Report: Demonstration against Changes in Labour Laws by Rajasthan Govt

New Delhi (Press Note/ 18th June 14): Despite the Delhi Police coercion since yesterday to stop the Protest Demonstration for ‘security reasons’, we held a Protest in front of Bikaner House, New Delhi this morning against the anti-labour reforms proposed by the BJP government in Rajasthan. This ‘denial of permission’ for any democratic voices of protest is part of ‘security’ given nakedly or covertly by the state machinery to protect class interests of the corporate regime.

Resist Anti-Labor Laws
Resist Anti-Labor Laws

The changes in the three crucial labour legislations, the Industrial Disputes Act, the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, the Factories Act is part of the regime of ‘bitter pills’ that Narendra Modi is talking about today. It is nothing else but the forced implementation of neo-liberal reforms, for which the BJP-led Rajasthan government is supposed to have ‘shown the way’, and other states and the Central government will soon follow. While Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje has given the reason of ‘15 lakh job creation’, the effects of this move is the exact opposite- increasing insecurity and joblessness.

This is indeed a ‘class war’ as many commentators and corporate managers are saying, especially after the recent death of a CEO of a jute mill in Hoogly, reminding one of the Maruti Suzuki Manesar incident of July 2012. And in this ‘class war’, the changes in labour laws, as today’s Economic Times editorial notes, are a dire necessity for the capitalist class. But whatever meager pro-labour legislations are there today, have not come through doles from the rulers, but through long struggles of the working masses against the capitalists and their pliant governments.

We oppose this move, in solidarity with the growing unrest and protest of workers in many industrial areas of the country, which are calling out in anger against the increasing insecurity of employment, contractualisation, lowering of real wages and worsening conditions of work and livelihood. Along with this, we must and will continue to protest against the curbing of democratic spaces everywhere which is sought to be forced down on the toiling masses and those who raise our voices firmly on their side.

Activists of Krantikari Naujawan Sabha, along with Nowruz, Pratidhwani, and Viplav Sanskritik Manch organized a protest demonstration today and submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan via the Resident Commissioner, with the following demands:

  1. Immediately revoke all proposed changes in the three labour laws, which is only intensification of attacks on labour.
  2. Implement existing and enact more pro-labour legislations, and take action against defaulting owners and management.
  3. Ensure the Right to Unionize, abolish the contract worker system and regularize all contract workers.
  4. Ensure dignified employment for all.