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Labour And Industrial Law

The sense of term "Labour" means "Productive work done in order to earn daily wages most preferably Physical work". Ever imagined what would it like to be standing in a market and waiting for a whole day for someone to hire you or even buy you (During ancient & medieval period) the concept of labour laws through the time has generally been more black and white than grey.

In essence, either they had rights (tribal and post organized societies), or they possessed none at all ( slave owning society, feudal system, etc). As the time went by the working conditions at the various work places became inhumane and unbearable which lead to various protest and strikes which would eventually result in shutting off of industries, factories and various other work places hence there were serious need of laws which would Interest the rights of Labour/Working class and resolve the grievances of those in second half of the 19th Century with the evolution of Industries.

Workers being easily accessible in the market hence they were in no position to bargain with their employers for the simply terms and conditions of employment. largely leaders being tuned in to their strength want to date their own terms and staff being tuned in to their weakness and dependence on the employer for need of their bread and butter were compelled by economic necessity to simply accept those unfair terms and conditions of employment. however, where interfere to render the connection on a just plane. therefore, the labour law grew apace keeping pace with the growing of industry.

These laws and movements resulted in the formation of Trade Union. The trade unions were the groups which represented the collective power and the voice of the Labours till the modern time.

Employees argue least entity to deliver and therefore few standing in the legal tribunal established the existent regulations, that is a wonderful thing as if these belongings weren't skilled, all members would have happened exploited further fancy (by means of services). These standards help in giving construction to the labour environments that are governing in India. Hence it protects equity and good character in addition to the improvement of society.

At present there are 17 major Labour Law Acts in India which protect the rights of the Labour/Working class people. These laws also dignify the relationship between the employees and employers.

Meaning and Essence of Labour Law:
"Labour legislation (also known as employment law or labour law) is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which addresses the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. As such, it mediates many aspects of the tripartite relationship between trade, unions, employers and employees. In other words, Labour law defines the rights and obligations as workers, union members and employers in the workplace. The law relating to labour and employment in India is primarily known under the broad category of "Industrial Law". Labour Legislation is one of the most progressive and dynamic instruments for achieving socioeconomic progress."[i]

Labour Laws in India are also known as Industrial Laws the basic definition of Labour Law can be determined as "the varied body of law applied to such matters as employment, remuneration, conditions of work, trade unions, and industrial relations."

Objective/Principles & Ingredients of Labour Laws:
The basic principles or objectives of labour laws is to make sure to have humane condition at workplace. Where there is preservation of the health, safety as well as welfare of people which would also eventually help to maintain the good relations between the employers and employees.

Labour Laws aim to correct the ability disbalance between the workers and employers.

It provides the workers with security so they can't be unjustly pink-slipped. Therefore, they provide the workers the ability to barter and guarantee a decent operating condition. In the late 1800s and early 1900s most of the workers spend their whole day working around the machines most of them without any safety gear, While some of them worked in the mines and other dangerous workplaces. Even after all the work they were not paid suitable amount for their hard work. Despite all these the owners expend very little amount than that was needed for the safety and comfort of the workers.

Which resulted in the formation of labour unions which led to various strikes and protest which ultimately resulted in the formation of Labour Laws. The labour laws in India are governed by Constitution of India.

The articles of the Constitution which goes hand in hand with the welfare of the Labourers some of them are as follows:
  • Article 19(1)(a): Allows Labourers and Trade Union to give a free speech and express their feeling through the peaceful Protest with the permission of the police.
  • Article 19(1)(b): To gather peacefully without Arms;
  • Article 19(1)(c): To form association and Unions;
However, There are also reasonable restriction on the workers and trade union through article 19(2) told the court in the case of State of U.P vs Raj Narain & Others[ii];

Supreme Court in the Case of All India Bank Employs Association vs National Industrial Tribunal[iii] stated that "Strike is not a fundamental right U/S 19 reason being the impact it leaves on the Industry & People at large which would affect production & economy.
  • Article 21: Protection of Life and Personal liberty with the procedure established by law and it also comes with the Right to live with human dignity, also Right to live and work in the decent environment and humane condition.
  • Article 39(d): There is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
  • Article 39(e): that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength;
  • Article 42: Laws for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
  • Article 43: To secure a living wage, a decent standard of life and social and cultural opportunities for all the workers.
  • Article 43A: To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries.

These DPSP's which helps the Labourers/Working class persons were the ideas of the Socialist people among the Congress.

The various Principles or the Ingredients of Labour Legislation are as follows: The ingredients of Contemporary Labour Legislation of India help the labours by providing them benefits like the health insurance, old-age pensions, maternity benefits, etc.

