Labor & Constitution


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In this presentation, we will discuss about the role of government in enacting labor laws in order to protect and promote interest of labors, in details. We will talk about the constitutional framework, social justice and role of industrial relations.
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Labor & Constitution

  1. 1. “Labour & the Constitution”Learning Objectives√ The role of government in enacting a series of labour laws in order to protect and promote the interests of labour.√ The constitutional framework & fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution√ The philosophy of Social Justice√ The aims and objectives of International Labour Organization [ILO] and its role in pursuit of social justice.√ The role of law in industrial relations
  2. 2. “Labour & the Constitution”Structure 12.1 Introduction 12.2 Constitutional Framework 12.3 Social Justice 12.4 ILO – in Pursuit of Social Justice 12.5 Role of Law in Industrial Relations 12.6 Summary
  3. 3. “Labour & the Constitution”12.1 Introduction The sweeping character of the transition from asimple agricultural set-up to a complex urbanindustrial society has resulted in the emergence oflabour problems in India. Since the workmen were not organized, theyhad no bargaining power and had to work long hoursat low wages under unhygienic work conditions.
  4. 4. “Labour & the Constitution”12.1 Introduction The Government of India, therefore, enacted aseries of legislation to protect the working class fromexploitation & to bring about improvements in theirliving & working conditions. Industrial Disputes Act, ESI Act, Factories Act,Minimum Wages Act were enacted. The goals set inour Constitution have a bearing on industriallegislation and adjudication.
  5. 5. “Labour & the Constitution”12.2 Constitutional Framework Indian Constitution guarantees fundamentalrights to its citizens and has laid down certaindirective principles of state policy for the achievementof social order based on Justice. Equality of opportunity to all citizens inmatters of employment is guaranteed. Traffic inhuman beings, forced labour, employment of childlabour in factories , mines or at other hazardouslocation is prohibited.
  6. 6. “Labour & the Constitution”12.2 Constitutional Framework These are directive principles , and hence notenforceable by any court. It shall be the duty of theState to apply these principles in making laws. Labour is on the Concurrent List on which theCentral as well as State governments have power tomake laws. Article 39, 41, 42 and 43 have a specialrelevance in the field of industrial legislation &adjudication.
  7. 7. “Labour & the Constitution”12.2 Constitutional Framework Article 39 accentuates the basic philosophy ofidealistic socialism & provides a motivation force tothe Directive principles by laying down that the Stateshall direct its policy towards equal pay for men &women. Article 41 lays down that the State shall,within limits of its economic capacity & development,provide for right to work, to education, & pubicassistance in case of unemployment, old age,sickness, disablement and other cases of undeservedwant.
  8. 8. “Labour & the Constitution”12.2 Constitutional Framework Article 42 enjoins the State government tomake provision for securing just & humaneconditions of work & for maternity relief. TheFactories Act, 1948 provides for health, safety,welfare, employment of young persons and women,hours of work for adults, holidays and leave withwages.
  9. 9. “Labour & the Constitution”12.2 Constitutional Framework Contract Labour [Regulation andAbolition] Act was passed to protect contract labourfrom exploitation. Article 43 enjoins the State to assure a livingwage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standardof life and full enjoyment leisure, & social andcultural opportunities. Minimum wages Act, 1948provides for fixation of minimum wages bygovernments for workers.
  10. 10. “Labour & the Constitution”12.2 Constitutional Framework Social security under these articles wasprovided by enacting Employees’ State Insurance Actin 1948 which included benefits like sickness &extended sickness, maternity, disablement,dependents’ , funeral and medical benefits.Employees” PF Act and Maternity Benefit Acts arealso social security measures. Apprenticeship Act supplemented institutionaltraining on-the-job training and regulated thetraining arrangement in industry.
  11. 11. “Labour & the Constitution”12.3 Social Justice In industrial adjudication, the concept of socialjustice has been given wide acceptance. But the termsocial justice is not precisely defined. In one of its verdicts the court assigned broader& positive role to in these words ‘ The concept of socialjustice is not narrow or one sided, nor is it pedanticnor limited to industrial adjudication alone. It is founded on the basic ideal of socioeconomic equality & its aim is to remove socioeconomic disparities. It adopts a realistic andpragmatic approach.
  12. 12. “Labour & the Constitution”12.3 Social Justice In democratic society , administration ofjustice is based on the rule of law, which is dynamicand includes within its imports social justice. It hasbeen given a place of pride in our Constitution. The philosophy of justice has now become anintegral part of industrial jurisprudence. In a welfare state it is necessary to apply thegeneral principles of social & economic justice toremove imbalances in political, economic and sociallife of the people.
