LABOUR LAWS RELAXATION, International Labour Organization was forced to intervene when ten Central Trade Unions of India wrote a letter to ILO on 14th May 2020 mentioning the issue of how some States in India were dabbling with the Labour laws that are meant to protect the workers and give regards to their well-being.
The Director-General of ILA has reassured the agitated Central Trade Unions that the concern has been expressed to Prime Minister Modi and he has been instructed to send a clear message to all State and Central Governments to abide by the International Labour laws and make sure the dilution of the laws observed in some states are not repeated.
“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”
-Chief of the Freedom of Association Branch of the ILO’s International Labour Standards Department, Karen Curtis
India is one of the founding members of ILO and has been in accordance with it since 1919.
ILO’s main motive is to establish laws internationally which are mainly focused on the social and economic advancement of labor all over the world and protect them from discrimination or ill-treatment.
India has signed several Conventions with the ILO and formed laws in accordance with the Conventions to protect the labourers in every state.
Hence, if the country who has signed the conventions with ILO shifts away or reforms any of their law which are not at par with the legal framework of the conventions can force the ILO to intervene in the internal working of any member country.
With that foresight, ten trade unions had appealed to ILO when states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and several other States in India took to diluting some labour laws and break the Labour Regulations as per ILO.
“Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat are ceasing application of Trade union Act, 1926, which is the main plank of Freedom of Association, and Industrial Disputes Act that provides scope for collective bargaining and also right to strike, along with other substantive labor laws for a period of 3 years”, they mentioned.
The trade unions who took this step are, INTUC( Indian National Trade Union Congress), AITUC(All-India Trade Union Congress), HMS(Hind Mazdoor Sabha), CITU(Centre of Indian Trade Unions), AIUTUC(All-India United Trade Union Centre), TUCC(Trade Union Coordination Committee), SEWA( Self Employed Women’s Association), AICCTU(All-India Central Council of Trade Unions), LPF(Labour Progressive Federation) and UTUC(United Trade Union Congress).
They have sent another letter to the ILO recently, mentioning, “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”.
The recent times have been especially challenging for laborers, especially in India and their protection must be of utmost concern.