Contract Workers’ Meet Condemn Modi govt. move to water down Labour Laws

  • 5,000 contract workers rally in support of their demands • Contract Workers Conference condemns Modi govt move to amend Contract Labour act and other Labour Laws • First All India Contract Workers Federation launched • Contract Workers decide to march to parliament in support of their demands

Bangalore (Press Release/ Feb 02, 2015): More than 5000 contract workers from across India have gathered in Bangalore for an All India Contract Workers Conference arranged by the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) A rally of 5000 workers was carried out on Feb 01, Sunday from Freedom Park to Banappa work, in support of their demands (Photos of rally attached, demands pasted below). The rally saw huge participation from hundreds of contract workers from Bangalore too – contract workers of BBMP, BWSSB, Race Course, HAL, Bangalore Race Course, MICO-BOSCH, Ready Mix Cement fix factory etc. Workers from the rest of Karnataka, Bihar, Assam, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra and several other states took part in the rally. The rally was followed by a public meeting. The meeting was addressed by Adv Balan, Karnatak State President of the AICCTU, Rambhali, Bihar State President of AICCTU , Comrade Bharadwaj , State Secy (K’taka) of the CPI(ML) among others. At the meeting, speakers condemned the increased contractualisation of labour in both the private sector , the public sector and the government itself. They also spoke of how the Congress and the BJP are no different on this issue and how the Karnataka state Government is pursuing anti-labour policies. An open session on ‘Contract Labour , the Left Movement and Politics’ was held in the evening of Feb 01 at Cox Town. The session was addressed by Rajeev Dimri, All India General Secretary, AICCTU and also leaders of CITU, AIUTUC and TUCC.

ContractWorkers

The speakers called for a broader left collation to take on the challenge of increasing contractualisation. Today – Monday, Feb 02 saw more than 250 contract workers from various states attend a conference at Cox Town on the contract labour situation across the country The Modi governments move to amend the Contract Labour (Abolition and Regulation)Act to in a way that will exclude most establishments from the ambit of the law came under sharp criticism from the delegates of the conference. The delegates also called for making regularisation, parity in wages, social security and dignity as the foremost goals of the contract workers movement. At the conference it was also decided to launch a All India Contract Workers Federation to better shape the struggle of contract workers across the country. Adv Balan of Bangalore was elected as the National President of the All India Contract Workers Federation and Rambhali of Bihar was elected as the National Secretary. The delegates also resolved to march to Parliament to press for their demands. The conference ended with a call for a strong and resistant-all india network of contract workers to resist the joint onslaught of the government, industry and the judiciary on the workers of India.

Major Demands

  • Regularise all conrtact and other workers engaged in perennial nature of work; Amend the Act to facilitate regularization; Continuance of same workers even in case of any change in Contractors, and make it a precondition for any contract; Treat Outsourcing as Contract and Bring outsourced workers under CLARA.
  • Declare a Minimum Wage of Rs. 20,000/pm; Revise it every year;
  • Contract labour act which mandates same and similar pay and service conditions for those engaged in same and similar kind of work to be stricyly implemented
  • Make Principal employer responsible for compliance with all labour laws; Remove the eligibility criteria of 20 and extend applicability to every individual worker.
  • Punish the employers responsible for violation of mandatory facilities like ESI, PF, Gratuity, Weekly off, Privilege Leave (PL/EL) and national and festival holidays.
  • Punish the employers who do not pay double wages for overtime work over and above 8 hours. • Implement all social security schemes to contract and informal workers.
  • Exclusive inspectorate for contract workers to monitor implementation of all labour laws
  • Equal pay and service conditions for women workers; Ensure crèches and maternity leave with wages; Transport and other gender-specific facilities to women workers; No night shift; Make Committees for ‘Sexual Harassment at Work Places’ mandatory along Vishaka guidelines and stringent punishment for violators.
  • Withdraw all pro-corporate proposals of amendment in labour laws and bring in amendments to protect job security, wage security, social security, the right to form unions and the right to strike; Bring in amendments in labour laws to nullify the effects of anti-labour judgments.
  • Empower labour department with necessary administrative, not judicial, powers, including powers to punish employers not attending conciliations and allow workers to approach competent court of law, on any issue, without any conditions;
  • No contract worker shall be terminated without following the procedure of show cause notice, charge sheet, domestic enquiry, etc.; No worker shall be terminated without giving warning and other forms of milder punishments; Disproportionate punishment to workers should be followed by retaliatory punishments to errant employers.

Issued by Clifton D ‘ Rozario State Organising Secretary AICCTU