Union Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya has appealed trade unions, which have called for a nation-wide bandh tomorrow to reconsider their decision as the government is working on 9 of their 12 demands seriously.
He has reiterated the government assurance to consult trade unions while taking Labour Law reforms. His earlier appeal was sent out on August 27.
In his letter sent to the trade unions today, the minister said, “While requesting you to reconsider your decision, I would like to bring the following to your consideration.”
The minister then pointed out that the government is considering amendments to the Minimum Wages Act to give minimum wages to all workers.
At present the National Floor Level Minimum Wage is Rs. 160 per day but with the implementation of the said norms the minimum wage would be not less than Rs. 273 per day, said the minister.
For the purpose of bonus, the wage eligibility limit and calculation ceiling would be revised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 21,000 and calculation ceiling from Rs. 3500 to Rs. 7,000 or the minimum wage notified by the appropriate Government for that category of employment, whichever is higher. With the proposed revision of the minimum wages, the average calculation ceiling would be about Rs.10,000.
The Government is working out ways to include construction workers, rickshaw pullers, auto rickshaw drivers and volunteers of different schemes like Aanganwadi Centres, Mid Day Meal Centres etc.
Regarding contract workers, a comprehensive review of the existing Act is being considered. The main features of the proposed revised Act would be deployment of contract labour through registered staffing agencies to be encouraged to ensure social security coverage and same working condition for contract workers as that of the regular workers.
Government has already enhanced minimum pension for EPFO members and every pensioner gets minimum pension of Rs.1,000 per month perpetually. “Labour Law reforms will be based on tripartite consultations,” said the minister.
“Abolition of interviews for all recruitments at relatively junior level jobs which do not require any special knowledge/expertise is being done for transparency and expediting the process of recruitment,” is another measure the minister promised in his letter.
The minister, however, defended the FDI in Railways as necessary. “Railways require huge investment for upgrading the .infrastructure. This is possible only with the help of private sector and hence FDI is being allowed in railways and the FDI will be only in infrastructure and will not be allowed in the operation of Railways,” he said.