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Sparks may fly at ILC meet over labour law reforms

Trade unions say they will protest against certain proposed labour law amendments that will dilute social security of workers

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

labourer works at the construction site of the Delhi-Jaipur national highway in Manesar in Haryana

Amid strong opposition by trade unions against certain proposed amendments to labour laws, the two-day long 46th Indian Labour Conference is likely to witness a stormy session on these issues tomorrow.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference on July 20 and dedicate the National Career Service (NCS) portal to the nation and launch health reforms of the Employees' State Insurance Corporation of India (ESIC) on the occasion.

"The 46th Session of the Indian Labour Conference is being held on July 20-21, 2015 in New Delhi. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the conference... (He will) dedicate National Career Service (NCS) Portal and launch ESIC 2.0 Reform Initiatives," an official release said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be the guest of honour.

"We will definitely lodge our protest against certain proposed labour law amendments that will dilute social security of workers and go against their interest during deliberations at ILC," All India Trade Union Congress Secretary D L Sachdev told PTI.

He further said, "Trade unions are determined and unanimous on certain issues raised by them at different fora. We have decided to go on strike on September 2 to express our strong protest. The central trade unions will not change the position taken by them."

During the 47th meeting of the Standing Labour Committee held on July 10, it was decided by the government that there will be detailed deliberations at ILC on labour law amendments proposed or done either by the central or state governments.

The 11 central trade unions together had presented a written request to the government to include labour law reforms in the agenda of the 46th ILC at the committee's meeting chaired by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya earlier this month.

The other issue which will come in for discussion is amendment of the Bonus Act. That includes demand for removal of conditions on payment ceiling, eligibility limits, decisions to pay minimum bonus without linking it to loss as long as the performance indicator satisfies grant of bonus.

At present, the employees employed on wage or salary of up to Rs 10,000 per month are entitled to a bonus under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. It's proposed under an amendment Bill of the Act to increase the cap to Rs 20,000 per month.

Stakeholders, however, want the ceiling removed altogether.

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First Published: Sun, July 19 2015. 10:57 IST