The following are the principles of Modern Labour Legislation are as follows:
  • Social Justice and Equality:
    The term Social Justice indicates that the equal opportunity must be provided to every class of working people/Labourers so that they can reach to their full potential and get the opportunities like health care, protection at work place equally.
  • Social Security and Welfare:
    The Social welfare and Social Security of Labour Class is another objective of labour law.
  • National Economy:
    The Labour Laws helps in the growth of trade as the laws helps the labourers which keeps them intact and happy which results in good working conditions which satisfy their desires which result in good production which help in empowering the economy.
  • International Solidarity:
    In India the solidarity among the labourers is empowered by the WTO and UN as well as other international organizations.
Industrialization and Labour Laws:
The Industrial revolution opened its door in India when the first steam-powered cotton mill in Asia was established at Bombay in 1854. As the result this was followed up by the establishment of various industries and work mills which caused huge increase in the labourers at all these places. The handicraft system was almost at stake as every other person was attracted towards the industries due to expectation of good lively hood and healthy wages.

The economy plays a big role within the growth of each country across the globe. it's the economy that determines and separates the developed country from the underdeveloped country. The economy of the developed nation depends principally on the commercial sector whereas the underdeveloped countries' economy principally depends on the agricultural sector. To revive the economic standing, industry plays associate participant role in delivery the economical shift in various countries across the world and therefore the same shift occurred with industry in India.

However, the things didn't go as planed for the working class as it was the time of Crown Rule on India hence the superiors of the industries focused on filling up the pockets of the British/Queen and rather the people of work class were neglected completely.

There were various trade unions formed after the beginning of industrial period; like the Trade Unions came-up in the Calcutta in 1854, with the establishment of Jute Mills. However, the first factory Commission was set-up in 1879-80 which focused on the problems of the industrial workers.

First trade union namely "Bombay Millhands Association" under leadership of Narayan Meghji Lokhande was formed in 1884. Later on in 1881, The first Indian Factory Act was passed the key points of the acts were as follows :
  • The children with the age less than 7 could not work in the industries.
  • Children between the age 7-12 would not work more than 9 hours a day.
  • Children would also be provided 4 holidays in a period of one month.
  • The act also provides the safety against the dangerous machinery.
Later the second Indian Factory Act was passed in the year 1891 which provided weekly holiday for all the workers. It also fixed working hours for women to 11 hours per day.

After the implementation of Act Other trade unions were also formed and some of them are as Ahmedabad Weavers (1895), Jute Mills, Calcutta (1896), Bombay Mill workers (1897) Union.

Ahead of this the first organized Trade Union in India the Madras Labour Union was established in the year 1918. After N.M. Joshi attended the conference on behalf of labours, the extremist from the Congress under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai formed All India Trade Union Congress in year 1920 and Lala Lajpat Rai was named president. In 1923

The Workmen Compensation Act was passed . AITUC were divided into - National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) and All India Red Trade Union Congress (AIRTUC), later they were merged again. Later many acts were passed namely The Trade Union Act,1926; The Industrial dispute Act,1926; which cherished the growth of Industries and trade unions.

While on the Other hand the Conditions in the Britain ( the country which was ruling over India) during industrialization period was much different than that of India.

Although during the middle 18th century the Britain had already crossed its 20 years of industrialization. The industrialization began in the 1830 which also resulted in the early and rapid growth in the sector for example:
  • The first Factories Act was implemented just after 3 years of the industrialization in year 1833 which stated "the minimum age for the eligibility of the work will be from 9 years of age, the work hours were fixed 9-12 per day depending upon the age factor"
  • The Second act was introduced after 9 years in 1842 which was stated as The Mines Act which increased the age from 9 to 10 years of age and women were barred from working in underground coal mines.
  • The Factory Act 1844 Later proved to be crucial which reduced the working hour of children age 9-13 and required them to work for 6.5 hours a day and dedicate remaining 3 hours to school. Whereas, women and children over the age of 13 were not allowed to work for more than half a day i.e., 12hours/day.
  • Later on, The factories Act of 1844, 1847, 1850 and 1856 were also included which kept on modifying about the age and the time period of work of the labourers.

