RESONANCE OF FARM LAWS ON LABOUR CODES … CTUs MAY NOT BE SUCCESSFUL!
(GS – II … SOCIAL JUSTICE _amp; GOVERNANCE: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)
REPEAL OF FARM LAWS HAS THE RESONANCE IN LABOUR CODES
- After the repeal of the farm laws, Central Trade Unions (CTUs) claimed to have intensified their agitation. However, they could not make the desired impact.
- CTUs still command a claimed membership of 90-100 million, which include unorganised workers also._nbsp;
- When the labour laws were passed, trade unions, including the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), criticised the Central Government, for not holding adequate consultations with them on the codes, contrary to the government claims.
- The absence of effective dialogue also contradicts the International Labour Organization Treaty, The Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention of 1976, which is also known as ‘Convention 144’. India ratified this said Convention in February 1978.
WHY THE AGITATIONS BY CTUs COULD NOT MAKE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT?
- The CTUs are divided, thanks to their political affiliations._nbsp;
- Out of the 12 major CTUs, 10 have been jointly spearheading agitations, calling for the repeal of all four Codes._nbsp;
- The BMS is conducting its own limited agitation.
- Thousands of enterprise-based unions do not always support the CTUs agitations.
Labour falls under the Concurrent List of the Constitution.
CONTRACTUALISATION ALREADY TOOK PLACE!
- With the sly support of the government, employers (companies) have been able to achieve labour flexibility with the rampant contractualisation of the workforce.
- With the proliferation of the services sector, along with gig economy jobs, further reduced the clout of the CTUs.
- Though there are around 400 million unorganised and informal workers, they are scattered and not organised in a consolidated manner to mount significant political opposition and demand labour market securities.
- More informality, which is the order of the day, further hurts the unions agitational power.
COULD NOT ORGANISE LONGER STRIKES!
- Unlike farmers, the industrial workers cannot organise longer and larger strikes as they would lose their jobs and wages._nbsp;
- Their strikes, short protests, do not hurt either the economy or the government.
The failures of the railway strike of 1974 and the Bombay textile workers strike of 1982-83 still haunt the labour movement.
LABOUR REFORMS ARE BEING PROMOTED GLOBALLY!
- Flexible labour markets, privatisation are supported and even pushed by the global financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF._nbsp;
- In fact, the Unions are fighting in essence, against the neo-liberal order for which they require intellectual sinews.
REFORM LOBBY IS POWERFUL!
The powerful reform lobbying interest groups would ensure that there would not be more roll backs, including that of the four Labour Codes.
Overall, the CTUs may not be successful in their endeavour. A small, short-term consolation is, the delay in implementation of the Codes, thanks to adverse economic conditions!
With the repeal of the Farm Laws, critics say that it will have resonance on the agitations by the Central Trade Unions (CTUs) to repeal the Labour Codes. Can they become successful? Critically argue.