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A Sift on The Efficaciousness of The ILO Principles In Moulding Out The Indian Labour Legislation

The International Labor Organization being (committed to promote and develop social justice) the only International Organization that has survived the second world war even after “league of nations” has been completely dissoluted. It is accountable for building and commanding International Labor Standards in the form of conventions and recommendations out of which least standards of basic labor rights are set. With regard to the International Labor Standards, the path of India has always been definite. There are altogether eight core conventions out of which only 4 have been approved by India. The exceeding goal of ILO is decent work as well as creating larger opportunities for men and women and so on. As an end product of the peace conference that took place at the end of world war I at Versailles by the year 1919, the International Labor Organization emerged out. What is paramount to the activities of the International Labor Organization are the International Labor Standards. The author focuses on the establishment of the ILO in its first part. Living wage, fair wage and, minimum wage are the classifications of wages. Wages are defined under section 2(h) of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. This paper throws a light upon the Significance of the ILO Conventions and Recommendations and thereby enhancing the conventions and recommendations in relation to wages.

In this modern era, the concept of Globalization has generated many different contingencies for many citizens in the countries globally, nevertheless at the same time, it has also led to various issues and wrangles for millions of workers internationally. Every country has this salacity to profit a competitive edge, and in doing so, it is observed that many don’t seem to be following fair labor standards, for example, Jacques Necker (a Swiss banker) contended in the year 1788 that if France rejects the Sunday rest day its vying position will promote only if the other countries did not pursue the same. The International Labor Standards aim at the advancement of people as Human beings. “Labor cannot be said as a commodity”, the global society endorsed in the ILO’S Declaration of Philadelphia of 1944.The International Labor Standards are supported by an exclusive administrative system that assists to make sure that the countries administer the conventions that they have approved. The ILO continually analyzes the operation of the labor standards in the member countries that have accepted them and assists them by pointing out where they could be better implemented. Undoubtedly, labor cannot be compared to an apple or a television, because it is not a non-living product which could be reached at an agreement for the greatest profit or the lowest price. Economic development encompasses the creation of jobs and suitable working conditions in which people can work together in liberty and safety dignity etc. To put it shortly economic development is not something which is undertaken for its own purpose but to promote many lives of human beings; international labor standards are here today to make it perfect that it stays incessant on developing human life and dignity(ILO,2010). The International Labor Organization (ILO) was formed in the year 1919 to develop the social progress and to overcome the economic battles of interests with the aid of collaboration and dialogue. It brought together employers, governments and the workers at the global level to find common rules policies and behaviors from which almost everyone could benefit in contradiction to revolutionary moments which were prevailing at that time. Peace and Justice could go hand in hand was the firm belief behind which this International Labor Organization (ILO) was constituted. It was not built up in the sense that war always amounts to injustice, but merely on faith that social justice is a peculiarity for peace(Servais,2005).

The three chief organs governing the work include the International Labor Conference of the Entire membership; the governing body, elected by the conference which meets thrice a year; and the office counseled by the Director-general, who is chosen by the Governing Body. The first constitution of the International Labor Organization (ILO) was adopted by the Commission on International Labor Organization of the peace conference in 1919 and built up a part of the treaty of Versailles. This constitution laid the basement for the entire organization itself spelled out the objects and purposes as well as its particularized design and also recognized particular methods and guidelines for managing and organizing labor conditions which almost all the industrial communities should venture to apply, as far as their appropriate circumstances will allow” which are of exceptional and persuasive significance. This perception of the constitution was taken a step further in an authoritative declaration which was accepted by the organization at a conference aid in Philadelphia in the year 1944 and was integrated into its constitution.

This research paper will highlight the significance of the International Labor Organization and the available recommendations and conventions in relation to wages. Also, this research paper aspires to cover the basic idea behind the establishment of the International Labor Organization and its impact on the Labor Legislation.

During the course of endorsing and evaluating the resources that the researcher has relied upon, it has been firmly felt thateven though the ILO conventions are seen to be in dearth of any intrusive-teeth like the World Trade Organization rules, they still bear some weight in naming and mortifying a country if it fails to do so in implementation.

