NEW DELHI: In signs of discord within on labour reforms, BJP-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh today attacked the government in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over "few wrong policies" and said it will not allow reforms "at the cost of labour".
Among the country's biggest trade unions, BMS demanded that the industry-friendly factories act enacted by BJP-ruled Rajasthan government as also the new labour laws by the Centre be withdrawn.
A day after discussions with ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and a tea meeting with Modi failed to convince unions about labour reforms, BMS National President B N Rai said the government should stop the process of amending labour law till a consensus is arrived at.
"The government has adopted few wrong policies by taking such actions which directly affect labour in particular and people in general," he said, addressing the 46th Indian Labour Conference which was inaugurated by Modi.
Among the "wrong policies", he listed unilateral enactment of Apprentice Act as well as "allowing Rajasthan government to do unilateral changes in Factories and other labour laws, which has motivated Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and other (state) government to follow the same line".
Imposition of tax on PF loan, removal of inspectors by allowing self certification and attempt to convert minimum wages to floor level wages are other flawed policies, he said.
Rai also attacked foreign direct investment (FDI) policy saying overseas investment "could not even reach to double digit percentage in our total economy".
On his list of demands were fixing Rs 15,000 per month as minimum wage with indexation and social security, withdrawal of new factories act enacted by Rajasthan and other state governments, regulation of contract workers and allowing PSUs to function without obstacles.
He said there are states where minimum wages are as low as Rs 55 per day (Tripura). Rai further said that trade unions were not against industrial development in the country.
"We also desire for its rapid growth. But we will never allow it at the cost of labour and agriculture," he said and pitched for "bold decision" on issues like implementation of recommendations of the previous ILC, which include minimum wages, social security and bonus without ceiling.