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Unions Petition Parl Panel Over Restoring Their Right to Strike

March 03, 2020 05:40 AM

SEEKING FREEDOM Want panel to do away with govt intervention in their functioning

New Delhi:

Trade unions have petitioned the parliamentary standing committee on labour, which is currently examining the Industrial Relations Code, to restore their right to strike. They also want the panel to intervene and stop the government from interfering in their functioning, as proposed in the code.

“The latest provisions in the code are in violation of the fundamental right to strike. We have urged the standing committee to re-look into it,” said a trade union leader, who did not wish to be identified.

All trade unions have conveyed their reservations about the proposed change and asked the committee to examine the proposal to do away with their right to strike and recommend a change in its report, said people privy to the details of a meeting held by the standing committee on Friday last week.

The Industrial Relations Code, 2019 has proposed that workers not be allowed to go on a strike after initiation of the process of conciliation, irrespective of the time taken to arrive at a decision, thus restricting the ability of unions to go on a strike. The code has also prescribed subscription charges for trade unions as well as proposed changes to norms for registration of unions, making it difficult for unions to go for collective bargaining.

Besides, the code has tweaked the definition of industry, taking out eminent institutes related to defence and security such as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) out of its purview, thus prohibiting its employees from going on a strike or raising any dispute.

Another person, who also attended the meeting, said trade unions have multiple reservations on the code as it significantly inhibits the power of unions. “The standing committee is likely to take a balanced view when it submits its recommendation on the code,” said the person.

Three of the four labour codes – on occupational safety, industrial relations and social security – are with the standing committee

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