Central trade unions have decided to give an ultimatum to the Government and declare their future course of action soon on their four point demands.
The government had set up a group of four ministers led by Defence Minister AK Antony to discuss labour union demands with the united front of trade unions which included the Congress affiliated Indian Trade Union Congress. The group which included Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, and the then Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge held talks with the unions once in May and sought a month’s time to consider demands for a common minimum wage of Rs 10,000, pension of Rs 3,000, increase in gratuity limit and price control.
The one month period lapsed on June 18 prompting the trade unions to consider their next course of action.
The unions have been holding a united front for the past two years and had recently held a two day strike. Following this, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had set up a ministers committee to look into their demands.
"We will be meeting the new Labour Minister Sis Ram Ola who is also member of the committee,’’ Baijnath Rai vice president of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Union told Business Standard.
''We will give an ultimatum to the Government at our convention on August 6 in Delhi,’’ Rai said.
Rai said that the Government can provide for minimum wages of Rs 10,000 either through a notification or a new law. ''We were told that the Government is ready with a Bill. But we haven’t heard from the Government though it is more than a month,’’ he said.
Government is ready with Bills on providing equal wages to contract workers, on a national common minimum wage, and has been working towards a minimum pension of Rs 1,000 to pensioners under the Employees Provident Fund. A broad assurance on some of this came from the Prime Minister while addressing the Indian Labour Conference in May this year.
He said the government was considering fixing a national floor-level minimum wage and provision of minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month under the Employees’ Pension Scheme.