Labour Law Consultant & Trainer, Bangalore
Draft Rules - Recognition of Negotiating Union or Negotiating Council and Adjudication of Disputes of Trade Unions Rules, 2021. IR Code 2020 Published on May 4th, 2021 vide Central Government Gazette Notification.
An in-depth study and analysis demonstrates the reversal trend of the Vision of the Central Government in bring “Labour Reforms – Ease to do Business “–Emerging Four Labour Codes.
This paper is prepared to highlight the various impacts of the provisions in the Draft Rules on the Employers so that, at least now, the Employer’s Organisations file their objections to appropriately modify/ delete the same before the Draft Rules are finally notified for adoption.
Let us look at:
Sec.14. (1) of the IR Code:
There shall be a negotiating union or a negotiating council, as the case may be, in an industrial establishment having registered Trade Union for negotiating with the employer of the industrial establishment, on such matters as may be prescribed.
Sec.14 (7) of the IR Code :
The facilities to be provided by industrial establishment to a negotiating union or negotiating council shall be such as may be prescribed
The Draft Rules prescribes as under.
Matters in an industrial establishment having registered Trade Union for negotiation with employer for the workers employed in the industrial establishment under sub-section (1) of section 14
Facilities to be provided by industrial establishment to a negotiating union or negotiating councils under subsection (7) of section 14.
One can easily conclude that the Draft Rules have exceeded their jurisdiction & gone beyond the IR Code itself by proposing a very liberal privileges and rights to Trade Unions to take up with the Employer.
Even the MRTU & PULP Act of Maharashtra has limited itself the privileges & rights of Recognised Trade Unions within the parameters of ILO Conventions 1957 – Code Of Discipline, a tripartite understanding.
As we are fully aware, following are the accepted and stabilised legal principles & practices by both the Trade Unions & the Employers over a period of time.
What are our reasons & justifications in continuing the well settled facilities, privileges to the Trade Unions and why the proposed Rules either be deleted or modified in line with the present status?
Further justifications by Employers.
Predominantly, the objective & the intention of the “Labour Reforms- through the Four Labour Codes” which have been approved and enacted as Law, is “EASE OF DOING BUSINESS”. The Business must face least challenges and enthuse the Business to invite huge FDI, large scale industrialization which continues to generate high employment growth, thus contributing to National Economy and high repute in the International circle.
Labour Reforms aimed at this objective of “EASE OF DOING BUSINESS” must be highly balanced one between Capital and Labour.
While adopting this strategy, one cannot miss an important point on the present system of handling all critical and sensitive issues between the Capital & Labour through very well-established & instituted system backed up and strengthened by Judiciary.
Both Capital & Labour have settled themselves by these processes.
Then, why this move towards destabilization?
The proposed Rules under the notification, throws open a large gate for the Labour to confront the Capital on each and every Sub Rule. If this is allowed to be approved and passed, then the Capital will be questioned and confronted on all the points in the sub-rules by the Trade Unions.
Thus, it creates total destabilization and results in industrial disturbances, increase in number of litigations etc.
Does this accomplish the vision of the Labour Reforms, namely, “EASE OF DOING BUSINESS’?
Once Capital encounters this unexpected downfall on its business accomplishments, naturally, FDI would be a remote possibility.
The points proposed in the Sub Rules are beyond the jurisdictional powers envisaged under Sec.14 ( 1) & ( 7 ) of the Code.
One cannot miss that under “CODE OF DISCIPLINE’ – a tripartite ILO resolution in 1957 is an accepted code.
It is an appeal that while drafting, a “Drafting Committee “ consisting experts with practical knowledge of handling Industrial Relations in Industrial Establishments, legal experts in the fled of Industrial Law, as members. Otherwise, the vision remains unaccomplished.
Here where the Employers with a united voice must submit its objections / modifications in the overall Interest Of Business, Sustenance & Growth, before 4th June,2021.
K. Vittala Rao.
Labour Law Consultant & Trainer.
18th May, 2021
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