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Collective Bargaining in India- Recent Trends Surendra Pratap Asia Monitor Resource Centre
Introduction•Collective bargaining is actually a struggle forbuilding a democratic and civilized society•We can not imagine a civilized society withoutindependent sectional organizations andpolitical parties representing the overall socio-economic-political interests of the masses
• Whenever capitalist development moved forward at extraordinarily speedy rate, most autocratic regimes ruled the states• Seems most of the third world countries have entered in a similar phase• Liberalization and Globalisation means- state acting as corporate agent to remove all barriers for capital accumulation and mobility of capital• Therefore suddenly in almost all the third world countries, an all-round attack on right to organizes and collective bargaining
Structure of Work force• > 97 % enterprises in informal sector; 3% formal sector• T. Employment: 396 million in 2000 to 456 million in 2005)• Informal sector: 393.2 million (86 percent)--Agriculture: 251.7 million• self-employed (63%), regular wage workers (17%) and casual 20 %• Formal sector employment increased from 54.9 to 62.6 million; but formal employment increased only from 33.6 million to 35.0 million• 70,000 registered unions (politically affiliated and independent) and non-registered organizations• Total verified membership about 2.5 crore (25.5 million) about 30% of it represented by agricultural workers• Union density in India only 8 percent
Labour Legislations in India1. Laws for regulating Conditions of Service• The Factories Act, 1948---10 or more workers (Crèche: if 30 or more women; rest room: if 150 or more workers; canteen: if 250 or more workers; ambulance, dispensary, and medical and para- medical staff: if 500 or more workers).• Mines Act, 1952; Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966; Building and Other Construction Workers Act 1995; Motor Transport Workers Act 1961; Plantation Labour Act 1951; Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1955; Sales promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1976; Apprentices Act 1961; Inter State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1979• Weekly Holidays Act 1942• Contract Labour (Regulation) Act 1970• Shops and Establishment Acts of various States (establishments not registered under Factories Act)
Labour Legislations in India2. Labour Relations Laws• a) Trades Union Act, 1926 (7 or more workers)• b) Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (Procedural aspects to all workers; Chapter V B: 100 or more workers, VA: 50 or more workers)• c) Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946: (100 or more workers----in some states 50 or more, only in UP-10 or more)3. Wage Laws:• Minimum Wage Act 1948 (all workers)• Payment of Wages Act 1936; (10 or more workers, < Rs 1600 pm)• Payment of Bonus Act 1965; (20 or more workers, < Rs 3500 pm)4. Labour Laws regarding Human Rights:• Child Labour (Prohibition and regulation) Act 1986; The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act; Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976• Equal Remuneration Act 1976.
Labour Legislations in India5. Social Security Laws:• Employees’ Provident and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952: (if 10 or more workers)• Employees’ State Insurance Act 1948: (20 or more workers)• Maternity Benefit Act 1961 (if 10 or more workers)• Payment Gratuity Act 1972 (if 10 or more workers)• Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923 (all workers)• Unorganized Workers Social Security Act 2008 : (unorganized workers below poverty line)- (National Old Age Pension Scheme, National Family Benefit Scheme, Scheme for protection during maternity, medical insurance schemes etc.)
