India

Labour law amendment not without Centre’s approval: Congress

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) After labour Laws were suspended by the BJP Governments in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, the Congress said it is shocking and heart-breaking that at a time when the entire nation is dealing with an unprecedented pandemic which has disproportionately ravaged and devastated the lives of the poor, the Modi Government has taken this as an opportunity to deprive the labourers of their rights.

The Congress spokesperson Shakti Singh Gohil alleged, “These laws are in the Concurrent List, no such suspension can take place without the explicit approval of the Central Government.”

The party has demanded that the Modi Government should deny any permissions that strip workers of their basic rights and have the potential of diminishing their livelihoods.

The Congress asked that the trade unions be consulted before such an adverse step is taken.

The labourers and migrants are already getting inhuman treatment in the wake of the hastily announced lockdown which gave a barely four-hour notice to migrants. We have all seen the visuals of lakhs of our brothers and sisters attempting to make the arduous journey home without any state support, any food or medicines, left to fend for themselves by an uncaring and apathetic Government, added Gohil

The party said that the labour laws such as the Industrial Disputes Act and the Minimum Wages Act exist to ensure basic protection to those who are most vulnerable to exploitation. They flow from the Constitutionally guaranteed Right to Life and put in place basic protection to the poor from being overworked and underpaid. They are the surest guarantee that workers have against being turned into bonded labour.

The Congress alleged that while labourers are subjected to exploitation, a red carpet has now been rolled out by the BJP-ruled state governments of UP, Gujarat and MP to lure foreign investors but this cannot be done by proudly sacrificing the rights of the working class.

“This is shameful and once again highlights the true nature and priorities of this ‘Suit-Boot ki Sarkar'. Factories and Industrial Premises will end up becoming ‘sweat shops' and forced labour camps,” Gohil added.

–IANS

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