June 25, 2018 3:48:28 am
The state government has given a three-month extension to a tripartite committee working on finalising proposed amendments to the factory closure norms in the Industrial Disputes (ID) Act.
Headed by state Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil-Nilagekar, the committee was formed in March and has five representatives each from labour unions and companies. The committee is responsible for holding meetings with labour unions and companies’ management representatives on easing factory closure norms, said an official of the labour department.
The official added that the panel was given three months to submit a report, failing which it has been granted a three-month extension.
An official from the labour department said during the previous meetings, labour unions had raised a couple of issues — reducing the employee limit for factory closure and provisions to protect labourers’ rights, among others. “Besides, it has also pointed out that many factories do not fall under the ID Act as they have hired several labourers on a contractual basis. Only permanent employees are considered for factory closure norms. All these issues need to be examined carefully,” said an official.
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Under the ID Act, any unit that employs 100 or more people has to seek government permission before it can shut down. Last year, the Maharashtra labour department had proposed to increase the number to 300 — implying that factories with 299 or fewer workers can close down without needing government permission.
In January, labour unions affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Congress, the RSS and the Shiv Sena held a state-level meeting and passed a resolution, demanding that the government should require factories with even 50 employees to seek its permission before closure.
Labour unions had also alleged that at least 70 per cent of labourers are employed as contractual staff, their rights were not protected and they were deprived of many benefits.
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