The Centre has indefinitely postponed the Indian Labour Conference to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after RSS trade union BMS threatened to boycott it over the Union budget that was “unsympathetic to labour and workers”.
At the 47th ILC scheduled to be held on February 26 and 27, trade unions and employers were to discuss key issues over employment and security of workers.
The Union Labour and Employment Ministry, the host of the conference, has not explicitly explained the reasons for calling it off. “The ILC has been postponed. Inconvenience is regretted,” the ministry sent the message to trade unions, BMS president Saji Narayanan told Outlook.
Trade unions, including the RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, had earlier threatened to boycott the event, alleging their demands were not met in the Union Budget. To avoid embarrassment perhaps, the ILC now stands cancelled.
“BMS had decided in its national executive meeting in Ambaji in Gujarat, held from February 6 to 8, to boycott ILC due to the centre’s anti-labour policies. Two words were totally missing from this year’s budget- labour and worker," Narayanan told Outlook.
THE BMS, however, demand the ILC to be convened soon, and the government should "do their homework."
"ILC should not be a ritualistic or ceremonious event. The government has not done sufficient homework. We demand that ILC should be convened at the earliest with sufficient home work by the government," the RSS trade union president said.
In an exclusive article for Outlookindia, Narayanan had said the BJP government at the Centre is nothing more than UPA III.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the nucleus of Sangh Parivar cosmos, had made it evident that it is upset with the Modi government’s economic policy decisions and, like a ventriloquist, has been lashing out through its affiliates like BMS and Swadeshi Jagran Manch.
Other central trade unions invited to the Conference had other reasons to boycott it. Upset with the government's decision to not invite Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the second biggest central trade union in the country, as many as 10 central trade unions described the move as "discriminatory" and "undermining the spirit of tripartism."
The unions had also expressed displeasure over not taking action on the unanimous recommendations of the 43rd, 44th and 45th ILCs especially on formulation of minimum wages, same wages and benefit for same work as regular workers for contract labour.