Skip to main content

Economy in tatters, labour codes 'take away' workers' safety, benefits, right to form TU

By Our Representative 

The four new labour codes promulgated by the Government of India came in for sharp criticism from several labour unions and civil rights groups at one-day discussion meeting organised in Ranchi (Jharkhand) on the issue of ‘changes in labour laws. Participants in the meeting asserted that under these new codes, many of the benefits and safeties accorded to labourers have been "taken away", while the right of labourers to create trade unions has been attacked.
Jointly organised by the Adivasi Adhikar Manch (AAM), All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Johar Asangathit Majdoor Union, Bagaicha and Kamkaaji Mahila Union, All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) etc., the meeting, held at the Bagaicha campus, set up by late tribal rights leader Fr Stan Swamy, was attended by representatives from different parts of Jharkhand like Chaibasa, Jamshedpur, Chakradharpur and Ranchi.
Rishit Neogi of AAM, briefly discussing the economic policy under which such changes in labour laws are being brought about, said the economic environment of the country is changing rapidly and multiple laws that govern land rights, labour rights, educational rights, rights of minorities and marginal communities, laws around public sector institutions, privatization, finance and commerce etc. are being amended without much discussion in Parliament.
The economy of the country in the pandemic era is in tatters, claimed Neogi, adding, permanent jobs are rare even in the organised sector. Problems are mounting for the unorganised sector for both skilled and unskilled labour. This is causing a huge increase in the number of employed people in the country.
According to him, outsourcing and contractual labour practices in the organised sector have led to a regime of hire and fire that has turned the lives of labourers into living hell. In this context, it is absolutely necessary that labour organisations, trade unions, labourers and other organisations and individuals who are with the working class should come together and discuss these issues and collectively raise their voice.
ML Singh of CITU speaking on the four labour codes, said, these changes are made for the benefit of 1% of the population by exploiting the 99% of the masses. Under these new codes, many of the benefits and safeties accorded to labourers have been removed. As a result of these new codes, the right of labourers to create trade unions has been attacked. The right to protest and strike has been made more difficult.
According to him, the new labour codes also attack the gender-based rights and safeties that were previously accorded to women workers. States like UP and Gujarat have already increased working hours to 12 hours per day, which is inhuman. They have made the practice of ‘hire and fire’ even easier. There are no provisions for permanent jobs left in India anymore.
Several participants, including Kadma (Johar Asangathit Majdoor Union), Ambika Yadav (Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha) Ashish Kudada (Johar Asangathit Majdoor Union), Bhuvneshwar Kewat (CPI-ML) and Aloka Kujur (AITUC) addressing the meeting, highlighted how the return of migrant workers during the lockdown in 2020 led to human rights abuses.
They said, a condition of helplessness still prevails among the labour class in India. Unemployment is rising, prices of necessities are increasing and there is no safety of life, health, or education in India. In this situation, changing the labour laws and taking away whatever remains of labour rights in India is nothing short of a conspiracy.
The meeting decided that more discussion meetings will be conducted across Jharkhand in order to spread awareness among unorganised workers about their rights and to demand from the government to scrap these 4 codes and create labour-friendly laws in the country. It proposed district-level meetings to make strategies for future struggle.

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.