The decision of some of the state governments to make amendments in labour welfare laws has not gone down well with Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the labour wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. On Wednesday, members of the union submitted petitions addressed to the President via district collectors, who are also protesting the same. The union has also indicated that they will be forced to take to the streets in protest against the move.
The letter, a copy of which was submitted to the Pune district collector, said the BMS was not in favour of states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat (all BJP-ruled) “passing an ordinance freezing labour laws for three to four years as many other states will follow the same path”. The letter stated that the states have also amended the Factories Act and increased working hours from eight to 12 hours without consulting stakeholders.
Calling such a move “illegal”, the union said the move behind the suspension of the labour laws was to attract more investment. “The BMS can’t digest the idea that workers are a roadblock to development. The BMS wants the state government to convince the country how workers are a roadblock to development,” the letter read. These actions, the BMS said, were “misleading, illegal, unwarranted, against humanity and fundamental rights”.
In its letter, the union has indicated that unless the ordinances are withdrawn, it would be forced to take to the streets in protest. The union also wants the state governments of Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan, Bihar to rescind their earlier order of increasing working hours in factories. The union has also demanded a national register of migrant labourers as well as payment of minimal wages for March and April.
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