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The ILO (Interna tion al Labor Organi zation) was set up in the year 1919, with an aim to imp rove the cond itions of labors member of ILO, which around the worl d.Ind ia was the foun ding ILO has now expand ed its membership to 145 na tions.
throu gh its conve ntions and recom mend ations helps nations to draw their own set of labor laws for the better treatment of the working class, and the preservation of their rig hts. The pri ncipal means of action in the ILO is the sett ing up the Interna tion al Labor Standa rds in the form of Con ventions and Recom mend ations. Con ventions are interna tion al treaties and are ins trum ents, which create legally binding ob ligations on the coun tries that ratify them. Recommendations are nonbin ding and set out gui delines ori enting na tion al pol icies and actions .
Labor Law regul ates matt ers, such as, labor employment, remun era tions , and conditions of work, trade union s, and labor manag ement relations. Th ey also include social laws regul ating such as pect s as com pens ation for sharing acc ident caused to a wor ker at wor k, fixation of minim um wag es, materni ty benefits, of the compan y’s profit by the workers, and so on. Most of these legal ins trum ents regul ate rig hts and respons ibilities of the working peop le. The app roach of Ind ia with regard to Interna tion al Labor Stand ards has alw ys a been posi tive. The ILO ins trum ents ha ve provided gui delin es and us eful framework for the evolu tion of legisla tive and adminis trative measures for the protection and advancement of the interest of labor. To that rather than extent the influ ence of ILO Con ventions as a standard for reference for labor legisla tion and pra ctices in Ind ia, as a legally bin ding no rm, has bee n signifi cant. Ratifi cation of a the country concerned and, Con vention impos es legally bin ding ob ligations on
therefore, Ind ia has been careful in ratifying Con ventions. It has alwa ys been the pr actice in Ind ia that we ratify a Con vention when we are fully satisfied that our laws and pra ctices are in conf ormity with the relevant ILO Con vention. It is now
cons idered that a bett er cour se of action
is to proceed with prog ress ive
implementation of the standa rds, leave the formal ratification for consid eration at a later stage when it becom es practicable. We ha ve so far ra tified 39 Con ventions of the ILO, which is much better than the posi tion obtaining in many other coun tries. Even where for special reasons, Ind ia may not be in a posi tion to ra tify a Con vention, Ind ia has generally voted in favor of the Con ventions reserving its posi tion as far as its future ra tification is concerned. Co re Con ventions of the ILO: - The eight Core Con ventions of the ILO (also called fun damental/hum an rig hts conventions) are:
• • • • • • • • •
Forced Labor Con vention (No. 29) Aboli tion of Forced Labor Con vention (No.105 ) Equal Remun eration Con vention (No.100) Discrimin ation (Emplo yment Occupation) Con vention (No.111) (The ab ove four ha ve bee n ratifi ed by Ind ia). Freedom of Ass ociation and Protection of Right to Organized Con vention Right to Organi ze and Coll ect ive Ba rgaining Con vention (No.98) Minim um Age Con vention (No.138 ) Worst forms of Child Labor Con vention (No.182) (These four are yet to be ratifi ed by Ind ia) Cons equent to the World Summit for Social Development in 1995, the abovemention ed Con ventions (Sl. No.1 to 7) were categori zed as the Fun damental Human Righ ts Con ventions or Co re Con ventions by the ILO. Later on, Con vention No.182 (Sl. No.8) was added to the list. As per the Declara tion on Fun damental Prin ciples and Righ ts at Work and its
Follow -up, each Member State of the ILO is expecte d to give effect to the prin ciples con tained in the Core Con ventions of the ILO, irrespective of whether or not the Co re Con ve ntions ha ve bee n ratifi ed by them.
Und er the repor ting procedure of the ILO, detailed repor ts are due from the member States tha t ha ve ratifi ed the priori ty Con ventions and the Co re Conventions every two years. Und er the Follow -up to the ILO Declar ation on Fun damental Principl es and Righ ts at Work, a report is to be made by each Member State every ye ar on those Co re Con ventions that it has not ye t ra tified. Active partnership poli cy & multi-dis ciplin ary team One of the major reforms ini tiated rece ntly is the laun ching of the “Active
Partnership Policy” whos e aim is to bring ILO closer to its cons tituents. The main ins trum ent for implementation of the poli cy – is the multi- dis ciplin ary team, which will help identify special areas of concern and provide techni cal advisory services to member States to transla te ILO’s core manda te into employment, indus trial relations, act ion. The multidis ciplin ary team for Sou th-Asia is bas ed in Ne w De lhi. It consis ts of specialists on wor kers and employers’ activity, small-scale enterpris es and Interna tion al Labor Standards. Child Labor Legislations ILO’s interest in child labor, young persons and their probl ems is well known. It has adop ted a number of Con ve ntions and Recom mend ations in this rega rd. In Ind ia, within a framework of the Child Labor (Prohi bition and Regul ations) Act, 1986 and throu gh the Nation al Policy on Child Labor, ILO has funded the preparation of certain local and indus try specific project s. In two projects, viz. Child Labor Action and Supp ort Prog ramm es (CLASP) and Internation al Progra mm e on Elimin ation of Child Labor (IPEC), the ILO is pla ying a vital rol e. The implementation of IPEC prog ra mm es in Ind ia has ce rtainly created a ve ry labor and in as expeditious ly as pos sible. A
posi tive impa ct towa rds un derstand ing the probl em of child highli ghting the need to elimin ation child labor
