Parties gear up to oppose three labour code bills in Parliament
One of these, a provision in the Industrial Relations Code allows companies with up to 300 workers to lay off people without the concerned state government’s approval, a facility only available to companies employing up to 100 people under the current law.Updated: Sep 22, 2020, 01:31 IST
Opposition parties, which fiercely protested the passage of two farm reform bills, are now preparing to oppose three upcoming labour reform laws.
One of these, a provision in the Industrial Relations Code allows companies with up to 300 workers to lay off people without the concerned state government’s approval, a facility only available to companies employing up to 100 people under the current law.
Union labour minister Santosh Gangwar on Saturday introduced three labour codes—on social security, industrial relations and occupational & health safety—in the Lok Sabha. The fourth Code, on wages, has already been cleared by Parliament.
The labour reform bills will replace myriad archaic labour laws into codes, have been pending for a long time. The government claims to have incorporated 174 of 233 recommendations of the standing committee on labour for the three codes. The Opposition had claimed that the fresh bills — replacing the original versions, should be reviewed afresh by panels.
The Industrial Relation Code Bill 2019, Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020 and the Code On Social Security, 2020 are set to be discussed in next few days, setting the stage for a renewed confrontation between the Opposition and the government.
The Industrial relations bill redefines the scope of trade unions. The social security Code aims to create a social security network for all workers including migrants and the OSH Code sets standard for health safety norms for firms.
Already, Congress leaders such as Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari and the Left leadership are opposed to the labour reforms.
While Tewari wants the new codes to be put in the public domain for a month as they have seen substantial changes, Tharoor has demanded that the government accept the standing committee’s recommendations fully. “The alternative would be to face constitutional challenge in the court…does he wants a judicial scrutiny again?” Tharoor questioned the labour minister.
“The government has held nine tripartite consultations, and 10 inter-ministerial consultations during the drafting stage of the codes,” Santosh Gangwar told the Lok Sabha, introducing the bill.