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Collective Bargaining in IndiaRecent Trends

Surendra Pratap
Asia Monitor Resource Centre

•Collective bargaining is actually a struggle for building a democratic and civilized society •We can not imagine a civilized society without independent sectional organizations and political parties representing the overall socioeconomic-political interests of the masses

state acting as corporate agent to remove all barriers for capital accumulation and mobility of capital • Therefore suddenly in almost all the third world countries.• Whenever capitalist development moved forward at extraordinarily speedy rate. most autocratic regimes ruled the states • Seems most of the third world countries have entered in a similar phase • Liberalization and Globalisation means. an all-round attack on right to organizes and collective bargaining .

9 to 62.6 million to 35. Employment: 396 million in 2000 to 456 million in 2005) • Informal sector: 393.5 crore (25.Structure of Work force • > 97 % enterprises in informal sector.6 million.000 registered unions (politically affiliated and independent) and non-registered organizations • Total verified membership about 2.2 million (86 percent)--Agriculture: 251.0 million • 70.5 million) about 30% of it represented by agricultural workers • Union density in India only 8 percent . but formal employment increased only from 33.7 million • self-employed (63%). 3% formal sector • T. regular wage workers (17%) and casual 20 % • Formal sector employment increased from 54.

Inter State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1979 • Weekly Holidays Act 1942 • Contract Labour (Regulation) Act 1970 • Shops and Establishment Acts of various States (establishments not registered under Factories Act) . dispensary. Sales promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1976. ambulance. Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1955. Apprentices Act 1961. Building and Other Construction Workers Act 1995. 1966. 1952. Plantation Labour Act 1951. Motor Transport Workers Act 1961. rest room: if 150 or more workers. Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act. • Mines Act. and medical and paramedical staff: if 500 or more workers).Labour Legislations in India 1. Laws for regulating Conditions of Service • The Factories Act. canteen: if 250 or more workers. 1948---10 or more workers (Crèche: if 30 or more women.

1926 (7 or more workers) • b) Industrial Disputes Act. Chapter V B: 100 or more workers. 1947 (Procedural aspects to all workers. 1946: (100 or more workers----in some states 50 or more. Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976 • Equal Remuneration Act 1976. The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act.Labour Legislations in India 2. < Rs 3500 pm) 4. VA: 50 or more workers) • c) Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act. Labour Relations Laws • a) Trades Union Act. Wage Laws: • Minimum Wage Act 1948 (all workers) • Payment of Wages Act 1936. (10 or more workers. (20 or more workers. < Rs 1600 pm) • Payment of Bonus Act 1965. only in UP-10 or more) 3. . Labour Laws regarding Human Rights: • Child Labour (Prohibition and regulation) Act 1986.

medical insurance schemes etc.Labour Legislations in India 5. Social Security Laws: • Employees’ Provident and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952: (if 10 or more workers) • Employees’ State Insurance Act 1948: (20 or more workers) • Maternity Benefit Act 1961 (if 10 or more workers) • Payment Gratuity Act 1972 (if 10 or more workers) • Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923 (all workers) • Unorganized Workers Social Security Act 2008 : (unorganized workers below poverty line)(National Old Age Pension Scheme. National Family Benefit Scheme. Scheme for protection during maternity.) .

Legal Boundaries for Collective Bargaining • No ratification of ILO conventions-C-87 and C-98 • Limited scope and coverage of R2A and CB with in legal boundaries of TU Act and ID Act • TU Act and ID Act silent on the issue of recognition of trade unions .

arbitration and court proceedings • TU activities granted immunity from the applicability of CRPC but not in case of illegal strikes . • Section 10k: can be imposed to prohibit strikes or Lockouts.Legal Boundaries for Collective Bargaining • Right to strike is not a fundamental right but a legal right governed by Industrial Disputes Act 1947. • section 22 : In Public Utility Services---strike notice of 6 weeks • Section 23: Prohibition of strikes during the pendency of conciliation.

