Major national trade unions on Thursday condemned the government’s notification of “fixed term employment,” which they said, would make all employment insecure, and reduce workers’ provident fund, gratuity and pension payments.

The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said the Modi government had allowed fixed term employment of workers by passing an amendment to the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, “disguised as a Money Bill” along with the Budget on 16 March, 2018.

This was done in spite of total opposition to the proposal from the entire spectrum of Central Trade Unions, as stated in the joint representation submitted to the Union Labour Minister on 15 February 2018, AITUC said.

This amendment will affect the worthiness of workers to avail loans from banks. From now on, workmen under fixed term employment will not be given any notice of termination, their discontinuation will not attract provisions of retrenchment, lay-off, etc., the union said.

The Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), another Central Trade Union, said the “unilateral” decision of the Labour Ministry was “an absolute denial of time-tested practice of tripartite consultation”.

The amendment of the Industrial Establishment (Standing Order), 1946, is
nothing but an attempt to satiate the interests of the employers in the name of ease of doing business, TUCC secretary G Devarajan said.

“It has no logic that a business can grow without the cooperation of the workers and staff,” he said.

While the ILO and other national and international forums are vehemently demanding more social security measures for the workers, the government is adopting anti-worker policies one after another and ignoring the voice of the trade unions, he said.

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh president Saji Narayanan demanded withdrawal of the notification and said by this order permanent employment will vanish from the country.

The Finance Minister, he said, violated the ILO convention 144 on Trade Union Consultation which was ratified by the Indian Parliament, when he unilaterally declared that the fixed term employment will be implemented.

The amendment was being implemented without scrutiny by any Parliamentary Standing Committee.

In 2003 the Vajpayee Government brought fixed term employment, but the UPA government, on seeing protests by Trade Unions, withdrew the controversial amendment, the BMS leader said.