Ease of clo­sure for big Maha firms too?

All 37,000 Fac­to­ries In State May Get Op­tion To Shut Down With­out Govt Nod

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION -

pen­sa­tion for each year of con­tin­u­ous ser­vice. Those with 300 or more will have to pay 30 days’ com­pen­sa­tion if the state’s per­mis­sion is sought be­fore clo­sure.

Unions say this move would se­ri­ously un­der­mine work­ers rights. “Large com­pa­nies will now be able to eas­ily ex­er­cise the clo­sure op­tion. Cur­rently, af­ter seek­ing gov­ern­ment per­mis­sion, there are ne­go­ti­a­tions with work­ers to en­sure that the com­pen­sa­tion is paid,” said Vivek Mon­teiro of Cen­tre for In­dian Trade Unions.

Fac­to­ries with fewer than 100 work­ers, which cur­rently do not need state per­mis­sion to close, ac­count for 31.6% of Ma­ha­rash­tra’s work­force. Fac­to­ries with be­tween 100 and 300 work­ers, which the state wants to add to the ex­emp­tion list too, ac­count for 23% of fac­tory work­ers.

At this point, the pro­posed amend­ments have been en­dorsed by a state cab­i­net sub-com­mit­tee. They will have to be cleared by the state cab­i­net and then by the state leg­is­la­ture. Since the In­dus­trial Dis­putes Act, 1947, is a cen­tral law,, re­form will also need the ap­proval of the Pres­i­dent.

Shiv Sena, a mem­ber of the BJP-led gov­ern­ment, has said it will op­pose the re­forms in the state cab­i­net. How­ever, Sena mem­ber and in­dus­tries min­is­ter Sub­hash De­sai was part of the sub-com­mit­tee.

The state’s pro­pos­als say it has the op­tion of re-in­tro­duc­ing, if needed, the re­quire­ment for gov­ern­ment clear­ance in in­di­vid­ual cases. “This is an en­abling pro­vi­sion which could be ex­er­cised if there is a sit­u­a­tion of dis­pute or ex­ploita­tion,” said a labour depart­ment of­fi­cial.

The pro­pos­als also sug­gest a three-year ceil­ing on work­ers rais­ing in­dus­trial dis­putes. Cur­rently, there is no time bar.

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