(a) to amend section 18 of the Act so as to extend the provisions relating to drinking water to all factories irrespective of number of workers;
(b) to amend section 22 of the Act so as to prohibit the pregnant woman or a person with disability to work on or near machinery in motion;
(c) to substitute a new section for existing section 27 relating to “prohibition of employment of woman and children near cotton openers” so as to prohibit employment of young persons, pregnant woman and persons with disabilities in any part of a factory for pressing cotton in which a cotton-opener is at work;
(d) to substitute a new section 35A relating to “protection of eyes” so as to impose obligation upon the occupier to make a provision of “Personal Protective
Equipment” for workers exposed to various hazards;
(e) to substitute a new section for existing section 36 of the Act relating to “precautions against dangerous fumes, gases, etc.” to provide adequate facilities to the persons who are liable to enter into confined spaces;
(f) to amend section 37 of the Act relating to “explosive or inflammable dust, gas, etc.”, so as to take practical measures against explosion or inflammable dust, gas, etc.;
(g) to amend section 41B of the Act relating to “compulsory disclosure of information by the occupier” to provide for preparation of emergency plan and disaster control measures in consultation with the workers;
(h) to amend section 46 of the Act relating to “canteens” to provide canteen facilities in respect of factories employing two hundred or more workers instead of the present stipulation of two hundred and fifty workers;
(i) to amend section 47 of the Act relating to “shelters, rest rooms and lunch rooms” so as to provide for shelters or rest rooms and lunch rooms in respect of factories employing seventy-five or more workers instead of present stipulation of one hundred and fifty workers;
(j) to substitute a new section for section 66 of the Act providing further restrictions on employment of women; 1617
(k) to insert a new section 112A so as to empower the Central Government to make rules in consultation with the State Governments, with a view to bring
uniformity in the areas of occupational safety, health or such other matters as the Central Government may consider necessary; and
(l) to insert the Fourth Schedule providing the list of compoundable offences.
9th August 2014 From India, Malappuram
Senior Congress MPs, including vice-president Rahul Gandhi, met on Friday and decided the party won't support the Bills unless the government drops these amendments which, they argue, are different from what the UPA regime had worked on.
In the Factories Law Act, Congress is objecting to the provision for increasing the number of employees without giving them provident fund/gratuity cover. The party also wants the government to drop the proposal to lift the ban on employing women in night shifts from 7 pm to 6 am. Congress thinks this provision goes against the spirit of ensuring the safety and welfare of women workers.
In the Apprentices Act, Congress is against the amendment that seeks to allow factories to enhance the minimum number of apprentices employable, per quarter, from 50 to 100 per unit.
The party thinks it could encourage factories to "to make increasing use of apprentices at the cost of regular workers" as a short-cut to skirt the provisions of labour laws besides affecting chances of regularisation of apprentices.
The government had introduced the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2014, and the Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2014, in Lok Sabha on Thursday. ET had reported that Sangh-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh too had reservations about the amendments.
Different from UPA Law: Congress
Congress leaders say if the government doesn't agree to their demands on labour laws, it will join other parties in demanding that the Bills follow the normal practice of being processed by the standing committee first.
While the NDA government has the majority to get the Bills passed in the Lok Sabha without Congress support, it could face an uphill task in the Rajya Sabha without co-operation from the main Opposition party. Earlier, its efforts to push through amendments to the Insurance Act had hit a roadblock after Congress insisted it be routed through a select committee.
Friday's meeting was attended by Rahul Gandhi, Congress' leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Rajya Sabha leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma and Oscar Fernandes.
Chief minister of election-bound Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, also attended the meeting. Kharge and Fernandes, who were labour ministers in the previous UPA regimes, briefed the meeting about how some of the proposed amendments in the current Bills are different from what had been proposed by the UPA regime. "We think some of the proposed amendments can alter the very definition and goals of the labour laws, especially the Factories Law Act," Kharge told ET.
The NDA regime is trying to argue that these Bills are on the same lines as (the ones) our government had worked on. But these amendments are different from what the UPA regime had worked on. If the government is in a hurry to get these Bills passed in the budget session, it should drop some of these proposed amendments. Otherwise, the Bill can always be sent to the standing committee for thorough processing," he said.
Congress makes NDA Labour Law, sets conditions to back Factory Bill - Economic Times
11th August 2014 From India, Malappuram