1) International Labor Organization’s Principles are the guidelines in the formation of Labor laws in India.
2) The Conventions and Recommendations given by the ILO in relation to wages has an effect on the labor legislation formulated.

History And The Establishment of The International Labor Organization- A Scrutiny

To trace the history of the International Labor Organization, it is pertinent to mention right from its creation. In the year 1919, the International Labor Organization was built up. Out of the nineteenth-century labor and social movements it commenced, which actually terminated in extensive requests for the social justice and more advanced living standards for the working people in the world. After the dissolution of the league of nations, the ILO became the first and the foremost specific agency connected with the united nations. The authentic membership has grown to about 121 (of about forty- five countries) in the year 1971. The accurate reason behind why ILO is still considered to be exclusive among the world organizations is that all the employers, be it representatives of the workers have an alike voice with those of the government correspondingly in codifying its policies. The ILO’S greatest contemplative body, the annual International Labor Conference comprises of four representatives from each member country respectively: one worker and one employer delegate, two government delegates each of whom could speak and vote freely. The actual work of the ILO is accompanied by the governing body between the conferences consisting of twenty-four government, twelve worker and twelve employer members in addition to which there will be twelve deputy members.

The three chief tasks of the ILO, the first one is the endorsement of international labor standards, the so-called the conventions, and recommendations, for exertion and application by member states. What do these conventions and recommendations contain is a question one would actually ponder upon. These conventions and recommendations are nothing but the guidelines on the protection of women, hours of work, child labor, social security protection etc. In addition, these recommendations and conventions also contain questions covering the elementary human rights. Freedom of Association, abrogation of forced labor, collective bargaining, the eradication of discrimination in the employment sector and the aggrandizement of brimming employment. It is seen that totally 134 conventions and 142 recommendations in the year 1970 had been chosen by the ILO. Each of them is seen to be a catalyst, as well as a model for realistic operation and national legislation in member countries. The next fascinating peculiarity about the International Labor Organization is its abstruse assistance to help advancing nations. For the purpose of carrying out these abstruse cooperation programs more than half of ILO’s resources are dedicated totally. The four chief areas of concentration are the advancement of human resources, carried out through vocational training and management development; employment preparation and advancement, the augmentation of social institutions in such fields as relating to labor relations, labor administration, circumstances of work and life(for Eg: social security, compensation etc).

The World Employment Program was launched by the ILO, marking the onset of its second-half century. It was designed basically to provide assistance to countries for providing them with employment and training contingencies for their blistering populations. The preeminent contribution of the International Labor Organization would be the world employment program to the United Nations Second Development Decade. According to an estimation to work for more than 300 scholarly cooperation projects there are seen to be nearly 900 ILO experts of fifty-five distinctive nationalities in over 100 different countries all around the world. The ILO is observed to have totally six directors general since its dawn. The exceptional feature about the ILO is that it is seen as a crucial and the main source of resource in relation to publications and documentation on labor and social matters. The International Institute for labor studies in Geneva, and the International center for advanced technical and vocational training in Turin, Italy are seen to be the two chief functional educational institutions established in total.

Significance of The ILO Conventions And Recommendations

The International Labor Standards are nothing but the lawful instruments that are drawn up by the ILO’s constituents like governments, workers or employers. The main purpose behind which is the setting out of some primary and elementary principles and the rights at work. An International Labor Standard is annunciated by the International Labor Organization, which is the United nation’s labor and employment relations agency. They can be either recommendations or conventions. Thus the conventions treaties that do not bind a country unless and until it is ratified by that country are called as conventions) accepted and adopted by the International Labor Organization can be assuredly seen as exemplifying universal norms with worldwide outlook and ethical content. It is analyzed that in many cases the conventions lay down the elementary principles to be achieved or carried out by approving countries while a relevant recommendation ecumenically supplements the convention by providing with the particularized guidelines as to how it could be brought out in the application. Recommendations can also be self-governing, without having any link to the convention. It is seen that once a standard is acknowledged or confirmed, under the ILO constitution the member states are obliged to submit the same to their proficient authority, typically the parliament for the consideration. This means the application for acceptance in the case of conventions. Once accepted or ratified a convention ecumenically comes into force for that particular country one year after the date of acceptance.

