Several Indian States Weaken Labour Laws

by GoNews Desk 3 weeks ago Views 1498
Several Indian States Weaken Labour Laws
It has been more than 40 days since the lockdown was implemented in the country and during the period, industries and businesses have been badly affected. However, instead of adopting an effective strategy to breathe life into the economy, state governments have targeted labour laws.

So far, the six states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have weakened the labour laws.

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According to the new labour laws in Madhya Pradesh, labourers in factories will be made to work for 12 hours instead of the earlier eight hours. However, the consent of labourers will be essential for this and they will have to be paid for overtime.

Now, factories in the state will be able to get inspections done by a third party and there will be no need to maintain the register related to labourers. Factory owners will also not need government inspections now.

Labourers will not be able to ask factory owners for information related to their health and safety in factories which will start functioning with these changes.

Also, owners will not be compelled to provide labourers with facilities such as electricity, ventilation for clean air, toilets, seating, first-aid, safety equipment, canteen, crèche, weekly holidays and rest/breaks during work and other, similar conveniences.

Similarly, Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi government has repealed all laws related to labour rights for up to three years.

A statement released on behalf of the Chief Minister’s office says that businesses have been badly hit by the lockdown and so, revoking all these laws will help speed up the economy. 

After the changes in laws, factory owners will be able to employ and/or dismiss any labourer according to their own discretion and will not be asked any questions.

Similarly, factory owners in Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will also be able to make labourers work for 12 hours instead of the earlier eight hours. Here too, the logic being forwarded is the welfare of the economy.

However, labour organisations disagree with it and allege that with the changes in labour laws, labourers will end up being slaves.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions says that labour exploitation is being embarked upon in the guise of improving the economy.

CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that on one hand, the government advocates in favour of wealth creators and on the other hand, it overlooks value creators (labourers). In the absence of labour laws, workers will end up as bonded labourers, he said.

The condition of labour laws and labour courts in the country is already poor and given this, the changes in labour laws will prove to be the last nail in the coffin in ending labour rights.

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