Trade unions demand scrapping of labour codes, restoration of OPS

Trade unions demand scrapping of labour codes, restoration of OPS

In a pre-budget consultation meeting with union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, trade unions on Monday demanded restoration of the Old Pension Scheme and scrapping of the four labour codes according to a report of Harsh Kumar published in Business Standard.

Induprakash Menon, national president, Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC), said that they have recommended increasing minimum wages to Rs 26,000 per month.

“All four labour codes enacted must be repealed and scrapped. The 29 labour statutes should be restored, and minimum wages should not be less than Rs 26,000 per month with indexation fixed in line with the consensus recommendation of the Indian Labour Conference,” he said.

Surendaran, all-India organising secretary, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, said the trade unions also requested an increase in MGNREGA coverage to 200 days from 100 days at present. “We also suggested linking it with agricultural and allied activities,” he added.

Additionally, trade unions also asked for the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS). “We specifically asked the government to bring back the OPS. The government is making some changes to the NPS. Without an assured pension, it cannot be acceptable,” said Surendaran.

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Trade unions also suggested stopping the privatisation of public sector undertakings (PSUs). Along with this, they demanded that the budget focus on rural development, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), infrastructure, exports, and skill development.

“The government’s priority must be MSMEs and tiny industries, which will create employment at the rural base. We demanded the government focus particularly on agro-based MSMEs. The export and manufacturing sectors, which will create jobs at the local level, should be focused on. The finance minister has responded well. She said that actually each and every issue is critical and important,” said Surendaran.

The meeting was attended by senior finance ministry officials, labour ministry officials, and representatives from various trade unions, including Vidya Sagar Giri, vice president, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC); Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, general secretary, Hind Mazdoor Sabha; Tapan Kumar Sen, general secretary, Centre Indian Trade Unions; Ramesh Parashar, all-India secretary, All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC); Manali Shah, national secretary, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA); Rajiv Dimri, general secretary, All India Central Council of Trade Union; K. Natrajan, treasurer, Labour Progressive Federation; Deepak Jaiswal, national president, National Front of Indian Trade Unions; and S.P. Tiwari, national general secretary, Trade Union Coordination Centre.

Source: business-standard

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