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Trade unions to launch agitation against labour law changes in Maharashtra

mumbai Updated: Nov 23, 2017 00:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,labour law changes

Unions affiliated with various parties, including that of the ruling ones, have come together for the state-wide agitation.(FILE)

Unhappy after labour minister failed to turn up for the meeting scheduled with them on Wednesday, trade unions announced they would hold rallies across the state from next month to protest against the proposed amendment to the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

Unions affiliated with various parties, including that of the ruling ones, have come together for the state-wide agitation.

The draft proposal, a copy of which was given to the unions during the meeting, suggests a limit of three years for workers to appeal or move court over settlement of dues on retrenchment, lay off or the closure of the factory. Currently, there is no time limit.

The amendment comes with other proposed amendments such as relaxing rules for firing workers and closure of units. The government has proposed an amendment that would make it easier for factories with less than 300 workers to close down their business or lay off workers without prior permission of labour authorities in the state government. Currently, such permission is granted only to factories that have a worker strength of 100.

Barring 1,365 units, around 37,000 factories in the state will benefit from this amendment, as reported earlier in Hindustan Times.

After the uproar, labour minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar convened a meeting with union representatives, but only labour commissioner Yashwant Kerure turned up for it. The leaders have conveyed to the government that they are against all amendments and have announced their own charter of amendment to safeguard the interests of worker and facilitate ease of doing business.

“We have realized that the government is not serious about the issue. They invited us only after the uproar over the proposed amendment. The minister didn’t come for the meeting. We want the CM to intervene. We are holding a convention of all trade unions at Nashik to discuss the proposed amendments. We have also appointed a 7-member committee to chalk out our charter of amendment,” said Anil Ganacharya, Mumbai unit chief of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).

Patil Nilangekar was not available for comment. His office said he could not attend the meeting as he had an urgent meeting at Latur, where he is the guardian minister.

Vishwas Utagi, convenor of the Trade Unions Joint Action Committee alleged the amendments were finalized at the behest of the businessmen and industrialists.

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Mill Majdoor Sangh, Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh and Nationalist Congress Party have announced a protest march to labour commissioner’s office on Friday to oppose the amendments.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 00:08 IST