Govt's fixed-term employment for all sectors irks trade unions

Govt's fixed-term employment for all sectors irks trade unions

Govt's fixed-term employment for all sectors irks trade unions

The government on Thursday announced extending fixed-term contract jobs to all sectors in the union budget only to attract strong criticism from Sangh-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, which said permanent jobs are going to extinct soon.

The BMS announced a nationwide protest on Friday against the "total neglect" of labourers as "none of our demands were met" by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Emphasising that creating job opportunities and facilitating generation of employment has been at the core of policy-making, Jaitley said, "the facility of fixed-term employment will be extended to all sectors." So far, fixed-term employment was allowed in apparel and footwear sectors and the Ministry of Labour on January 8 issued a draft regulation seeking opinion from stakeholders on the issue.

The government feels that this would help in employment generation and help in ease of doing business as it would enable companies hire workers for short-term assignments and terminate their services when projects are completed.

In other news on the labour front, Jaitley said the government will contribute 12% of the wages of the new employees in the EPF for all the sectors for next three years.

Jaitley said they also want to bring more women into formal sector and enable them to have higher take-home wages. For this, the government will amend Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 to reduce women employees' contribution to 8% for first three years of their employment against existing rate of 12% or 10% with no change in employers' contribution.

However, the BMS found these proposals anti-labourer, its National President Saji Naryanan told DH, "we have objections to this kind of new contract system. Slowly, this will lead to the disappearance of permanent jobs. There is no protection for labourers in this. The government has announced it without consultation with stakeholders. A consultation process is already on and it should have waited for it to conclude."

He also found fault with proposal on 8% contribution by women employees in the first three years, saying it would adversely affect their savings. The government should have ideally subsidised that.

The BMS is also apprehensive of the merger of insurance companies saying that it would lead to more job loss and their dislocation.