EVEN AS the state government has proposed labour reforms to ease the closure of factories without any hassle of retrenching labourers, the labour unions attached to the Shiv Sena and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have demanded that a meeting should be called before taking any decision. Senior Sena leader and Industries Minister Subhash Desai said the party would insist on organising a meeting of all labour unions to address their issues on the reforms.
According to officials from the labour department, any factory having more than 100 employees requires government permission for closure. Now, it has proposed to increase that number to 300 in the Industrial Disputes Act. It has also proposed to add a new section in the Act for raising any dispute related to retrenchment or dismissal from service within three years only. At present, there is no such bar and a dispute can be raised at any time.
Besides, it has also proposed that factories would not require any prior permission of the government for closure if the employers pay 60 days’ average pay for every completed year of continuous services at the time of retrenchment. Currently, there is no such provision in the Act. It also proposes to increase the compensation to be given to retrenched labourers by three times.
“The labour union attached with the Sena has raised objections to the proposed amendments and has also written to the chief minister on the same. We are insisting that a meeting of all labour unions should be held to address their issues before taking a decision on it,” Desai told The Indian Express.
Desai was part of the cabinet sub-committee entrusted with the task of studying and submitting a report on the proposed amendments in the Industrial Disputes Act. The committee was headed by Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil. On Monday, Suryakant Mahadik, president of the Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, affiliated to the Shiv Sena, wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis opposing the proposed amendments, asking it should be reconsidered. “These reforms will just lead to more exploitation of the labourers.
The proposed reforms are favouring the factory owners. Though the reforms will affect the labourers, the government has not consulted any labour union on it. A meeting of all labour unions should be called to discuss the reforms before giving approval to it,” said Mahadik.
Anil Dhumane, general secretary of the RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, has also demanded that a meeting of labour unions should be called to discuss the issues affecting the labourers. “We opposed these amendments. We want the state government to convince us how these reforms are beneficial for the labourers before finalising them,” he said.