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The Union government on Wednesday said the International Labour Organization (ILO) has not commented about the lack of compliance in tripartite consultations, almost nine months after it expressed “deep concerns" over labour law amendments in some states.

“ILO has not commented about India’s lack of compliance with ILO Convention - 144 on Tripartite Consultations in implementing the four labour codes," the labour ministry informed the Rajya Sabha in a written statement on Wednesday.

In response to a letter to trade unions in India, ILO in May said: “Please allow me to assure you that the ILO director general has immediately intervened, expressing his deep concern at these recent events and appealing to the prime minister to send a clear message to central and state governments to uphold the country’s international commitments and encourage engagement in effective social dialogue."

On 14 May, 10 central trade unions wrote to the ILO highlighting the plight of workers and the violation of ILO convention No 144.

They sought the Geneva-based’s organization’s intervention. India is a signatory to the ILO convention 144, which calls for tripartite consultations among the government, employers and the workers.

The letter issued by Kiren Curtis, chief, freedom of association branch of the International Labour Standards Department of ILO, said that the organization had received a copy of the Indian trade unions’ complaints, in which they requested the ILO “to intervene with the Indian authorities to urge necessary action for the protection of workers’ rights in light of the measures being taken by a number of states to undermine labour legislations and international labour standards".

In a carefully-worded response, the labour ministry said: “India, being a founding member of the ILO, has deep respect for its principles and objectives. The government of India has always upheld the basic tenets of tripartism."

However, the ministry did not touch upon the labour law amendments made by respective state governments and the blanket exemption of laws for industries by some of them. To be sure, the labour ministry was very active in dispatching letters advising states to take-up the labour law amendments in 2020.

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