Representatives of the Central Trade Unions, other unions and federations, organisations and movements working among unorganised sector workers jointly held a National Workshop on Legislation for Unorganised Sector Workers at New Delhi, on October 19, 2006.
The National Workshop considered the various draft bills in circulation, conclusions arrived at various sessions of the Indian Labour Conference, particularly the 40th session held during December 2005 and the initiatives and responses that have emerged in various for on this vital issue.
This National Workshop is of the unanimous view that the Government of India should take immediate steps to fulfill its commitment for enactment of comprehensive protective legislations for all agricultural workers and for the unorganised sector workers.
This National Workshop demands simultaneous introduction of separate bills in Parliament for enacting comprehensive legislations for the benefit of agricultural workers and the unorganised sector workers. The legislations should cover employment regulation, service conditions and social security.
This National Workshop strongly opposes the idea of formulating yet another social security scheme only instead of legislation.
The aspects to be covered under employment regulation and conditions of service should include Guaranteed Minimum Wages, Employment security, Livelihood rights, Occupational Health and Safety, Applicability of other labour laws, Dispute resolution mechanism etc.
The benefits to be covered under floor level social security should cover the aspects of Health, Maternity, Childcare and education, Life/accident, Non employment, Training and Retraining, Old age and family pension etc.
The legislations should have provisions for extending floor level social security benefits by way of state- financed social assistance for all. Towards this, the Government of India should contribute a minimum of 3 per cent of the GDP.
The proposed legislations should address gender sensitive aspects and issues like Equal remuneration, No discrimination on the basis of gender, Prevention of sexual harassment at work place, Proper gender balance in all the committees/boards etc. at all levels, Joint ownership rights in the matter of resources and assets devolved etc.
The implementation machinery should be of Tripartite character at all levels.
The Central Government should bear the administrative cost of implementing the legislations on agricultural workers and unorganised sector workers, more particularly the social security measures, at least for the initial period of five years.
State level, Sectoral level schemes should be by way of add on benefits over and above the floor level social security.
This National Workshop appeals to the Prime Minister to take immediate initiative for introduction of the legislations in this regard during the forthcoming session of the Parliament.
This National Workshop appeals to all Members of Parliament, political parties both at the national level and regional levels to take appropriate imitative to ensure early enactment of these legislations.
This National Workshop appeals to all organisations working among the agricultural and unorganised sector workers to pursue these issues by way of broad level mobilisations throughout the country.
Surendra Mohan Baba Adhav R A Mital S. N. Thakur
NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON
LEGISLATION FOR UNORGANISED SECTOR WORKERS
NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 19, 2006