Internationalization of Labour Laws:
The internationalization of Labour Laws began with the formation of International Labour Organization(ILO) which was also formed along with the League of Nations as a result to the Treaty of Versailles which was signed on June 28,1919. The ILO's initial ideology was that "Peace can be established Only if it is based on social justice" it was included in the part-13th of the treaty. International Labour Law (ILO) in 1919 boosted up the way for development for the labour laws in India

The ILO had a Ideology that "Labour is not a commodity" and gave slogan "Poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to Prosperity elsewhere" after getting introduced it had also changed the way of labour legislation in various countries. International Labour Organization has always tried to establish a stable standard for the labourers, ILO with the help of Conventions and suggestions which formed a International Labour Code.

International Labour Organization governs and deals within the aspects of Wages, hours of work, paid holidays, age determining factor for work, industrial safety, welfare , social security, freedom of association etc.

The Internationalization of Labour Laws by ILO have widely influenced the Indian Labour Legislations, specifically after the independence from colonial rule/British rule , the DPSP's related to welfare of labour/Working class clearly shows the influence of ILO.

International Labour Organization � Declaration on fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The Declaration was adopted in 1998, and it mandates the member states to push the eight fundamental principles and rights. the elemental Principles and Rights square measure categorised into four categories. They are: � Freedom of Association and therefore the Right to dialogue

Elimination of discrimination at workspace
As a part of the Follow-up to the Declaration, the United Nations agency DirectorGeneral conjointly submits a worldwide Report on one among the four classes of fundamental principles and rights at work to the three-way International Labour Conference.

The ILO proved more successful than the League of Nations. During the Second World War, the organization had to temporarily move its headquarters to Canada. The Philadelphia Declaration was adopted at the conference in that city in 1944, drawing on central items of the Atlantic Charter including the principle that "all human beings, irrespective of race, creed or sex, have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity".[iv]

ILO policies and standards are preferences that nations can adopt through regulatory decisions, giving them a competitive advantage in global trade. This is due to the fact that international conventions provide a universal basis for policy, preventing nations from implementing measures such as deregulation in order to gain trade advantages.

ILO Regulations and merits are preferences that nations can adopt through statutory decisions, giving them a competitive advantage in global trade. This is due to the fact that international conventions provide a universal basis for policy, preventing nations from implementing measures such as deregulation in order to gain trade advantages. In recognition of its activities, the International Labour Organization was awarded the accolade for Peace.

The driving forces for the ILO's creation arose from security, humanitarian, political and economic concerns. The founders of the UN agency recognized the importance of social justice in securing peace, against a background of the exploitation of staff within the industrializing nations of that point. There was conjointly increasing understanding of the world's economic interdependency and also the want for cooperation to get similarity of operating conditions in countries competitive for markets.

The functions of the ILO include the development and promotion of standards for national legislation to protect and improve working conditions and standards of living. The ILO also provides technical assistance in social policy and administration and in workforce training; fosters cooperative organizations and rural industries; compiles labour statistics and conducts research on the social problems of international competition, unemployment and underemployment, labour and industrial relations, and technological change.

The Labour Laws have evolved from time to time which have helped the labour class or the working-class people. The labour class have always been kept deprive of their rights and pleasures which they deserve but by the virtue of the labour laws these people can stand and fight for their rights however, the rights they should be getting through

DPSP's are still very hard to get as they are not mandate and cannot be challenged in the court.

The law about labour and employment is additionally referred to as Industrial law in India. The history of labour legislation in India is interlacing with the history of British victimization. The industrial/labour legislations enacted by land were primarily meant to shield the interests of land employers. issues of British political economy were naturally predominant in shaping a number of these early laws.

The Labour laws act as a tool to promote labour empowerment as well as to protect the rights of the labours in question. It helps to maintain the individual and collective relations between the labour and the employer's. Landmark legislation in the field of

labour law are not limited to labour codes and acts, but extend way being and include the Constitutional of India, the civil codes, the Indian Penal Code, as well as the supranational ILO Conventions.

There is no denial of the very fact that reforms to numerous labour laws were long due. However, the requirement to strike a balance between reform for labour welfare and interests of the investors for quicker growth can't be left unnoticed. The labour laws for his or her sweeping effects, need larger deliberation among all the stakeholders for additional policy directions. this can propel India to a world category manufacturing-led growth trajectory The various trade unions must be appreciated for their efforts the unity and uniformity they present before the concerned authority today is thoroughly commendable.

  1. Slide Share, Labour Legalization by Jinmoy Baishya dated April 18, 2014. Adopted on September 20, 2022.
  2. 1975 AIR 865, 1975 SCR(3) 333.
  3. 1962 AIR 171, 1962 SCR (3) 269.
  4. ILO and its impact on Indian Labour Legislations by Kokila Beriya on Legal Services India D.O.P unknown, Retrieved on September 20, 2022.

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