It is observed that the accepting countries commit themselves to implement the convention in national law and practice and in broadcasting the application of the same in normal intervals. The chief role of ratification was promoted by the permutations of the very first convention accepted and adopted by the ILO, the hours of work (Industry) convention,1919. The complaint procedures can also be started against the countries in addition for contraventions of a convention which they have approved. It is seen that the corporate codes of conduct progressively integrate the International Labor Standards sometimes premeditatedly and sometimes not. The eight basic or constitutional conventions are: Freedom of Association and Protection of the right to organize convention, Right to organize and collective bargaining convention, Forced labor convention, Abolition of forced labor convention, Minimum age convention, worst forms of child labor convention, Equal Remuneration Convention, Discrimination(Employment and Occupation) convention. It is imperative to mention about the other four conventions called as ”priority conventions” nominated by the ILO’S commanding body, thereby alleviating member states to approve them highlighting their significance for the functioning of the International labor standards system. With regard to India 43, ILO Conventions and 1 protocol had been affirmed. India has approved 4 core conventions totally out of 8 core conventions. Consistency, Universality and tripartite composition are seen as the chief features of the International Labor Organization.

The Concept of Wages

The concept of wages and its history can be traced from the Employer’s and Workmen’s(Disputes) Act passed by the Indian Government in the year 1860. The majority of the people work hard for the purpose of earning money. The access to enough and routine wages is not yet made certain in many parts of the world.Wage can be defined as a remuneration to labor for the work done for the service performed by it to the employer. There are divergent theories on the concept of wages as propounded by economists and sociologists, which clearly elucidated contrasting facets of wage problems. However, these theories are not seen to be appropriate in all circumstances.In India, minimum wage rates are decided under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. This act has its basis from Article 43 of the Indian constitution. Minimum wage rates are decided both by the Central Government and the Provincial Governments as labor is seen to be the coeval subject under the constitution of India.

ILO Conventions And Recommendations Relating To Wages:
It is observed that many of the ILO Conventions unambiguous and roundabout relevance to the concept of wages. It is seen that there are totally six conventions with the concept of “wages” as their main topic, most aged from 1926(Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery Convention No-26). There are many other conventions that unambiguously appropriate for wages but they all are principally dealt with other significant topics such as equality of treatment or collective bargaining. Conventions like the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011(No.189) make unambiguous relevance to wages itself. The admissible ILO principles with regard to the concept of wages include Minimum wage fixing, Equality of Treatment, Protection of Wages, labor clauses in public contracts, Promotion of Collective Bargaining, Labor relations in the Public Service.

Fundamental: Equality of Treatment
Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951(No.100):

In the implementation of the principle for equal remuneration between men and women for a work of balanced value, the approving state must play an important role in advancing encouraging and assuring them. On the basis of the work executed, this convention helps in reassuring and encouraging equitable job appraisals in order to give effect to the same convention mentioned.

Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No.111)
In abnegating any discrimination based on color, sex, gender etc this national policy was brought about. It is pertinent to mention here about the grounds included under the forbiddance of discrimination. Forbiddance of discrimination under this convention interestingly includes terms and conditions of employment which also includes wages.

Fundamental: Minimum Wage Fixing
Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928(No.26):

This convention focuses on the establishment and the perpetuation of a minimum wage fixing machinery where wages are not controlled by collective bargaining or are particularly low. Other important peculiarities about this convention include Supervision, Binding, sanctions, and remedies.

Minimum Wage-Fixing Convention, 1970 (No.131):
Minimum wages can be sanctioned through authorization and they have the force of law. Workers and Employers organizations whenever suitable engage in the operation of machinery, and they should be fully asked for or consulted in the minimum wage fixing. It also makes sure to be accountable of the needs of workers and their families and the economic factor which also consists of employment and labor productivity.

