Relaxation of Labour Laws – Attack on the Rights of the Labourers: SDPI

MK Faizy, national president of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has stated that the relaxation of Labour Laws by various states in the name of helping economic recovery is an attack on the fundamental rights of the labourers who are the backbone of development anywhere. While the governments elsewhere are resorting to provide stimulus packages to recover the economy dismantled by the lockdown following the Covid19 pandemic, governments in India are on to exploit the labourers who are the weakest section of the society.

It was UP that came first by freezing all but four Labour Laws for 3 years, followed by Gujarat and Madhyapradesh, all BJP ruled states. Suspension of the laws allows the employers not to conform to the laws such as the Factories Act (which deals with working hours) and the Industrial Disputes Act (which deal with notice periods before retrenchments). Some states have increased the working hours from 8 to 12 hours. Inspection terms and government intervention in violation of laws have been set aside. The relaxation allows the employers to hire and fire employees denying the right of job security for the employees. Apart from many loopholes detrimental to the employees, the governments have relaxed the licensing and legal requirements to start new factories compromising the safety norms as well. It’s worth noting that recent gas leak in Vishakpatnam and Raigarh was due to lack of proper safety precautions.

Faizy demanded that governments should review the decision to suspend the Labour Laws and consider alternate productive ways to recover the economy without making the labourers scapegoats. They are already facing tremendous misery without employment for the past couple of months, he said.