Hostile trade unions poured water on labour ministry’s plan to celebrate the International Labour Day together on Monday.
The Narendra Modi government has been accused by labour unions of pushing policies that undermine workers’ rights in the name of reforms.
This was the first time the Union government planned to rope in trade unions for its Labour Day programmes.
“They (the government) wants to show that things have improved in the labour front. We will not fall in their traps,” said DL Sachdeva, general secretary of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).
The programme includes the launch of some schemes by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation and Employee’s State Insurance Corporation.
“It (the government) has made a mockery of the tripartism in practice in the country through years of struggles by the working class,” said a statement from Left- and Congress-affiliated trade unions.
The relation between the unions and the government deteriorated over a number of issues, such as the push for labour codes that drastically diminishes unions’ role in labour disputes.
Last year, the trade unions were furious when the government, almost unilaterally, decided to hike minimum wages of central industrial workers to take the steam out of the unions’ general strike.
The NDA government, however, continues to get support from RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, unlike the Congress, whose own trade union wing revolted against the UPA government and joined the Opposition ranks.