ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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LABOUR-Maintenance of Essential Services Ordinance

LABOUR Maintenance of Essential Services Ordinance Bagaram Tulpule ALTHOUGH those in power in the country today have all along held the view that strikes by industrial workers are unpatriotic, anti-social and anti- development, there seems to have been no immediate provocation for their issuing so patently anti-labour a measure as the Maintenance of Essential Services Ordinance by which the Union government has assumed sweeping powers to ban strikes in a wide range of industries. On the government's own claim, there has been a notable improvement in the industrial relations situation in the country during 1980, the figure of mandays lost due to labour-management disputes during that year being only about 13 million, far below a third of that for the previous year. Conditions during the first half of 1981 have not been significantly worse. According to government claims again, industrial production in 1980 showed a markedly higher rate of growth than in the previous year, and is currently growing even faster. Performance of key sectors like power, steel, coal and transportation is also claimed to have improved substantially during the current year. The prevail- ing state of industrial relations and the working of industries can, therefore, not be the real ground for the Ordinance which tramples so brazenly on workers' freedom to struggle for their legitimate rights.

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