Legal Boundaries for Collective Bargaining• No ratification of ILO conventions-C-87 and C-98• Limited scope and coverage of R2A and CB with in legal boundaries of TU Act and ID Act• TU Act and ID Act silent on the issue of recognition of trade unions
Legal Boundaries for Collective Bargaining• Right to strike is not a fundamental right but a legal right governed by Industrial Disputes Act 1947.• Section 10k: can be imposed to prohibit strikes or Lock- outs;• section 22 : In Public Utility Services---strike notice of 6 weeks• Section 23: Prohibition of strikes during the pendency of conciliation, arbitration and court proceedings• TU activities granted immunity from the applicability of CRPC but not in case of illegal strikes
CTUOs in India• BMS - Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (far right political party BJP)- members: 6 million• INTUC - Indian National Trade Union Congress (Congress Party), members: 3.8 million• AITUC - All India Trade Union Congress (CPI)- members: 3.3 million• HMS - Hind Mazdoor Sabha (independent-socialist) -members: 3.2 million• CITU - Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CPI-M) members: 2.6 million• UTUC (LS) - United Trade Union Congress (Lenin Sarani) (SUCI)• UTUC - United Trade Union Congress (Revolutionary Socialist Party)• TUCC - Trade Unions co-ordination Centre (All India Forward Block)• SEWA- Self-Employed Womens Association (independent)—recently listed• LPF- Labour Progressive Front (DMK)—recently listed• ICCTU- All-India Central Council of Trade Unions (CPI-ML-liberation)- recently listed• INTTUC-Indian National Trinmool Trade Union Congress (All India Trinmool Congress)-recently listed
Further Shrinking the Space for Collective BargainingAmending the Trade union Act• 10% or 100, whichever is less, subject to a minimum of 7 workmen members for registration—limiting no. of outsiders• Banning the Strikes by using ESMA• TN-ESMA in 2003: imposed on general strike of government and public sector employees- 170000 employees were dismissed-lastly reduced to 6074
Judicial Precedents Imposing Further Limitations• General strike in Tamil Nadu (2003) TR Rangarajan vs Government of Tamil Nadu, AIR 2003 SC 3032): government employees have no fundamental right to strike• Kerala geneal strike 1997: Bandhs (general Strikes) are illegal; Order of HC Kerala upheld by SC• In 2004, Calcutta High Court delivered similar decisionMaking SEZs and NMIZs Immune to Trade Union Actions• All SEZs and NIMZs declared as public utility services• Amendments proposed: applicability of protective sections of ID Act and CL Act, No outsiders in trade unions etc. Right to join unions in NMIZs – only to low paid workers
Declining wage share in India,1993–2007 World of Work Report, ILO 2010
New Trends : 1New wave of labour movement for unionization• A new wave of workers struggle for unionization;• Workers struggle in Graziano Transmissioni in Noida, NCR Delhi, Rico Auto Ltd and Sunbeam Auto Ltd in Gurgaon, Pricol in Coimbtore, Hyundai motors, Foxconn and Madras Rubber Factory in Chennai, Nestle in Uttarakhand, and Viva Global in Gurgaon etc.Efforts to develop unity among the CTUOs resulted in Coordination Committee of eight CTUOs and the first joint action was successful all India strike on Nov 7, 2010.Individualized Bargaining : Spurt in individualised bargaining mainly due to rampant informalisation
Strikes and Lockouts from 2002 to2005 Labour Bureau, Government of India ITEM 2002 2003 2004 2005 No. of Strikes 295 255 236 227 No. of Workers 900,386 1,010,976 1,903,054 2,722,784 Involved Man-days lost 9,664,537 3,205,950 4,828,737 10,800,686 No. of Lockouts 284 297 241 229 No. of Workers 179,048 804,969 169,167 190,817 Involved Man-days lost 16,921,382 2,70,49,961 19,037,630 18,864,313
Strikes and Lockouts 2005-09 www.livemint.com/2009/12/.../The-rise-of-the-new-proletaria.html
The case of Viva Global• 400 male workers and 200 females workers in company --- demand for wage increment in April 2010 after minimum wages revised in January 2010--- stopped the work for two hrs every day April 8-10• One worker dismissed---protest----15 workers taken in custody• Workers started their efforts to form trade union• Protest ended-demands fulfilled---minimum wage, formal contract-ESI and PF• But Soon management started throwing out workers one by one• Workers successfully registered union in May 2010; collectively protested against this move• Aug 21: all contract workers thrown out-protest at the factory gate• Management locked out the factory, regular workers also thrown out• August 25: 20-25 local goons brutally attacked the factory workers
The case of Viva Global• One worker was caught and abducted by the goons.• Accounts of Abducted worker: “I was put in backside box of a car. Lastly the car stopped and the goons closed my eyes with some cloth before taking me out of the box. They took me to a house and hit me with whatever they had till they received directions on phone to take me to another place. Thereafter they took me to a jungle and threatened to kill me. But soon after they received directions on phone and therefore they again put me in the same backside box of the car and threw me out at Delhi-Gurgaon Border. As soon as I reached my residence from there, the police also reached there and took me to the Police Station and then to the hospital and from there I again came to the place where sit-in-protest of workers was going on.”
New Trends: 2Informalisation and New Paradigm of CB• Emphasis on Community organizing rather than at shop- floor; Collective Bargaining at Industry or National level rather than factory level; adopting more political forms of struggle than traditional union tactics• In many industrial sectors, for example in garment-the situation provides only two options: individual bargaining or Industry level/national level bargaining and requires political forms of struggleNew initiatives to organize informal sector workers: Many local level unions of rural workers and also regional platforms of rural workers have started emerging— Particularly arround NREGA.