Trade unions are gearing up for nationwide protests against the new labour reforms of 2022 in the coming year.
Trade Unions will find it harder to go on strikes due to the labour reforms which have led to changes in the original ‘Industrial Disputes Act, 1947’ passed in the parliament on September 22, 2020.
“Instead of promoting peace, there is unrest,” said Vijaya Bhaskar D.A, General Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress, Karnataka (AITUC). The new labour reforms state that prior permission is needed to go on a strikes, otherwise it will be deemed illegal. Now, the new labour reforms say that strikes before, during and after the proceedings into the cause of the strike by the Labour Department are illegal. But what this means is that once the letter of the strike is received, the conciliation officer of the Labour Department can start the process and thus, the strike will not be allowed at all.
Mr.Vijaya Bhaskar said,“The government is pro-corporate and pro-rich,”. He added that unions are thereto help the workers, they cannot alone start fights. The new labour reforms state that there is a need for 10 percent of workers for a union to be recognised. “The long struggle of the workers over the years are isbeing targeted,” said Mr.Vijaya Bhaskar.
“We get more than 500 workers requests regularly asking for help,” said Prabhukumar, Vice President of Karnataka State Karmikara Hitharakshana Union. He added that unions are needed to solve the problems of the workers.
Saurabh Bhattacharjee, Associate Professor of Law, at National Law School of India University, said “The bargaining power of the trade unions is affected. “All unions will be hurt,” He added that the decision is hostile and backward.
Vinutha Natesh, Assistant Labour Commissioner of Karnataka said if the workers are not complying with the guidelines of following the prior notice, then it will be considered illegal.
“Along with the welfare of the workers, economic repercussions have to be kept in mind,” she added.
“These reforms will empower the employers at the expense of the labourers,” said Mr Vijaya Bhaskar. He added that the new reforms could lead to easy layoffs of the workers if there is even slight information about formation of unions in the company by the employers.