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FICCI calls for review of ESMA removal

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Aug. 9

THE Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has suggested that the Government review removal of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) as recommended by the Second National Commission on Labour.

It is notable that the recommendation of the commission runs contrary to that of the first National Commission on Labour, FICCI said. The first commission had justified the prohibition of strikes in the case of Government industrial employees engaged in essential services on the premise that the Government had no corresponding right to declare a lock-out that might be detrimental to the interest of the society at large, the chamber said.

Further, the first commission had introduced the concept of strike ballot in 1969. This was in view of the fact that direct industrial action in many cases involved only a handful of trade union office-bearers with vested interests. It was in this regard that it had recommended that the strike ballot should get majority of two-third members of the union, FICCI said.

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