘Contract Labour

 

 

 

Section 1(2) coverage of act’

Why a worker who is regularly employed in the establishment of Contractor should not be covered as Contract Labour

Should be deleted because whole concepts of the contract worker will be abolished and it will be in the favour of principle employers to escape from the responsibility of a group of workers of contract and it will create a camouflage contract system.

It should be 1(3)

 

It will lead to establish the contractor as a principal employer with so called regular and permanent workman and nullified the licensing provision of the principal act.

2) Section 2, Sub Section (III) [C] (I & II) definition of contractor.

The inclusion in definition in Sub clause (ii) (C) (ii) in section of ‘Supplies Contract Labour for any work of the establishment as mere human resource and includes a sub-contractors’

Insertion of Section II (II) (C) I & II not acceptable at all definition of contractor in principal act should not be changed.

It will change whole concept of contractor which come through the NIT or particular work order by the principle employer. For any work of the establishment as mere human resource and include sub-contractor the workmen will be treated as commodity which will be supply by the contractor and it will be misused for camouflaging the contract system. It will also create a multi-contractual subletting system.

3) Amendment of Section 10 / Sub Section(2) for Clause (b).

Explanation 1 & 2 regarding prohibition of employment of contract labour.

Explanation and activities insertion of definition of Prime activity as a  core and non-core activity.

 

 

Should be deleted because in any integrated activities establishment so called core and  non core activity are also essential and perennial and permanent nature.

No need of adding core or noncore activity

 

May provide route of escape to employer. It will dilute whole concept of principle act.

Section 10 of Principal Act should continue.

4) Substitution of new Section for Section 12 (1), (2) and (3) related to licensing of contractor which is soul provision of regulating the principal act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section (B) Provided that

Sub section (1) & (2) in more than one establishment situated in different states than he shall obtain the license.

Even if Contractor does not satisfy the requisite conditions; Licensing Officer may issue him the License for one year which can be renewed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may give free hand to contractor for exploitation of Contract workers.

 Whole proposed Substitution for Section 12 should be deleted because it is totally against the main sprit of contract regulation of Principal Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original Section 12 of Principal Act should be continued.

It dilutes the protection and existing condition provided under Section 12 of Principal Act and concerned rules. Why Central Government will be given power to prescribed criteria over and above the act and rules. It will dilute whole concept of contract license term and condition system prescribed by the Principal Act and Section 25 of its rules. It will lead to create camouflaging and sham contract system which has been declared illegal by the Apex Court.

 

It will adversely affect the section 25 of the rules in which terms and conditions of license are mentioned. No need to change and add new provision for giving way for escaping.

5) Amendment of Section 13 related to grant of licenses.

 It left the word ‘location of establishment’ and substitute the word ‘work’ in place of ‘process’.

Not acceptable because it will lead to misuse license in other area beyond their limitation of license.

There is no justification to liberalize the provision which already exist in principal act.

6) Insertion of new Section 13A.

Information to the govt. regarding receiving work order from an establishment and supply of labour and sub-contractor.

It will lead against the main object of principal act.

Not acceptable because it will dilute the main purpose of contract license of particular NIT or work order of Principle Employers.

Amendment not acceptable because it is against the spirit of the principal act and condition of License. It seems that it will affect the recent Supreme Court Judgement based on license condition of equal pay for equal work and others benefits.

7) Amendment of Section 14

It is also a type of relief to contractor.

-

Not acceptable

8) Amendment of Section 16

Insertion of section 3 regarding welfare and health of contract labour.

Escaping from Canteen and other essential working and living condition at work place.

It is against the humanitarian spirit and welfare.

Undue favour to contractor will not be agreeable hence rejected.

9) Amendment of Section 17

Insertion of section (3) Regarding Rest Room & other facilities drinking water, sanitation and washing facilities.

It is escaping from welfare majors.

It is against the decent and humanitarian working condition of contract workers based on OSH concept.

The provision already mentioned in principal act section 17. No need to give escape to the contractor from welfare of the contract workers.

10) Amendment of Section 18 and insertion of a new sub-section 1  for other facilities.

Proposed amendment  is escaping the contractor for providing drinking water, latrines and wash room.

