Category Archives: Labour Law reforms 2001

Labour Law ‘Reforms’: Surefire or backfire?

The Sunday Times of India, 23rd December, 2001 published a news item on the issue of liberalisation of labour laws by the Government of Maharashtra. The complete text has been scanned and is exhibited for the information of readers.

The employers and the employees agree that any ‘reforms’ in labour matters ‘must be accompanied by social security schemes’. Of course, the ESI Corporation has introduced the Unemployment Insurance Scheme under the name Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana. But, does it answer the problems sufficiently?

The news item gives two projections for the year 2010. One says that by circa 2010, the Corporate Maharashtra would be the jewel in the nation’s crown. The regulation-free state has scored business investments, an abundance of cheap labour has pulled in new industries, ensured greater employment and made companies globally competitive. Desi goods rule the world.

The other scenario, as reported therein, shows that the state is mired in turbulence. With the prevalence of contract labour, loss of bargaining power and poor standards of work and wages, lakhs of workers periodically erupt onto the streets in anger. Or take their rage to the underworld. Big Business stays away from Maharashtra.

These projections are applicable for all the states in India, including Haryana where the Maruthi car factory is situated. We are now in 2012. Readers are free to read the news item and decide for themselves the effect of laxity in Inspections and enforcement of labour laws.

The importance of social security in the era of globalisation can always be understood better in retrospect when the news item is gone through.


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