Representational image
Representational image
Nicolas Rizzon

The RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) along with Trade Union Coordination Committee (TUCC), National Front of Indian Trade unions (NFITU), Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat (HMKP), National Labor Organization (NLO), and Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), will be holding a protest against the relaxation of labour laws. This protest will be held on May 20 (Thursday).

This nationwide protest is against labour law changes made by various states, including withdrawal of labour laws in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh — states run by Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. These unions will be holding the protest under a joint forum of Central Trade Unions — Confederation of Central Trade Unions (CONCENT).

CONCENT is also mulling over taking the legal route and more appropriate actions in the court of law. Meanwhile, necessary steps and consultation would be initiated at various organisational levels.

On the day of the national protest, various partners will organise awareness meetings, conventions at state capitals/national capital and will assure social distancing is maintained and also the number limit, as per the guidelines under Disaster Management Act.

The joint forum held a virtual meeting to discuss relevant issues related to migrant workers, construction workers, domestic workers, vendors, hawkers, fisheries and forest workers, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision of relaxing labour laws by some states will encourage other states to move into that direction, the Union asserted. Meanwhile, states like Rajasthan, Goa, Odisha and Maharashtra have increased working hours from 8 to 12.

The forum terms these decisions by the states as adding salt on wounds of the already suffering workers.

Considering the ill motive of these states, the forum decided to launch nationwide protests against these anti-worker policies of the state governments which will pave the way for exploiting workers and pushing them towards bondage, it stated.

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