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Amendments in IRO termed as unbalanced

KARACHI (July 11 2003) : The amendments suggested in the Industrial Relations Ordinance 2002 by the Trade Unions Action Committee do not have balanced approach, according to industrialists here.

The Nagaria Textile Mills (Pvt) Ltd in a letter sent to Federal Secretary, Khawja Ijaz Sarwar, said, it appears that 14 different organisations and federations , most of which are not even registered under IRO, 2002 have come up with comments and suggestions for amendments in the law.

“We are of the view, that the suggestions in most of cases, are unreasonable.”

Commenting the suggestions made by 14 federations, registered and un-registered, on various sections of IRO 2002, they said that one suggestion made purports to the definition clause of Section 2 in IRO 2002.

It has been suggested that in the definition of the word “award” it should be incorporated that the award is aimed at improving the existing terms and conditions of the employment or production, productivity, efficiency and discipline.

It appears these federations harbour the impression that it is only the CBA, which has all rights to raise industrial dispute and obtain an award for improvement in the existing terms and conditions of the employment.

They forget that just like the union, even the employers have a right to raise an industrial dispute and ask for revision, reduction and modification in the existing terms and conditions of employment.

It should be made clear that no law can operate as a one way traffic aimed at increasing the benefits and the terms and conditions of employment without taking into consideration the state of the industry, capacity to pay, financial resources, availability of funds, benefits and other comparable concerns and other cognate factors.

No modification or change in the definition of the term award as such is called for.

As regards discipline, it goes without saying that it is both an express and implied condition of service of a worker to maintain discipline.

In the same way, efficiency has to be given by a worker and inefficient worker and inefficient working is misconduct in law.

As regards productivity, workers are paid for production.

If the worker is not giving production, then he is not entitled to any wages. Similarly, production and productivity has to be given by the workers because they are paid for production. No Time and Notions study has been conducted in this country.

It has been pointed out that establishments like EOBI, Social Security Institution and Workers Welfare Funds, are meant primarily for securing benefits for labours.

Unfortunately, it has been observed that employees in these organisations have not only formed trade unions to exert pressure on the Chairman of these organisations and extending terms and conditions of service in these three establishments that are far more than any other private sector.

Needless to mention that all these three institutions are run and operated exclusively from the funds and contributions made to these institutions by the employers.

It is these institutions which cannot conceive of loss.

The contribution made by the employers towards EOBI, Social Security and Workers Welfare Funds is meant to be spent for the welfare of the workers of institutions, who contribute.

They are primarily not meant to increase financial benefits of employees of EOBI, Social Security and Workers Welfare.

It is under these circumstances that Nagaria has expressed the view that proviso should be retained , so that employees of such institutions and organisations as are unreasonable, unmanageable and/or make claims in excess of law and make the working of these institutions not manageable, then in public interest the Federal Government should retain the right to suspend the operation of IRO 2002 for a period up to six months at a time.

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