major contribu tion of the IPEC prog ramm e in Ind ia is that it ha s genera ted a
critical con scious ness among all the 3 social partners for measures to eliminate child labor. The effect of ILO on Labor legisla tion in Ind ia With the growth and expansion beginning
of factori es and indus tries in the subcon tinent
in the mid- nin etee nth century, new avenues for employment were
created, resul ting in a gra dua l migra tion of the labor force from rur al areas to mills and factori es located primarily in urban areas. At that time, in the abs ence of any state control or organization of the wor kers, the employers were less concerned about the needs of their employee s; the work hours were too lon g, wag es much below the sub sistence leve l, and unsa tisfact or y. The the workers’ employment conditions were situa tion led to the ena ct m nt of a num er of legisl ations e b
beginning from the year 1881 . Th ese include, inter alia, the Factories Act (1881), Work men’s Com pens ation Act (1923 ), Tra de Unions Act (1926), Tra de Disputes Act (1929), Payment of Wages Act (1936), Maternity Benefit Act (1939 ), and Employment of Chil dren Act The Factories Act 188 1 is the basis of all labor and indus trial laws of the cou ntry. It contained provisi ons eve n for hours of work of women and workers including that of minimum age for employment of chil dren. After the Interna tion al Labor Organi zation (ILO) was formed in 1919 , this Act was amend ed and thereafter repealed, resul ting in the prom ul gation of the Factori es Act 1934. It makes provision for safety, health and hygiene of the wor kers and special provision for women and juvenile workers. It also prohi bits child labor. It limits work of a child in factories, including the season al on es. Und er the Mines Act 1923 which app lies to wor kers employed in mines, the hours of work for persons employed on surface are limi ted to ten per day and fifty four per week. The perio ds of work including rest interval sha ll not spread ove r more than 12 hours in any da y. For workers employed un dergroun d, the daily limit is nine the
hours per da y. The Act does not con tain provisions as to overtime work. No worker is to work in a mine for more than six da ys a week. The Act does not provide for wag es for the weekly rest day. The governm ent of Ind ia set up an enq uiry committee in 1926 to ascertain the Royal
loo phole for irregul arity of pa yment of wages to indus trial wor kers. The
Commission on Labor app ointed in 1929 consid ered the reports and sugg estions of the aforesaid enquiry committee and recom mended for enactment for preve ntion of maladies relating to pa yment of wag es resul ting in the prom ulgation of the Payment of Wag es Act in 1936. It aim ed, firs tly, at disbur sement of actua l distrib utable wag es to wor kers within the prescribed period and, secondly, to ens ure that the employee s get their full wag es without any deduction. The Act was pass ed to regulate the payment of wag es to ce rtain class es of persons employed in indus try. The obj ect of the Act obvious ly was to provide a cheap and spee dy remedy for employee s to whom the Act app lied inter ali a, to recover wag es due to them, and for that purp ose, a special tribun al was sub sequently created, but due to som inh erent defects in the statute the recovery of decree able wag es rema e ined dif ficult. The Weekly Holidays Act of 1942 prescribes one paid holi day a week for persons employed in any sho p, restaurant empow ered to grant or theatre (excepting tho se employed in a governm ent is confid ential capacity or in a posi tion of mana gement). The
add ition al ha lf-day holi day with pay in a wee k
The Ind us tria l Disputes Act, 1947 came into being on the 1st day of April 1947. The Act provided for establishm ent of industrial trib un als by the app rop riate governm ent in Bri tish Ind ia. It established a full- fledg ed indus trial tribun al for adju dication of indus trial disputes for the firs t time
The Ind us tria l Emplo yment (Stand ing Orders) Act, 1946 came into op eration for
the first time requiring employers in indus trial establishm ents emplo ying 100 or more work men to define the terms of employment of work men in the form of standing orders whi ch should be in genera l confo rmity with the mod el standing orders incorp or ated in the Act. The Mercha nt Shi pping Act, 19 23 provided for an agree ment betwee n a seaman and the mas ter of the ship regarding terms of service Con clus ion: Labor class is inde ed one of the class es most vuln erable to exploi tation if not the most. Most of the labor legisl ations in Ind ia are pre – cons titution al. The concept of Fun damental Righ ts was introd uced the Cons titution. Althou gh most of the pre – cons titution al legisl ations ha ve been repealed or cur tailed following the Doctrine of Eclipse and Doctrine of Severability, not a lot of cha nges ha ve ha d to be made to the labor laws that were well pass ed before the Cons titution. The success of these labor legislations must be att rib uted to the ILO, as the gui de lines issued by the ILO were formed the prin ciples on which these legislations were dra wn. By obs erving the passage of Labor Legislations in Ind ia, throu gh the various amend ments and enactments, it is evident that the ILO did ha ve a great impact on the Labor Laws in Ind ia. Many new laws were enacted to incorpora te the gui delines of the conve ntions of the ILO that were ratifi ed by Ind ia. The setting up of ILO also saw the amend ment of Factori es Act, 1881. Al l these amended and ena cted legisl ations make provisi ons for the general welfare and protection of interest of the labors in Ind ia. The posi tive influ ence of ILO is see n in form of recogni tion of many new kin ds of rig hts that were erstwhile not available to the labor class, but were made available post the creation of ILO.
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