The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the unilateral action by the Govt of India in amending the Employees Pension Scheme to drastically reduce the pension benefits of the early retirees (retired or separated before 58 years ) vide Labour Ministry notification no GSR 546(E) dated 23rd July 2009.
In the face of millions of workers losing livelihood owing to recession since last six months, this move of the Govt would further squeeze the workers rendered jobless before the retirement age for no fault of theirs, of their legitimate pension benefit.
While issuing this amendment notification, the Govt ignored the statutory Tripartite Forum—the Central Board of Trustees of Employees Provident Fund Organisation, responsible for administering the Employees Pension Scheme, thereby making a mockery of principle of tripartism.
This is the second unilateral move for curtailing the pension benefit of the workers within a span of one year. The first move by the same UPA regime had been in September 2008 in the same manner ignoring the statutory tripartite forum, which rewarded the defaulting employers on the one hand by drastically reducing the penalty for default and simultaneously curtailing the pension benefit of the workers by way of withdrawal of commutation facility and withdrawal of the option for availing combination of reduced pension and return of capital besides reducing the pension amount for the early-pensioners.
The second one is through the recent executive order which would deprive the worker who has rendered 20 years service but has to retire or lose his job prematurely from the provision of weightage benefit in pensionable service on which pension is calculated. The millions of workers losing job prematurely owing to recession, who deserve urgent support and relief from the Govt, would be cruelly squeezed further while the employers continue to enjoy stimulus package funded by public exchequer. And through this action, the patently anti-worker anti-people character of the Govt stands thoroughly exposed.
CITU condemns such anti worker action by the Govt and calls upon the working class to force the Govt to rescind the notification through united struggle.