The state government has granted another three-month extension to a tripartite committee headed by state Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil-Nilagekar to finalise the proposed amendments to the factory closure norms in the Industrial Disputes (ID) Act.
Officials from the State Labour Department said the committee has held several meetings with the labour unions and the company management to ease norms for factory closure. The committee, which was formed in March and given three-month extension in June, has been given another three months to submit the report, said an official.
The committee was looking into several issues raised by the labour unions, including reducing the employee limit for factory closure, provisions to protect labourers’ rights, large number of labourers hired on contract basis in many factories that do not fall under ID Act among others, the official added.
“When the amendments were proposed last year, many labour unions had opposed citing various issues and the government had to defer them. Now, the committee is looking into all these issues and examining them carefully to ensure the protection of labourers’ rights and easing factory closure norms,” an official said, adding that the committee is likely to finalise the report soon.
Under the ID Act, any unit that employs 100 or more people has to seek the government’s permission before it
can shut down.
Last year, the Maharashtra Labour Department had proposed to increase that number to 300 — implying that factories with 299 or fewer workers can shut without needing government’s 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.