The unions have called a national protest convention of workers in the national capital in the first week of September

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi   August 09, 2014 Last Updated at 00:48 IST

Central trade unions on Friday strongly opposed the recent moves of the central government related to labour law amendments, foreign direct investment in various sectors and disinvestment in public sector undertakings by issuing a formal statement.

“All the central trade unions have strongly opposed in one voice, the onslaught on the working class by the Narendra Modi government through its move of massive amendment of various fundamental labour laws and that too unilaterally, totally ignoring the central trade unions,” stated the 11 trade unions after holding a meeting on Thursday.

It alleged the labour law amendments in Rajasthan were taking place “with the approval of the Modi government”. The unions have called a national protest convention of workers in the national capital in the first week of September  and for a plan of action to be decided in the forum.

“Meantime, more Rajasthan-centric initiatives for a powerful united movement of the working class shall be initiated,” the unions said.

This meeting was presided over by G.Sanjiva Reddy, President of Indian National Trade Union Council (INTUC).

“The central trade unions also denounced the retrograde move of the government in hiking/allowing FDI in defence sector, insurance and railways and also its aggressive move for disinvestment in CPSUs,” stated the statement.

The National Democratic Alliance government had in its Budget estimated that it will mop up over Rs 58,000 crore through disinvestment. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday had cleared the proposal to set the composite cap for foreign investment in the defence sector at 49%, compared with the current 26% foreign direct investment (FDI) ceiling. In some railway operations and projects, FDI was allowed up to 100%.

The NDA had tabled amendments to two labour law Acts in the Lok Sabha on Friday. On July 31, the Rajasthan Assembly had passed changes to the Factories Act, the Industrial Disputes Act, the Apprenticeship Act and the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act.