July 23, 2019
Saugata Ray opposes the introduction of The Code on Wages Bill, 2019
Sir, under Rule 72(1), I have given a notice to oppose the introduction of The Code on Wages Bill. I do not want to club the two Bills together, that is, The Code on Wages Bill, 2019 and The Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019.
Relevant portions of four Bills are supposed to be subsumed in The Code on Wages Bill – The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act Act, 1965 and The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. But I do not understand the compulsion of clubbing these four together. In earlier times, these Bills would have been sent to the Standing Committees, they would not be discussed in the House first.
They are referring to one report published in 2002 – The Second National Commission on Labour. Now, after 17 years, they are bringing it out of the cold storage and making it into a Bill. Now, among the trade unions, who asked for a code on wages? This is a question not clear to me.
This has been done at the behest of employers. The FICCI, the CII – they want a single legislation it will be easy for them. But the workers will be in trouble because their representatives voices will not be heard and a single code on wages covering all wages will be worked forward.
That is why, Sir, let it be sent to the Standing Committee again. Otherwise this Bill should not be taken forward, this serves nobody, this serves no purpose. The interests of the labour are not particularly looked into. That is why I totally oppose the introduction of the Bill.