The job security of informal workers could decrease as industries would not need permission from the government to lay off workers.
The new labour reforms allow factories with fewer than 300 workers to lay off their employees without permission from the government. Previously, factories with over 100 workers would need consent from the government before mass layoffs.
“It will leave less room for negotiations,” said Vijaya Bhaskar DA, General Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress, Karnataka (AITUC). He added that the workers could be jobless if they start unionizing and demanding their rights as the employer can easily lay them off. “Due to an increase in the threshold, the harassment of the workers would also increase,” said Mr.Vijaya Bhaskar.
Prabhukumar, Vice President of Karnataka State Karmikara Hitharakshana Union said, “It is easy to find labourers who are ready to work at lower wages.” He further explained that due to the availability of cheap labour, the existing workers couldbe easily replaced.
Vinutha Natesh, Assistant Labour Commissioner of Karnataka said, “There is no protection for people.” She added that even if there are 299 people in the factories, they could be easily removed and we would not be able to issue a notice questioning the layoffs.
“Most of the workers would be affected as the units in India usually employ fewer workers,” said Saurabh Bhattacharjee, Associate Professor of Law, at National Law School, Bengaluru. He added that the workers and unions have been demanding a decrease in the threshold but the opposite has happened. “People will be easily terminated,” said Bhattacharjee.
“We will fight these policies, if these are not reversed, we will continue our struggle,” said Mr.Vijaya Bhaskar. He added that trade unions all over India will lead a nationwide protest to support the workers against the new labour reforms in 2023.