The absurd clamour for labour market reforms | Business Line

The absurd clamour for labour market reforms | Business Line
Online comments* posted on October 14, 2014:

This refers to the article “The absurd clamour for labour market reforms”(MACROSCAN, October 14). The article gives a balanced view on the injustice being meted out to the workforce of India in general, in the name of reforms and globalisation. By bringing the following facts in one place, the authors have  helped policy makers to have a re-look at the way in  which the government and employers handle the issues relating to compensation package(wages, health/insurance benefits and social security aspects put together):

1.      Total wages and salaries(emoluments) amounted to only 4.5 per cent of the total input costs in the factory sector

2.      The share of workers(who may constitute more than 80 per cent of the workforce) in the emoluments bill was less than 47 per cent.

3.      Share of workers wages to total emoluments is declining.

4.      Regular employment is being avoided by contract labour and ‘outsourcing’.

5.      In addition to the profit motive of ‘owners’, anxiety of ’managers’ to protect their pay packets, while  deciding on the wages of workers, is also having a bite on workers’ emoluments.

6.      The phenomenal rise in the percentage of contract workers, which is a direct result of employers’(including government) short-cut to side-step legal provisions for workers’ protection, ranging from collective action to safety andhealth provisions topension andother obligations, is adversely affecting the remaining bargaining power of the workers.

All these, in the long run, are issues that will have to be addressed by government, and more importantly, the social costs will be unbearably high. Any labour reform proposalsshould factor in these issues and their implications.

. M G Warrier, Mumbai
*A slightly edited version has been published in The Hindu Business Line dated October 1, 3014


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