Indian National Trade Union Congress (Congress Party).members: 3.CTUOs in India • BMS .Trade Unions co-ordination Centre (All India Forward Block) • SEWA.6 million • UTUC (LS) . members: 3.All-India Central Council of Trade Unions (CPI-ML-liberation)recently listed • INTTUC-Indian National Trinmool Trade Union Congress (All India Trinmool Congress)-recently listed .2 million • CITU .Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CPI-M) members: 2.3 million • HMS .United Trade Union Congress (Revolutionary Socialist Party) • TUCC .Self-Employed Women's Association (independent)—recently listed • LPF.Labour Progressive Front (DMK)—recently listed • ICCTU.Hind Mazdoor Sabha (independent-socialist) -members: 3.Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (far right political party BJP)members: 6 million • INTUC .United Trade Union Congress (Lenin Sarani) (SUCI) • UTUC .8 million • AITUC .All India Trade Union Congress (CPI).

subject to a minimum of 7 workmen members for registration—limiting no. whichever is less. of outsiders • Banning the Strikes by using ESMA • TN-ESMA in 2003: imposed on general strike of government and public sector employees.170000 employees were dismissed-lastly reduced to 6074 .Further Shrinking the Space for Collective Bargaining Amending the Trade union Act • 10% or 100.

AIR 2003 SC 3032): government employees have no fundamental right to strike • Kerala geneal strike 1997: Bandhs (general Strikes) are illegal.Judicial Precedents Imposing Further Limitations • General strike in Tamil Nadu (2003) TR Rangarajan vs Government of Tamil Nadu. No outsiders in trade unions etc. Right to join unions in NMIZs – only to low paid workers . Order of HC Kerala upheld by SC • In 2004. Calcutta High Court delivered similar decision Making SEZs and NMIZs Immune to Trade Union Actions • All SEZs and NIMZs declared as public utility services • Amendments proposed: applicability of protective sections of ID Act and CL Act.

ILO 2010 .Declining wage share in India. 1993–2007 World of Work Report.

and Viva Global in Gurgaon etc. Individualized Bargaining : Spurt in individualised bargaining mainly due to rampant informalisation . Efforts to develop unity among the CTUOs resulted in Coordination Committee of eight CTUOs and the first joint action was successful all India strike on Nov 7. NCR Delhi. 2010.New Trends : 1 New wave of labour movement for unionization • A new wave of workers struggle for unionization. Nestle in Uttarakhand. • Workers struggle in Graziano Transmissioni in Noida. Pricol in Coimbtore. Hyundai motors. Foxconn and Madras Rubber Factory in Chennai. Rico Auto Ltd and Sunbeam Auto Ltd in Gurgaon.

969 4.054 2005 227 2.010.976 2004 236 1.70.664.382 2.Strikes and Lockouts from 2002 to 2005 ITEM No.722.048 3.784 Labour Bureau. of Strikes No.167 10. of Workers Involved Man-days lost No.903.313 19.817 2002 295 900.800.921.828.950 297 804.537 284 179.386 2003 255 1.630 18.737 241 169. of Workers Involved Man-days lost 16.686 229 190. Government of India .864. of Lockouts No.

.com/2009/12/.Strikes and Lockouts 2005-09 www.livemint../The-rise-of-the-new-proletaria.html .

The case of Viva Global • 400 male workers and 200 females workers in company --.demand for wage increment in April 2010 after minimum wages revised in January 2010--.stopped the work for two hrs every day April 8-10 • One worker dismissed---protest----15 workers taken in custody • Workers started their efforts to form trade union • Protest ended-demands fulfilled---minimum wage. regular workers also thrown out • August 25: 20-25 local goons brutally attacked the factory workers . collectively protested against this move • Aug 21: all contract workers thrown out-protest at the factory gate • Management locked out the factory. formal contract-ESI and PF • But Soon management started throwing out workers one by one • Workers successfully registered union in May 2010.

The case of Viva Global • One worker was caught and abducted by the goons. But soon after they received directions on phone and therefore they again put me in the same backside box of the car and threw me out at Delhi-Gurgaon Border. Thereafter they took me to a jungle and threatened to kill me. • Accounts of Abducted worker: ―I was put in backside box of a car.‖ . They took me to a house and hit me with whatever they had till they received directions on phone to take me to another place. the police also reached there and took me to the Police Station and then to the hospital and from there I again came to the place where sit-in-protest of workers was going on. Lastly the car stopped and the goons closed my eyes with some cloth before taking me out of the box. As soon as I reached my residence from there.

. Collective Bargaining at Industry or National level rather than factory level. for example in garment-the situation provides only two options: individual bargaining or Industry level/national level bargaining and requires political forms of struggle New initiatives to organize informal sector workers: Many local level unions of rural workers and also regional platforms of rural workers have started emerging— Particularly arround NREGA. adopting more political forms of struggle than traditional union tactics • In many industrial sectors.New Trends: 2 Informalisation and New Paradigm of CB • Emphasis on Community organizing rather than at shopfloor.

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