It is basic workplace conditions for living and meet with natural need related to OSH.

This amendment cannot be acceptable it will give exemption to the contractor from their responsibility of OHS and welfare provision.

11) Amendment in Section 21 of the Principal Act regarding responsibilities of payment of wages.

Substitution of Sub
Section (2) “As may be practical” and inform the principal employer electronically

Proposed change to be deleted.

As it may lead to misuse of the provision.

12) Amendment of Section 22

Sub Section–I and Sub Section–II regarding penalties and procedure chapter obstruction.

Sub Section – I

Five Hundred to be replaced by 5000/-

 

 

Imprisonment mentioned in Principal Act should also be there in both the sub sections along with enhanced penalty of Rs. One Lakh”

Provision of imprisonment will deter the employers to follow the provision.

13) Substitution of new Section for Section 23

Contravention  of  notification issued under Section 10

It should be contravention of the Act or the Rules made under the Act.   Rules not mentioned. Limited only to notification issued in respect of Section 10. 

It is an attempt to dilute the provisions of Section 10 of the Principal Act. It will give the way for violating the provisions. There for not acceptable.

 

 

14) Insertion of new Section 23(A)

 

Penalizing the voilator Rs.20,000/-

Penalty may be enhanced to Rs. One Lakh

There is no justification to insert new section 23A. The proposed penalty for violation of act Rs 20000 should be increased to Rs. 1 Lakh and It should be added in Principal Act section 23.  

15)Substitution of new Section for Section 24

Provision

Punishment for Contravention is proposed Rs.20,000/-Imprisonment not mentioned same under the provision. May be deleted. 

Imprisonment as mentioned in Principal Act should continue.

Not acceptable at all. We propose that on any violation of act and rules as mentioned in principal act section 24 should be continued by increasing punishment amount of Rs. 1 Lakh and imprisonment for one year or both.

16) Amendment of Section 27

Period of notice given as per proposed provision of Section 24 be excluded.

No need – As we have not accepted amendment of Section 24. Adding provision of giving notice

Not acceptable at all. It is only for the favor of employer.

17) Insertion of new Section 27 A

Compounding of offence.

Should be deleted

No need of allowing compounding of offence. It is just bailing out the offender.

18) Amendment of Section 31

“In case of Emergency”

 

Not acceptable should not be liberalised other than in case of emergency as mentioned in Principal Act.

19) Amendment of Section 35

 

-

There is no need to insert new section. Whereas this provision of making rules exist in Principal Act.

 

Again we request you to kindly consider our above mentioned opinion /suggestions in the interest of Justice for Vulnerable section of Contract workers and their Constitutional rights and Legal provisions of the  existing Act.

Thanking You

Yours faithfully,

 

 

INTUC                         AITUC                         HMS                            CITU                       

AIUTUC TUCC                          SEWA                          AICCTU                      

 

LPF                          UTUC

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Ministry of personnel, P-G and Pensions department of personnel and training vide its letter No. 31011/3/2015-Estt (A-IV) dated 17 April 2017 has permitted flexi-fare (Dynamic fare) applicable in Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto trains if the journey is performed by their trains while availing LTC by a Government official. The order is given below:-

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Sub:- Clarification regarding admissibility of flexi-fare in Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto trains while availing LTC.

 as per Railway Board’s Circular No. 46 of 2016 dated 07.09.2016, Ministry of Railways have introduced a flexi-fare system in Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto trains, where the base fares will increase by 10% with every 10% of berths sold subject to a prescribed ceiling limit. In this regard, this department is in receipt of references from various segments seeking clarification in the issue of admissibility of flexi-fare while booking the tickets of these trains for the purpose of LTC.

2. The matter has been examined in consultation with Department of Expenditure, Ministry of finance and it has been decide that flexi fare (dynamic fare) applicable in Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto trains shall be admissible for the journey(S) performed by these trains on LTC. This dynamic fare component shall not be admissible in cases where a non-entitled Government servant travels by air and claims reimbursement for the entitled class of Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto trains. Such Government servants will get reimbursement of fare after deducting the dynamic fare component.

3. The above decision shall be applicable retrospectively with effect from 9th September, 2016, i.e. the date from which flexi-fare system was introduced by Railways.

