RSS-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has called for an early enactment of the new Wage Code as the new Draft Code on Wages (Central) Rules, 2020 more or less takes care of the important concerns the organisation had over wage fixation and working hours.
"The Code on wages rules should be finalised at the earliest incorporating changes on some minor objections. It is historic and revolutionary since it is the first universal labour code and for the first time minimum wages is extended to the last worker in the country, instead of the present minimum wage coverage of only 7 percent of the total workforce", C. K. Saji Narayanan, President, BMS says.
The organisation welcomed the government decision to fix the duration of working time to 8 hours a day instead of the 9 hours prescribed in the current Minimum Wages Act and the previous draft of the Wage Code.
"This change needs to be brought in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code also where still it is 9 hours", Narayanan points out. The trade union welcomed the decision to fix the criteria for fixed minimum wages according to their recommendation.
Among the few tweaks BMS still wants, is the withdrawal of a new provision for appeal by employer against decision on wages. Alternatively, if retained, BMS wants it to be accompanied by compulsory deposit of award amount in fixed deposit where interest also will accumulate.
For skilled workers, BMS suggests a 25 percent additional amount to be paid on the principle accepted by 7th Pay Commission. The trade union also said that based on its objection against withdrawal of the Wage Board system for working journalists from the Wage Code and minimum wages law, the new draft safeguards journalists wages by two committees- Technical committee to fix minimum wages and National Tripartite advisory Committee to advise on the matters.
"For the first time trade unions are involved in the fixation of wages for the working journalists. The technical committee also should be made tripartite", Narayanan says.