In 2020, the Union Government of India finalized rule under 4 labor codes, with the aim of rebooting the economy and building a future of work that is safer, greener, and more resilient. In line with this idea, the Center for Work and Welfare (CWW), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, Indian Social Institute (ISI), New Delhi, and Counterview organized a #WebPolicyTalk on The Future of Labour Codes: Impact and Way Forward from Trade Union Perspectives under the State of Employment – #EmploymentDebate series.
Mr Prashant K. Nanda, National Writer, LiveMint, focused his discussion around the worker and the public narrative. Mr Nanda thinks that it is imperative for the labour market to be part of the entire thought process centring around these laws. The trade unions should improve how they function and should act as a catalyst. He reiterated that the Indian trade unions lack an intellectual backbone. The trade unions are entirely missing from the public view and are not seen. Thus they are not in a position still remains pretty minor in the entire political discourse.
The disjuncture between labour politics and welfare is the main hurdle towards reviewing the codes. The lack of job security among the general population is another cause of the feeble nature of the composition of many of the existing trade unions. The trade unions today largely talk about the formal salaried section of the workforce, which Mr Nanda considers to be another big drawback. The growth of the trade unions will depend largely on how they represent these informal sectors. He also highlighted the difference in agitation between the labour movement and the ongoing farmers’ movement.