Unorganised Workers Bill: Parliamentary panel invites TUs

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) The Parliamentary Standing Committee which discussed the Unorganised Workers Bill 2007 today invited written suggestions from the central trade unions so as to consider better working conditions and minimum wages for the 370 million unofficial workers.

This was conveyed to the representatives of CITU, BMS, AITUC, HMS and INTUC at the meeting which was held for over two hours with the members of the Committee headed by S Sudhakar Reddy.

The Committee, which is unhappy with the present Bill, would soon invite employers, NGOs and the state government officials to discuss the bill, sources told UNI.

The Trade Union leaders who attended the meeting opposed the Bill on the plea that it lacks legal backing and committed funds from the Centre.

At present the problem before the Committee is that if it returned the Bill, then it would take a long time for the government to draft the new Bill and place it before Parliament.

Another alternative is to amend the present Bill or recommend a separate bill on working conditions of the workers belonging to the unorganised sector.

The Committee members have asked the Trade Unions to suggest in writing so as to improve the Bill in light of today's discussions.

Meanwhile, the unions have suggested that a comprehensive Bill be made incorporating minimum service conditions, fixed hours, maternal benefit and social security like old age pension and health care.

National Commission for the Enterpreneurs in Organised Sector Chairman Prof Arjun Sengupta, who is also a member, had earlier submitted two separate Bills to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2007.

The approach and reach of the Bill submitted by the Commission is entirely different from the Bill the government introduced on the last date of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

UNI

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