Labour Minister meets Modi ahead of strike
As the central trade unions refuse to call off the nationwide one-day strike planned for Friday, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to apprise him of the situation and discuss the measures the government is considering to resolve the unrest.
Among various proposals, the government is planning to provide social security benefits to 95 lakh anganwadi workers, revising the minimum wage for the organised and unorganised workers and considering a hike in the minimum monthly pension to Rs. 2,000 from Rs. 1,000.
The minimum wage advisory board, chaired by the Labour Minister, also met here to discuss the hike in minimum wages for workers.
In the meeting, the trade unions proposed increasing the minimum monthly wage to Rs. 18,000 per month, in line with the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for the government employees, All-India Trade Union Congress Secretary D.L. Sachdev said.
At present, the minimum monthly income for workers varies between Rs. 3,500 and Rs. 10,000 in different States. “The meeting, however, didn’t arrive at any conclusion. The government only took the views of employers’ and employees’ representatives,” Mr. Sachdev said.
The unions’ charter of demands, include hiking of minimum wages, providing social security to scheme workers, and speedy registration of trade unions. They have also opposed the government’s proposed labour law reforms.
The RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) leaders met Mr. Dattatreya on Monday. The union has demanded written assurances from the government on their demands. However, it seems to be now left with no option but to join the strike.
Virjesh Upadhyay, BMS general secretary told The Hindu, “We have not heard anything from the Narendra Modi government on our demands. The Working Committee of the BMS earlier this month had decided to be part of the strike if there is no positive response.”