THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Raising concern over the Central Government’s move to bring in amendments to labour laws, the state government called upon the Opposition to put up a joint fight against such moves. The steps to be taken to tackle the move would be taken in consultation with various trade unions and the Opposition parties, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John told the Assembly on Wednesday.
“If the Centre brings in changes in labour laws, the state government will not be able to overcome it. The state government cannot bring in an Act contradictory to the Central Act as it will only prevail. We have to collectively oppose such a move that will adversely affect the employees,’’ he said during question hour. “The Centre is bringing in amendments stating that industrial development will only happen if changes are brought in the Act. This is not true,” the minister said.
Assured Bill Mulled
Aimed at bringing in all sectors under labour laws, Shibu Baby John said that the government was thinking of a new Bill named Assured Bill. “The government aims to bring in the Bill so that all the people get an assured wage. As of now teachers are not covered under the minimum wages. In the new Bill, we propose to cover all sectors,” he said.
Wage Protection System
Noting that the government was aware of the exploitation of nurses and teachers in the private sector, he said that the Wage Protection System had been envisaged to ensure wage protection and end exploitation. ‘’As a pilot project, it is being implemented in Thiruvananthapuram district. Once the system is introduced across the state, we will be able to stop the exploitation,’’ he said. Shibu Baby John also mentioned that the payment of salary in private institutions would be made mandatory through bank accounts under the proposed system. The Department of Labour would be able to monitor the payment online, he added. He said that about 50 foreign institutes had approached ODEPC for recruiting nurses from here. The minister also told the Assembly that an amount of `3.5 crore had been allotted to ODEPC for recruitment process.