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Monday, April 20, 2015

Trade unions should focus on improving workers' condition

Stating that informal economy (unorganised sector) accounted for more than 90 per cent of employment in India, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC-Asia Pacific) today said trade unions should focus on launching struggles to improve the condition of workers.

Inaugurating the 33rd Triennial Convention of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha here, Noriyuki Suzuki said, "The trade unions cannot ignore the overwhelming majority of toiling masses."

Workers in informal economy work long hours for low wages and were by and large left out of the purview of the Social Protection Scheme, he said, adding, unemployment was a major problem faced by the people in India.

Even as the country registered impressive growth rates, it was not translated into decent job creation, he added.

ITUC successfully launched a global campaign to restore recognition of the right to strike as a legitimate weapon in of the working people. At present the unionisation rate in the Asia Pacific region is 10 per cent, he said.

"Only through bringing substantial number of workers, will we be able to influence the decisions and policies which affected the working class. We have to go for a massive organising campaigns to recruit traditional former workers, informal workers, migrant labour, MNCs including supply chain, EPZ and women and youth," he said.

Bro Jaap Wienen, Deputy General Secretary of ITUC said India was one of the emerging countries in the world but unfortunately only a few were profiting from the growth. 

Hind Mazdoor Sabha General Secretary Harbhajan Singh Siddhu, after hoisting the HMS flag, alleged though NDA government had come to power with assurances of betterment of common people but from day one it was engaged in protecting interests of domestic and global corporate offices.

He said various trade unions of the Central government's various sectors including Railways, Transport, Bank, Insurance and Defence firms, would hold a national convention on May 26 where the Indian trade union movement could chalk out common action plan.

The employer group had challenged the decade-long globally accepted role of ILO and its supervisory mechanism such as committee of experts on convention and recommendations and committee on freedom of association on grounds that the convention did not explicitly protect the right to strike. This had created a serious situation, he said.

Press Trust of India | Madurai Apr 17, 2015 11:57 PM IST
Source : business-standard