Fundamental: Protection of Wages
Protection of Wages Conventions, 1949 (No.95):

This convention assuredly provides adequate, brimming and responsive payment of wages in a manner that provides them security against the corruption. It also plays an important role in the governance of acceptable deduction.

Fundamental: Protection of Worker’s Claims
Protection of Worker’s Claims(Employer’s Insolvency) Convention, 1992 (No.173):

Means of privilege dealt under part II, guarantee institution dealt in part III, and a combination of both are estimated as the contrasting potentialities to safeguard workers with regard to the claims in case of insolvency or inadequacy of the employer.

Fundamental: Labor Clauses in Public Contracts
Labor Clauses (Public Contracts) Convention, 1949 (No.94):

This convention marks an imperative role in assuring minimum labor standards in the execution of the public contracts. It makes it as a must to include clauses for ensuring wages not less than what is considered to be agreeable and suitable than those entrenched for identical work by law or collective agreement. Other fascinating features of this convention includes the system of examination and sanctions and conservation of wages due to the workers.

Fundamental: Promotion of Collective Bargaining
Collective Bargaining Convention, 1981(No.154):

This convention provides that the measures should not be the way of impeding the freedom of collective bargaining. Also provides that the measures of advancement should inter alia aspire at the formation of compiled rules of procedure.

Under the principle of the promotion of collective bargaining, the duties of the supervisory bodies include the gratuitous choice of the parties as to the level of collective bargaining and to the extent of variable issues. Constraints of Free fixing of wages by collective bargaining should stay unprecedented.

Fundamental: Labor relations in the Public Service
Labor Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No.151):
This convention provides rights to the systematized public employees to bargain or to engage in the decision of the terms and conditions of the employment. Also, this convention plays a far-reaching role in providing opportune measures in advancing negotiation of terms and conditions of employment between the public authorities and the public employees’ or organizations or various other methods permitting their participation or assistance. Principles of the supervisory bodies involve the wage negotiation within a comprehensive “budgetary package” is agreeable with the conventions. It also provides provisions commanding unequivocal percentage increase or stipulation of budgetary powers averting any conformity with agreements that would be considered antagonistic to the convention.

Upshot of ILO On Labour Legislations:

With the progression and amplification of growth of miniscule plants, factories and Industries in Indian subcontinent opening in the mid of the nineteenth century, brand-new potentialities for employment were spawned, emanating in an ongoing exodus of the labor from poor rural areas to factories and mills located fundamentally in urban areas. During the time, in the dearth of any restraint on organization’s labor by the state, the employers were very less perturbed and worried for the needs of their workers; wages were seen to be very lesser, very protracted working hours and disquieting the employees’ employment conditions. Various labor legislation includes The Factories Act 1881(considered to be the basis for all Industrial and Labor laws in India), The workmen’s compensation act 1923(administers payment of compensation in case of an accident or injury to workmen and their dependents), Mines Act 1923(It does not cover any provision in relation to overtime work, it only makes provisions for labors who are working in Indian mines), Trade Unions Act 1926(In order to determine the shortcomings for anomaly of payment of wages to industrial labors the Indian Government under the British set up an enquiry committee in the year 1926) , Trade Disputes Act 1929(This act was a British act of parliament passed in response to the general strike of 1926), Payment of Wages Act 1936(passed to control the payment of wages to definite classes of people who are employed in the Industry), Employment of Children Act 1938 etc. Labor legislation with regard to wages include Payment of Wages Act, 1936, Minimum Wages Act 1948(This act sets minimum wages that must be paid to skilled and unskilled labors), Payment of Bonus Act 1965(To persons employed in certain establishments this act provides for the payment of bonus), Working Journalists(Fixation of rates of wages) Act, 1958(With regard to the working journalists the fixation of rates of wages are provided under this act. It is seen that the directions issued by the International Labor Organization built up the principle based on which the labor legislation was made commensurate to some extent in India. The ILO did have a tremendous force on labor laws in India. Many brand-new laws were accomplished to assimilate the guidelines of India.

