Disapproving of the codification of labour laws, the central trade unions have asked all workers, unions and federations across India to join a countrywide protest on 2 August, 2019.
It is only the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that is not party to the protest.
The protest call follows the introduction of the Code on Wage Bill, 2019, and the Code on Occupational, Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019, (OSH Code) in the Lok Sabha recently. These bills propose to incorporate 17 central laws, and seek replacement of the existing laws pertaining to workers’ remuneration and the OSH code that curtails the rights of workers to secure better working conditions.
The trade unions feel that these codes will only weaken the legislations meant to safeguard labour rights. They feel that the codes will dilute the existing labour laws, and the codification is simply a tactic to actually control the trade unions and mislead the workers. The labour unions believe that these codes will be beneficial to the employers and not the employees.
The trade unions that support the call for protest include the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Labour Progressive Front (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).