August 20, 2008: 24-hour industrial strike brought the West Bengal and Kerala to a standstill. Eight major trade unions, including All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and Centre for Industrial Trade Union (CITU) is observing the strike across the country to protest against the government's "anti-labour" policies . According to sources several employees from bank federations, insurance, State and Central government employees' unions, railways, defence, telecom, airlines and airports unions are participating in the agitation. Four private airlines cancelled their flights from Chennai to Kolkata Trade bandh: 80 strikes in 6 months
Raise allotted to them in the 6th pay commission report
Provide social security to unorganised sector workers
The Economic Times, 27 Aug’ 08 Trade unions to march to Parliament over labour issues To protest against price rise, speculative trading, FDI in retail sector, non implementation of social security laws and other labour laws effectively and globalisation in several sectors, the Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI) will organise a march to Parliament on August 29. Workers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa, Mahrashtra, Gujarat, Bengal and other states will participate in the march, which will start from 10 am on August 29 after the they assemble at Jantar Mantar before heading for Parliament. The march will culminate into a public meeting at Parliament gates. Memorandum of their demands will be submitted to the President, the Prime Minister and the Labour Minister by a delegation. A communique from the trade union informed that it will also organise a seminar at the hall of the Gandhi Peace Foundation on August 28 where CPI(ML), TUCI , Mill Mazdoor Union , New Socialist Movement, Gujarat Trade Union Federation and other trade union leaders will hold a discourse on the issues.
Kolkata , May 7, 2008: Activists from All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) burn effigy of U.S. President George W. Bush during protest against remarks where Bush cited growing prosperity in India as a cause for rising global food prices
Strong nexus between trade unions and politics in India
Politicians need the support of the masses. Working people being strong vote banks, political parties depend on trade unions. Trade unions feel that if they are aligned to some political party (particularly the ruling party), they will be better able to defend their interests. Problem: Trade unions become fragmented whenever there is fragmentation in political parties BJP Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) CPI (M) Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) CPI All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Congress Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Political Affiliation Trade Union
Trade unions suffer from poor public image. Positive contributions of trade unions go unnoticed and unrecognized. Q) Can we associate trade unions with more efficient production? Q) Do we have some evidence on trade union’s role in economic development? Q) Can trade unions enhance competitiveness of nations? A few industry studies indicate that “YES” * * C S Venkata Ratnam, “Industrial Relations”, p 88, Oxford University Press
Wage Policy Wage policy refers to systematic efforts of the government in relation to national wage and salary system. Purpose: To regulate the structure of wages and salaries with view to achieve economic and social objectives of the government.
To give to workers a share in fruits of economic development.
To set minimum wages for workers whose bargaining power is weak.
To bring about more efficient allocation and utilization of human resources through wage and salary differential.
To abolish malpractices and abuses in wage and salary payments.
Payment of Wages Act, 1937 Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 Minimum Wages Act, 1948 Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 To prohibit any delay or withholding of wages Authorizing all state governments to set up industrial tribunals which would look into disputes relating to remuneration Fixation of minimum rates of wages to workers Prohibits discrimination in matters relating to remuneration on the basis of religion, sex etc. With all these Acts in place, are there no disparities in wages?
Wage differential refers to differences in wage rates due to the location of company, hours of work, working conditions, type of product manufactured, or other factors. It may be the difference in wages between workers with different skills working in the same industry or workers with similar skills working in different industries or regions. Wages Differential
Employees in MNCs are paid higher.
Different industries have different wage structures resulting in disparities in remuneration for identical works.
Wide gaps exist between wages of employees of organised sector vs. unorganised sector.
Occupational Differentials Different occupations require different qualifications, skills and different degree of responsibility 1. To induce workers to undertake “more demanding”, “more risky” jobs. 2. Encourage workers to develop skills in anticipation of higher earnings in future. 3. To perform social function by way of determining the social status of workers.
Regional (Inter-Area) Differentials Workers in same industry and the same occupational group, but living in different geographical areas, are paid different wages.
Employers ability to pay/ product demand in market
Provides opportunity for workers to switch to higher wage industries.
Arise when the workers in the same occupation and in the same area but in different industries are paid different wages. Story about a foundry ‘ Shakti Industries’ in Haora, West Bengal that makes New York City’s manhole covers. , November 26, 2007
Personal Wage Differentials Arise because of differences in personal characteristics (age or sex) of workers who work in the same plant and the same occupation. In occupations which involve muscular work, women workers are employed but paid less than men workers “Equal pay for equal work” I.L.O. convention (No. 100) Industrial courts Labour Tribunals Minimum Wages Committee Fare Wage Committee
Why all the labor is not done by hardened hands?
Sector Differentials Depends upon nature of workers group (organized/ unorganized) and level of economic development of the sector. Agricultural workers are not able to better their living conditions, whereas workers in industrial sectors have their own unions to fight for them.