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Last Updated : May 20, 2020 09:17 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Trade unions file complaint against Indian governments’ anti-labour practices at ILO: Report

If the International Labour Organisation acts on the complaint, it may negatively impact India’s trade with other countries that have adopted the conventions.

Representative image
Representative image

As many as 10 central trade unions, except the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), have filed a complaint with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) against the Centre and state governments’ alleged anti-labour practices.

This comes after at least 13 states are reported to be diluting or doing away with labour laws altogether. BMS will hold a nationwide protest against dilution of labour laws in various states, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-governed Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

According to a report in The Hindu BusinessLine, the unions said they will provide additional evidence against the governments in a day or two.


In a complaint addressed to ILO Director General, Guy Ryder, unions have reportedly said that the recent amendments had undermined various conventions of the international body, including Convention 144 on tripartism.

If the ILO acts on the complaint, it may negatively impact India’s trade with other countries that have adopted the conventions, the report suggests.

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In the letter, unions have claimed that working people in the country have been subjected to inhuman sufferings due to loss of jobs, wages and have faced eviction by landlords amid the nationwide lockdown meant to curb the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We, the trade unions in India, have been fighting for the retention of jobs and income support to all those who lost their livelihoods to overcome the present situation,” the newspaper has quoted unions as saying in the letter.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

The trade unions have said that it is “unfortunate that the Government of India supports the blanket exemptions to all establishments from the employers’ obligation under all substantive labour laws for a period of three years by the state governments through amendments by executive order or ordinance for a period of three years, empowering the employers to hire and fire workers at their convenience, freezing collective bargaining rights, undoing the rights of occupational safety and health, without the Labour Department’s intervention in the establishments for any inspection of the basic bare minimum needs for decent working conditions, etc. during the said period”.

They have also claimed that migrant workers across the country have been trapped due to the lockdown without support. Thus, the unions say that workers have been forced to walk hundreds of kilometres on roads and railway tracks to reach their hometowns — a situation leading to hunger, exhaustion and accidents.

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First Published on May 20, 2020 09:17 am