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No worker should be paid less than minimum wages:Rao

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 10 (UNI) Union Labour and Employment Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today sought effective implementation of the Minimum Wages Act to ensure that no worker is paid less than the minimum wages anywhere in the country.

Inaugurating a conference of Deputy Chief Labour Commissioners (Central) and Regional Labour Commissioners (Central) here, Mr Rao said the onus was on the officers to make sure the law is implemented in letter and spirit.

''We must ensure that no worker is paid less than the minimum wages fixed by the central and state governments,'' he said.

He said it was the responsibility of the Central Industrial Relations Machinery (CIRM) officers to secure harmonious industrial relations and compliance of labour laws.

In the changing economic scenario, these officials will have to come above their conventional role and act as ''pro-active'' facilitators, advisers and guide to employers, trade unions and workers, he added.

Complimenting the Chief Labour Commissioners (Central) Organisation also known as CIRM, for over 97 per cent success rate in its conciliatory efforts in averting nationwide strikes in industries of national importance, he said these efforts have resulted in savings crores of rupees in terms of production as well as in avoiding loss of wages to workers.

''The labour administration must become effective and relief-oriented,'' Mr Rao said.

During 2004-5, the central labour conciliatory machinery settled as many as 6,236 disputes and another 1,550 formal settlements were brought about through tri-partite talks, said Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), S K Mukhopadhyay.

Mediation helped solve 2,017 cases, a seven per cent increase over the previous year. The CIRM's success rate in averting strikes is more than 98 per cent, he claimed.

According to Mr Mukhopadhyay, 440 of the 447 threatened strikes were averted through conciliation and mediation. The recent five-day strike in the State Bank of India could not be averted in spite of the best efforts made by CIRM, he added.

CIRM also conducted 39,500 inspections and launched 14,349 prosecutions resulting in 8,291 convictions in 2004-05. It also undertook verification of membership of 18,174 trade unions affiliated to 13 Central Trade Unions with a claimed membership of more than 41.1 million.

The first phase of verification of membership filed before the Registrar of Trade Unions have been completed while the second phase involving physical and spot verification is in progress, he added.

The two-day conference will discuss issues related to settlement of industrial disputes, enforcement of labour laws for welfare of the workers and effective labour administration.


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