ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NEW DELHI-Doing Away with Collective Bargaining

NEW DELHI Doing Away with Collective Bargaining? B M THE energy minister, F Shiv Shankar, confirmed in response to questions in the Lok Sahha that a proposal to set up a national wage committee or commission for employees of public sector undertaking was being considered by the Government. It was still an idea in an "embryonic stage", he added. The idea is understood to have been thrown up during! consideration of the wage agreement for coal workers by the political affairs committee of the Union Cabinet. In considering the agreement which had been negotiated by the Coal India management with the workers' unions, including the INTUC union, the Union Finance Ministry on the advice of the Bureau of Public Enterprises tried at first to stall its signing by raising minor contentions, including a small special allowance which figured in the agreement. Only when the trade unions threatened a strike did the Union Cabinet approve the negotiated settlement and allow it to be implemented. Since then the proposal to set up a committee or commission for fixing wages in public sector undertakings has been canvassed in- side the Government by the Energy and Finance Ministers. It has been commended on the ground that it would enable the Government to regulate and bring about greater uniformity of wages in the public sector. The idea, however, is to emasculate collective bargaining between management and workers' unions in the public sector and eventually in the organised industrial sector as a whole.

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