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India angers unions with eased rules for firing employees

Industry says reform package will stimulate investment and create more jobs

A labor strike in New Delhi in January. The Indian government last month passed three key bills that aim to make it easier for companies to hire and fire workers.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- India's new labor laws have split the country down partisan lines with academics and union leaders condemning the changes as a weakening of the rights and protections afforded to workers, while industry welcomes the changes as long overdue.

The Indian government in late September passed three key bills that aim to make it easier for companies to hire and fire workers, reduce the ability of unions to strike and allow companies to directly hire so-called fixed-time workers, steps it says will help both employers and workers.

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