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

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LABOUR- RBI Ordinance and Its Lessons

LABOUR RBI Ordinance and Its Lessons (By a Special Correspondent) THE ordinance issued on July 4 by which the government assumed powers to prohibit "strikes or any conduct which is likely to result in cessation or substantial retardation of work" in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is in many ways a landmark in the history of industrial relations in the country. Never before had there been an ordinance to ban strikes in a commercial undertaking. Of course, in 1960 an ordinance had been issued to ban strikes by Central government employees, which later came to remain on the statute oks for good. The Reserve Bank ordinance came in the wake of persistent refusal by RBI employees to accept any constraints on wages. Pressure for reduction and freezing of wages has been building up for nearly a decade on all public sector and government employees. There was a time when trade unions tried to better the lot of wage-earners, to raise their standards of living, etc. Today the trade union movement is faced with the task of merely safeguarding the existing wage structures. In this strug gle some unions have relented whereas others have refused to do so. Among those who have refused to yield to pressures, the case of the RBI employees stands out. The ordinance is proof of their resilience.

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