NEW DELHI: The Congress picked holes in the draft and demanded a universal law for the unorganised sector workers saying the guarantee of social security was incomplete without the simultaneous generation and protection of decent employment for them.
The Congress submitted its objections to the proposed code to Union Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar on April 30.
“We condemn the proposed code as it falls short of meeting the needs of the unorganised workers. We demand a comprehensive law for them based on the recommendations of the 2nd Labour Commission and the National Commission on Enterprises in Informal Sector,” Arbind Singh, chairman of the newly-created All India Unorganised Workers Congress, said.
The department has been floated recently by Rahul Gandhi to tap around 49 crore unorganised workers in the country.
Singh said the Congress wants definition and a minimum guarantee of social security in the code itself as its absence may lead the government to dole out useless sops to the people.
“A minimum guarantee of the scheme will ensure certain level of protection to the workers,” Singh said.
Further, the Congress lamented that the definition of “contribution” in the proposed code does not describe any contribution by the state or the central government on behalf of such workers or employers who might be exempted from contributing but remain eligible for receiving benefits.
As specified in the later sections of the code a considerable section of the workers may be exempt from making contributions owing to their monthly incomes being below minimum wages or any other criteria yet to be stipulated, the Congress said.
“It is important to emphasise that the code should accommodate the longstanding demand of workers of considering the governments the employer of worker for whom a clear employer-employee relationship cannot be established,” said Singh.
“By that logic, the government should make the contributions s the employer due under the code,” he said.
The Congress added the government should call a meeting with unorganised worker organisations to discuss the issues in detail as the objections listed by it showed there were many shortcomings in the proposed code.