BENGALURU: Labour unions are up in arms against the ordinance passed by the Karnataka cabinet on Thursday, to amend the Factories Act, Industrial Disputes Act and Contract Labour Act, and have termed it “retrograde”.The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is also vehemently opposed to it, and started a nationwide weeklong protest on Friday to highlight woes of labourers across the country. The organisation is set to drag the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government — another affiliate of the Sangh — to court over the decision to defer payment of Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) from April 2020 to March 2021. 

The State cabinet deemed the amendments a necessity to ensure “ease of doing business” but labour unions say it is violation of labour rights and retrograde in nature, leaving workers in the lurch during a pandemic. The ordinance allows factories or industries with less than 300 employees to shut down without government’s approval, with an amendment to Section 25K of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The ‘Industrial Disputes and Certain Other Laws (Karnataka Amendmendment) ordinance’ increases the threshold of workers from 100, as mandated in the Industries Disputes Act, to 300.

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