4. Hindi version will follow.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                    (Surya Narayan Jha)

                                                              Under Secretary to the Government of India

**********************************

Shri  Bandaru Dattatreya,

Hon’ble Minister for Labour & Employment,(Independent Charge)

Government of India

Shram Shakti Bhawan,

Rafi Marg, New Delhi -110019.

Sub: Child Labour Amendment Bill 2016.

 Respected Sir,

The Parliament of largest democracy of world has passed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2016. The Bill amends the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 which prohibits the employment of children below 14 years in 83 hazardous occupations and processes. The Bill has brought down the list from 83 to just 3 i.e. mining, inflammable substances and hazardous processes under Factory Act.

The definition of Family and Family Enterprise under the Bill creates lots of doubts which include not only parents and siblings but also the siblings of either parent. We fail to understand the reason, rational, urgency and need of allowing children below 14 years to work may be in Family Enterprises. It is nothing but opening a backdoor entry for large number of children to enter workforce in carpet, zari, beedi units, mica, diamond cutting, gem polishing, manual scavenging, brick kiln, slaughter houses handling e wastes, domestic help, glass furnace and other areas in the name of family Enterprises.

The United Nations sustainable development  goals have fixed target for elimination of child labour and accomplishment of universal inclusive education for children but India despite declaring respect for UN and ILO  and other International Agencies is just going in reverse direction permitting children below 14 to work (might be in Family enterprise)

Child labour, trafficking of child, especially girl child is bound to increase with these amendments in the garb of Family Enterprises.

During discussions in Parliament MPs from different parties expressed their concerns. A prominent MP from ruling party said “it is not skilling at all, it is done against their will and is a kin to slavery”. He very rightly said that “we wish to see every child holding a book in his hand and not any agricultural implement or a broom”.

Hind Mazdoor Sabha takes this amendment as another move to please the exploiters through back door and request you to drop the provision of allowing child below 14 years to work anywhere. List of hazardous industries be kept the same and Government be empowered to add any industry as hazardous not “in non hazardous” as proposed in the amendment.

With regards,                                                                                               

                                                                                                Yours sincerely,

 

                                                                                         (Harbhajan Singh Sidhu)

                                                                                               General Secretary

 ************************************

The Secretary

Ministry of Labour & Employment

Government of India

Rafi Marg,

New Delhi-110019.

Sub: Misuse of Building and other Construction Worker Welfare Board Fund by Govt. of NCT of Delhi – in violation of your notification dated 7th June, 2016 under Section 60 of BOCW Act, 1996.

Sir,

You may be aware that a petition is pending in Hon’ble Supreme Court i..e. WP©No.318/2006 to decide as to how to check mis-utilization of the Welfare Fund made out of CESS money collected under BOCW Act, 1996. On the direction of Hon’ble Apex Court, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India has issued a Notification under Section 60 of BOCW Act, 1996 advising State Government and Union Territories to use the aforesaid Fund only for the purpose of which it is collected. State Boards were advised not to use the above Fund for construction of building for schools, hospitals, training centres and labour shed cum-night shelter, waiting halls etc.

It is relevant to mention here that Hon’ble Supreme Court while issuing directions under the above mentioned writ petition mentioned NCT Govt. of Delhi for alleged misuse of the fund .

I regret to inform you that the Delhi Government and its BOCWWB is ignoring the advise of your above mentioned notification, We have come to know that above fund has been utilized for payment to Anganwadies. The Board is not following the rules made for conducting Board’s meeting. As per rules meeting is to be conducted by giving 15 days notice but the meeting of the Board held on 2nd June 2016 was convened only on 2 day’s notice. A protest letter was submitted by workers’ representative on 2nd June 2016 itself but no cognigence was taken of it while recording minutes of the meeting.

It is very serious matter which amount not only to violation of instruction issued by the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India but may amount to contempt of court at a later stage.

You are therefore requested to advice the NCT Govt. of Delhi and its Board to work according to norms and refund the entire Fund spent on activities not related to Welfare of construction Workers and their family.

An early action is requested.                                

                                             

Yours faithfully,                                                                                                                

 (Harbhajan Singh Sidhu)                                                                                           General Secretary

 

 

 

 

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