10 central trade unions, except the Bharatiya
Mazdoor Sangh have adopted a 15-point charter of demand at the National
Convention of Workers.
One of the major demand is fixing national minimum
wages as per the recommendations of the 15th Indian Labour Conference and
Supreme Court’s judgment in the Raptakos and Brett case. In 1957, the 15th
Session of the Indian Labour Conference emphasised that “minimum wage should be
need-based in order to ensure minimum human needs of the industrial workers”. In
1992, the Supreme Court of India ruled in Raptakos Brett case that children’s
education, medical requirement, minimum recreation, including
festival/ceremonies and provision for old age and marriage should further constitute
25% of the total minimum wage and used as a guideline in determining minimum
The charter also called for minimum support
price for produce to be decided as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan
Commission. It also demanded that the public procurement system should be strengthened.
The Swaminathan Commission had recommended that MSP should be at least 50% more
than the weighted average cost of production.
Other demands included a) abolition of
“fixed-term employment” and contract labour for jobs of a perennial nature, b) minimum
pension of Rs.6000 per month, c) comprehensive legislation covering social
security and working conditions for all workers, d) stopping disinvestment/strategic
sale of public sector undertakings, e) strict implementation of the existing
labour laws, f) an end to anti-worker labour reform, g) check unemployment through
A trade union is an organisation formed by
workers that work for the common interest of its members. Trade Unions act as
the medium of communication between the workers and management. The Indian
Trade Union Act, 1926, is the principle act which controls and regulates the
mechanism of trade unions in India.