Sunday, Sep 08, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Commission's report, released by the Government here today, has called for regarding "go slow'' and "work to rule'' as forms of action which came under the category of misconduct.
Saying that changes in labour laws should be accompanied by a well-defined social security package, the Commission recommended common definition of certain terms in all the labour laws such as worker, wages and establishment.
It recommended a broad grouping of the existing set of labour laws under industrial relations, wages, social security, safety and welfare and working conditions.
The 1751-page report of the Commission, headed by the former Union Labour Minister, Ravindra Varma, was released by the Labour Minister, Sahib Singh Verma, here. The Commission was set up on October 15, 1999 to suggest rationalisation of existing labour laws in the organised sector and to evolve an "umbrella'' legislation for ensuring a minimum level of protection to the workers in the unorganised sector.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Verma said the Commission's recommendations would receive highest considerations of the Government and hinted at the possibility of bringing a comprehensive legislation on labour reforms in the winter session of Parliament. He said that meetings with employees' organisations, experts, workers' representative were already going on to discuss the report.
It ruled out the need for any wage board, statutory or otherwise, for fixing wage rates for workers in any industry. It also asked the Centre to bring a comprehensive law relating to working conditions at work places and another for securing the rights of workers in the unorganised sector.
The Commission recommended that the Centre might notify a National Floor Level Minimum Wage. "Each State or Union Territory should have the authority to fix minimum rates of wages, which shall not be, less than the national level.''
It suggested that federations or central organisations of workers should be subject to the same discipline as primary trade unions. Craft or caste-based trade unions should not be entitled to any privileges, immunities or rights.
Referring to the unorganised sector, the Commission recommended that there be a policy framework that ensured the generation and protection of jobs, access to jobs, protection against the exploitation of poverty and lack of organisation, protection against arbitrary or whimsical dismissals and denial of minimum wages.
The system of welfare should include access to compensation for injuries suffered while engaged in work, provident fund, medical care, pension benefits, maternity benefits and childcare shelter and old age support.
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