Cong, DMK join hands with Oppn in finding flaws with bill

Some members of Congress and UPA ally DMK in the Rajya Sabha today joined the opposition in finding flaws in the industrial disputes bill that seeks to streamline redressal mechanism for workers.

Last Updated: Aug 03, 2010, 20:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Some members of Congress and UPA
ally DMK in the Rajya Sabha today joined the opposition in
finding flaws in the industrial disputes bill that seeks to
streamline redressal mechanism for workers.

Participating in the debate on the Industrial Disputes
(Amendment) Bill 2009, members belonging to both opposition
and the ruling parties felt the ceiling of Rs 10,000 monthly
salary for workmen category was inadequate.

"Enhancement of wage ceiling of workers from Rs 1,600 to
Rs 10,000 (a month) is less. The Standing Committee
recommended
increasing it to Rs 25,000," T Siva (DMK) said pointing out
that even highly paid pilots fell under workmen category.

Trade union leader G Sanjeeva Reddy (Cong) said, "So
called supervisors earning over Rs 10,000 a month come under
non-workers category and are not covered under the Industrial
Disputes Act." He demanded that the ceiling should be removed.

Supporting the bill, he said there should be a quick
disposal of labour-related grievances and if workmen fail to
get justice within a timeframe they should be given full
salary. Some clauses of the bill do not address the present
problems, he added.

Tapan Sen (CPI-M) also voiced the need for removing the
clause of Rs 10,000 monthly salary for supervisors saying the
clause if not removed would serve as "an instrument in the
hands of the employer to take benefits of the workmen."

He said formation of a tribunal under the bill was a good
step and should be implemented in the right earnest.

The bill seeks to provide for workmen a direct access to
Labour Court or Tribunal in case of disputes arising due to
dismissal. It also proposes to establish Grievance Redressal
Machinery as a mechanism in an industrial set up.

At present the retrenched workman is unable to approach
the Labour Court or Tribunal in absence of a reference of
industrial dispute by an appropriate government to Labour
Court or Tribunal.

Earlier, participating in the debate, Bal Apte (BJP) said,
"There are lacuna in the law. Protection of contract labour
does not find place in the Bill."

"The ceiling of Rs 10,000 a month is ridiculous," he said
demanding that it should be raised. The present Industrial
Disputes Act, 1947 has the ceiling of Rs 1,600 for supervisors
exceeding which they fail to fall in the category, he said.

Charging the government with ignoring Standing Committees
and their reports, Apte said the very purpose of formation of
the Committee has been defeated by an "insensitive"
government.

The Amendment in the Bill provides for setting up of a
Grievance Redressal Machinery for a unit of 20 or more workmen
but this would lead to duplication as the present Works
Committee have proved ineffective, he said.

-PTI