for building a democratic labour movement in India
The South Asian Economic Integration-SAARC and SAFTA and the Issue of Regional Structure of Labour Standards and Social Security
a) Going beyond WTO and convert the whole regions in virtually one nation for capital, free of any restriction for trade and investments, i.e. for movement of capital. Capital of any member country will be treated as local for all practical purposes in all member countries
b) To develop the region in the single market and production base in terms of free flow of goods, free flow of services, free flow of investments, and free flow of capital
c) No regional integration talk about free flow of labour, some time they only talk about free flow of skilled labour i.e, engineers, management professionals etc.
d) These institutions are in the process of emerging as regional states in term of authority to legislate economic and related social (and even political) dimension of policies. Therefore, with regional integrations taking shape, TNCs will ultimately be more powerful than the states.
Rights at Work-The right to bargain collectively should be guaranteed in trade union laws, Concerted actions for gender equality should be organized, Forced labour and child labour should be eliminated, Adequate mechanisms to protect migrant workers should be worked out;
Employment protection-An ASEAN standard for human resource development should be worked out; creation of green jobs should be pursued, The ASEAN should establish an ASEAN guideline for employment protection on the basis of the ILO Global Jobs Pact;
Social protection-ASEAN should establish a clear definition of social protection and set standards for each component of various Social Safety Nets, such as employment insurance, retrenchment benefits, pension, medical care, occupation-related accident and/or occupational diseases, survivors’ benefits, invalidity benefits, maternity benefits and other benefits specific to women, guaranteed minimum wage, general social development programmes, such as basic education, basic general health, housing, social assistance for specific groups, such as the hard core poor, community development, and provisions for natural disasters
Social dialogue-Social partnership– through constructive industrial relations at national, industrial and company levels — should be promoted in the AEAN process. The base for the constructive industrial relations is the recognition of trade unions. Corporate Social Responsibility, based on social partnership, should enhance corporate accountability to stake holders, i.e., shareholders, business partners, consumers, citizens and trade unions representing employees. ATUC also proposes to contribute to the ASEAN process, as its affiliates have been pursuing within their national tripartite systems.
In this background, it becomes urgent to initiate a process for integrated labour law reforms that also addresses the issues related to the vulnerabilities expected to be created for labour by South Asian regional economic integration.