Congress steps up attack on govt on labour codes, says it has removed security net for workers
The Congress on Saturday upped the ante against the government over the three labour codes passed by Parliament on Wednesday, alleging that the legislations have weakened trade unions and removed the security net for workers.
Senior Congress leader and former Union labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters that the government’s claim that the laws will increase ease of doing business is false.
“They have weakened trade unions and finished the security and safety for workers. Powers of states have been usurped by the Central government. These codes are anti-worker, anti-labourer and it is important to agitate against them,” he said, addressing a virtual press conference.
Parliament on Wednesday approved the three labour codes that will remove impediments to winding up of companies and allow firing of staff without government permission in firms with up to 300 workers from the existing 100.
“All parties must oppose these laws. The Modi government only listens to corporates and after these laws it will not listen to trade unions,” Kharge said.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged that this government is “betraying the interests” of different sections one after another.
As the issue of injustice to farmers was ongoing, this government betrayed workers, just like farmers, he claimed.
“The government made the excuse while bringing in the new labour laws there will be ease of doing business and it will be beneficial for all. But there is no protection and relief for workers in these laws,” Khera said.
He said there is no provision for migrant workers in these legislations despite the country witnessing the hardships they faced during the lockdown.
“It is in the DNA of the government to set aside democratic principles and force its decisions on the people,” Khera alleged.
Addressing the reporters, Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) president G Sanjeeva Reddy said they will protest and struggle against these “unjust, anti-labour and anti-trade union” laws.
“These laws have been brought for strengthening and helping the capitalists and corporate not the workers. Under the new provisions, the workers will not be able to go on strike or raise their voice against unjust practices,” he said.
Reddy said there was protection for workers earlier as permission was needed to lay off more than 100 workers, but now that “security net” is gone with the increase in threshold to 300.
“About 2-3 crore small scale industries have been excluded from this protection,” he said.