  13. 13. “Labour & the Constitution”12.4 ILO – in Pursuit of Social Justice The ILO affirms that universal & lasting peacecan be established only if it is based upon socialjustice, draws attention to the existence conditions oflabour involving injustice, hardship and privation ofa large number of people, and declares thatimprovement of these conditions is urgently requiredthrough such means as regulation of hours of work, prevention of unemployment,
  14. 14. “Labour & the Constitution”12.4 ILO – in Pursuit of Social Justice provision of living wage, protection of workers against sickness, disease, injury arising out of employment, protection of children young persons and women . protection of the interests of migrant workers , recognition of the principle of freedom of association, and organization of vocational & technical education.
  15. 15. “Labour & the Constitution”12.4 ILO – in Pursuit of Social Justice ILO further declares that labour is not a commodity; that freedom of expression and association is essential for sustained progress; that poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere and
  16. 16. “Labour & the Constitution”12.4 ILO – in Pursuit of Social Justice ILO further declaresand that the war against want requires to be carried on with unrelenting vigour by each nation and by continuous & concerted efforts by workers and employers enjoying equal status with government joining in free discussion & democratic decision for the promotion of common welfare.
  17. 17. “Labour & the Constitution”12.4 ILO – in Pursuit of Social JusticeThree main functions of ILO to establish international labour standards to collect & disseminate information on labour & industrial conditions to provide technical assistance for carrying out programmes of social & economic development. From the very beginning , the ILO has been confronted with the tremendous task of promoting social justice by improving the working & living conditions of labour in all parts of the world.
  18. 18. “Labour & the Constitution”12.4 ILO – in Pursuit of Social Justice In order to achieve its objectives , the ILO hasrelied on its standard setting function. Theinternational labour standards take the form ofConventions & recommendation. A Convention is a treaty which when ratifiedcreates binding international obligation on thecountry concerned. On the other hand, a Recommendation createsno such obligation but is a essentially a guide tonational action.
  19. 19. “Labour & the Constitution”12.4 ILO – in Pursuit of Social Justice India has been one of the founder members ofthe ILO. Out of 173 conventions adopted by the ILO,India has ratified 36 conventions & these have beenincorporated in existing legislation. Conventions not ratified have indirectlyguided and shaped the Indian labour legislation in afar reaching manner. The ILO standards have a decisive impact onthe factory, mines, social security and wagelegislations in India.
  20. 20. “Labour & the Constitution”12.5 Role of Law in Industrial Relations In India while there is an agreement on theneed for reforms, areas for reform and the nature ofrequired reforms, major dis-agreements exist as to thepart that the law should play in any scheme ofreforms. . There is one school which believes that thereforms should not include new legislation, while theother thinks introduction of some new legislation ismandated. Any legislative reform by definitioninvolves the law.
  21. 21. “Labour & the Constitution”12.5 Role of Law in Industrial Relations Some believe that the law should fulfill anabstentionist role . All sustentative matters ofindustrial relations should be regulated by partiesthemselves free from legal constraint or obligation. Others want the law to be the main instrumentof directing & controlling the system . This viewimplies an extensive system of regulatory legislationdirecting the parties in their activities & forcingchanges whenever necessary.
  22. 22. “Labour & the Constitution”12.6 Summary It is gratifying to note that apart from thefundamental rights, India’s Constitution embodieswithin itself , in Part IV, Directive Principles of StatePolicy. The functions and duties of States ascontained in Directive Principles have given rise toconcept of social justice. The old idea of laissez faire has given place to anew idea of welfare state. The philosophy of social,economic and political justice has been given a place ofpride in the Constitution , as well as in the aims &objectives of ILO
  23. 23. “Labour & the Constitution”12.6 Summary The development and growth of industrial lawpresents a close analogy to the development andgrowth of constitutional law. A series of labour laws covering labour welfareand social security were enacted for protecting andpromoting the overall welfare of different categories ofworking class.
  24. 24. “Labour & the Constitution”The End!We have now completed first part of‘Industrial Relations’.Now we move to the Part Two ‘Labour Laws’In the next session we cover chapter thirteen on “Apprentices Act , 1961” ZÉÉw _âv~4
  25. 25. “Like” us on Facebook:  p // / “Follow” us on Twitter: com/WeLearnIndiaWatch informative videos on Youtube:
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