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ILO Expresses concern over labour laws suspension in India,urge PM to uphold international commitmen


International Labour Organisation (ILO) has expressed deep concerns over the suspension and tweaking of labour laws by states to the Prime Minister. Besides, the ILO has also urged the Prime Minister to send a clear message to central and state governments to uphold India’s international commitments (conventions based on labour laws) and engage in social dialogue.


The ILO’s intervention came after ten central trade unions escalated the issue of suspension and tweaking of labour laws with the international body through a letter few days back.


In a reply to the unions on May 22, the ILO said, “Please allow me to assure you the ILO DG has immediately intervened, expressing his deep concerns at these recent events and appealing to the Prime Minister to send a clear message to Central and State Governments to uphold the country’s international commitments and encourage engagement of effective social dialogue”.


The ten central trade unions had asked the ILO DG to intervene immediately with the Indian authorities to urge necessary action for the protection of workers rights in the light of measures being taken by a number of state governments to undermine the labour legislation and international labour standards.


India has inked many conventions with ILO which commensurate with the existing legal system and laws of the land.A country can ratify a convention with ILO after putting in place all provisions mandated in its laws and legal framework. Thus a change in labour laws or suspending those may lead to violation of these conventions, which are also an international commitments by ratifying nations.


In the meanwhile, the ten central trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC have also shot off another letter on Monday to the ILO pleading that “at this very turbid and uncertain situation, the ILO must powerfully and effectively intervene to prevail upon the Government of India to refrain from such exercise of abrogation of all basic labour rights unilaterally trampling underfoot the basic concept of social partnership and tripartism as espoused by ILO”.