Article 43, Constitution of India

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Article 43 – Living, wage, etc. for workers

Article 43 of Indian Constitution says that the State shall endeavour to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operative basis in rural areas. Article 43 of Indian Constitution requires the State to strive to secure work to the worker, a living wage, conditions of work assuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of freedom and social and cultural opportunities. The article also emphasizes the promotion of cottage industries on an individual or cooperative basis in rural areas. Article 43 of Indian Constitution read with Article 38 of Indian Constitution requires the State to provide employment but not necessarily a job in State civil service or security against the termination of such service for a noble cause.[1]

In the case of Bijay Cotton Mills Ltd. V. State of Ajmer, the court held that the fixation of minimum wages of labourers by the legislature is in the interest of the general public and is therefore not violative of the freedom of trade of a citizen under the Article 19(g) of the Constitution. It further highlighted that if labourers have to be given security in the enjoyment of minimum wages and they have to be protected against exploitation by their employers, it is necessary to impose restraints upon their freedom of contract and such restrictions cannot be stated as unreasonable in any sense. On the other hand, employers cannot complain if they are compelled to pay minimum wages to their labourers, even though the labourers on account of their poverty and helplessness are willing to work on fewer wages. The concept of a living wage was discussed by the Supreme Court in Standard Vacuum Refining Co. of India V. Workmen “(Standard Vacuum) and Express Newspapers (P) Ltd. V. Union of India. The idea is that each worker shall receive a wage which will support him in the most crucial condition of industrial efficiency, which will empower him to give his family all the material things which are required for their wellbeing and physical prosperity, enough to empower him to meet all requirements to carry out his responsibilities as a citizen. The amount of a living wage is different for a different industry.[2]

The directive principles of State policy (DPSP) being contributive to the overall interest of the general public and the healthy progress of the state as an entire, lay down the foundation for the applicable social system during which the labour can realize its dignity, lawfully due to it instead of its contribution to the progress of national economic prosperity. The question of wages considered within the background of directive principles a wage structure ought to serve to push a fair remuneration to labour guaranteeing due to social dignity, temperament and security, return come back to the capital, and strengthen incentives to potency, while not being unmindful of the legitimate interest and expectation of the buyer within the matter of costs.

Article 43 (a) - Participation of workers in management of industries The State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisations engaged in any industry. Participation of workers in the management is becoming an acceptable growing norm. Workers participation in management means sharing decision making powers with the lower-level workers. The concept of workers participation in management originated from the word 'democracy'. It is a concept of management for the people, of the people and by the people. It is a collective consultation process between workers and management. It gives a sense of belongingness to the workers towards the organisation. This concept bridges the gap between workers and management. Hence they work more effectively and efficiently. Decentralising the power of the organisation to individual decision-makers helps in empowerment. Now the workers are not treated as a means of production but as a partner in the common task of development of the concern. The concept develops mutual understanding and cooperation between both parties and also helps in the economic development of our country.[3]

Article 43(b) - Promotion of co-operative societies The State shall endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of co-operative societies. Insertion of Article 43B took place in the 97th Amendment i.e., Promotion of Cooperative Societies and added Part-IXB i.e., The Co-operative Societies. The objective of the modification is to encourage economic activities of cooperatives that successively facilitate the progress of rural India. It's expected to not solely guarantee autonomous and democratic functioning of cooperatives, however additionally the accountability of the management to the members and alternative stakeholders.[4]

It is the most convincing act of incorporating the essential principles of cooperatives inside the Constitution whereby the State is trusted with the responsibility of promoting the voluntary association, maintaining the autonomous character, encourage democratic participation and assist in professionally managing the co-operative. The basic values that are the options of any cooperatives have been stressed and also the strength is that the States are directed to promote them. The article solely stresses the voluntary formation that once more goes alongside Article 19(1) (C) amendment, wherever it's a fundamental right to form cooperatives. Article 43B additionally speaks on Autonomous functioning that implies it's a clear direction to the government that there's no demand for over interference within the affairs of the cooperatives by the state governments. The vital term that is then enunciated in this article is democratic management. Article 43B is involving all the main principles of cooperatives in one place and direction of the State to abide by it and additionally assist the cooperatives. It's additionally very subtly directing the State to assist and encourage however refrain from over interference.[5]