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Labour reforms: 11 trade unions to launch nationwide protest

Somesh Jha  |  New Delhi 

A total of 11 trade unions will launch a nationwide movement, opposing the recent labour law amendments, approvals to foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence, insurance and railways, and disinvestment in public sector undertakings (PSUs).

The decision was taken after a three-hour meeting of the unions here on Thursday. B N Rai, general-secretary of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, said a formal statement in this regard would be issued on Friday morning.

A K Padmanabhan, president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, said, "We have decided to concentrate on these issues unanimously, especially the labour law amendments in Rajasthan. We will go for a countrywide programme which will start with a national-level convention by the end of August." He added though various unions had written to Union Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in this regard, they hadn't even received "an acknowledgment" from him.

On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet had approved a proposal to raise the composite cap for foreign investment in the defence sector to 49 per cent from the current 26 per cent FDI ceiling. In some railway operations and projects, up to 100 per cent FDI has been allowed.

In the 2014-15 Budget, the government had estimated it would garner about Rs 58,000 crore through disinvestment in PSUs.

First Published: Fri, August 08 2014. 00:42 IST