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20 Mai 2020

Prerna Sindwani, Business Insider (India)

India: Founder of Wipro calls state govts’ labour law suspensions "shocking", exacerbating conditions of low wage & migrant workers

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“Billionaires Azim Premji and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw argue against the labour reforms in Indian states - they are not alone”, 19 May 2020

…Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have suspended several labour laws including minimum wages [and]…at least 10 states…[increased] the daily working hours from 8 to 12 hours. [S]tate governments said that diluting these laws will attract more foreign [and local] direct investments…post-COVID-19.

“It [is] shocking…, many of the labour laws…protect workers. It will only exacerbate the conditions of low wage workers and the way we do business. Migrant workers we find fending for themselves and their families [with] almost no social security…and little…worker protection”, Azim Premji…, founder of Wipro.

Gurcharan Das, renowned author and former CEO of Procter and Gamble India, and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Executive Chairsperson of Biocon, said the country needs a model that protects workers - that can help the workers with some protection when they lose their job - before doing away with labour laws. [Furthermore], this might push more women out of the workforce…“women are employed in textiles…, food processing, services, hospitality [etc]. Cuts or reduction in their work…[may] only [leave] physically-intensive tasks such as cleaning [remaining]”.