International Labor Organization can be glorified as a tremendous body that was established for the welfare or benefit of industrial wage earners both substantial and rational. The ILO processed with the scheduled aspiration and desideratum of global enduring peace and harmony. This research clearly scrutinized miscellaneous recommendations and conventions in detail and thereby highlighting the efficacy and vigor of the ILO as an instrument of social progress. Beyond the policy statements, different serious questions have emanated: are ILO member States transcribing their assurances and obligations to the ILO and its standards into indubitable actions? Is the ILO adequately compassionate to its Members’ needs and is it helping them in taking the measures that are commensurate with the on-going remonstrances? From the outlook of defenseless workers, the contradictory facets of work in the informal economy far override its positive facets. Workers in the informal economy are not identified and acknowledged certified or safeguarded under labor legislation and are ostracized from social protection. Hence they don’t have the ability to relish, exercise or contend their fundamental rights at work. Since they are typically not systematized, they have scant or no composite representation vis-à-vis employers or public authorities. It can be clinched that the largest part of the labor legislation in India is seen to be pre-constitutional, and ILO has played a colossal role in contriving a base for the labor legislation in India. In considering the problem of the clout of the International Labor Standards, one should be able to bear in mind that the normative activity and the operation of ILO rest on the deliberate compliance and agreement of the International labor standards, which in turn builds up the irrevocable obligation on states.

The ILO was constituted in the year 1919 with a view to provide aid and also to promote the conditions of labor all around the world. The Conventions are nothing but the International treaties and are instruments that play a crucial role in creating legally irrevocable obligations on the country concerned. Various conventions relating to wages are found out to be Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951(No.100), Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No.111), Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928(No.26), Minimum Wage-Fixing Convention, 1970 (No.131), Protection of Wages Conventions, 1949 (No.95), Protection of Worker’s Claims (Employer’s Insolvency) Convention, 1992 (No.173), Labor Clauses (Public Contracts) Convention, 1949 (No.94), Right To Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No.98). It is seen that therefore India has been very vigilant in affirming conventions. India has always made it a routine to authorize conventions if and if only if it is contended that its laws and practices are in conformity with the relevant ILO convention. Out of 47 conventions and 1 protocol ratified, only 39 are in force. The eight core conventions are called fundamental or human rights convention. While acquiring a genuine picture of the capacity and dynamics of the informal economy has proven to be a frightening burden since, concepts and measurement might vary relying upon in part on whether accuracy or country-correspondence is sought, a late ILO/WTO joint study has predicted that informal employment encompassed about 78 percent of non-agricultural employment in advancing Asia and 52 percent in Latin America. One would be able to estimate that the prevailing objections do not provide a justification to disdain or cripple internationally acknowledged labor standards.

1) Application of policies and their exercise must be persistent with ILO fundamental principles and rights at work in order to persuade that the worldwide growth is predominantly profitable.
2) Informality which is substantially a governance issue has to be recalledas it is analyzed that the progress of the informal economy can sometimes be etched to improper, feeble, misplaced or inadequately designed or exercised social policies.

3) The prevailing delusion based on an assumption that workers in the informal economy are outside the outlook of application and implementation of international labor standards has to be scrapped as in fact, most international labor standards are admissible to those in the informal economy.

1) The International Labour Organization and labor standards International Law Essay, LAW TEACHER,
3) Ritasha Gupta, Wage policy, SCRIBD,
4) International Labour Standards On Wages, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION,
5) Karan Bhutani, Wages Structure in India Under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, SCRIBD,
6) Work and Wages, PAYCHECK.IN,
7) Reynaud Emmanuel, The International Labour Organization and the living wage a historical perspective, IDEAS(2017),
8) Carlos carrion-Crespo, Promotion of the ILO’S Labour relation in the Public Service Convention, 1978(NO.151), RESEARCH GATE,

About the Author:
Kanimozhi Thaninayagam pursuing her "IV" year B.A. LLB (HONS) at School of Excellence In Law, Chennai.

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