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5 Mai 2021

The Wire

India: Stranded Workers Action Network urges Government to provide compensation and support to migrant workers amid national surge in COVID-19 cases

“COVID-19: Centre Urged to Provide Wage Compensation for Migrant Labourers”, 05 May 2021

… [T]he Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN) has urged the Union government to provide a wage compensation of Rs 7,000 for the next three months to all priority households and migrant workers to help them tide over the unfolding crisis.

… SWAN recommended a slew of measures for both state and Central governments to help migrant workers, who are among the worst-hit populace due to the stalling of economic activity in wake of curbs imposed to contain the spread of the virus.

In order to ensure that migrant workers do not suffer due to hunger, SWAN has urged the government to extend free ration coverage …

SWAN has also urged the Union labour ministry to issue orders to employers and contractors to pay wages even under lockdowns and curfews.

As the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGA) had come to the aid of some migrant workers who returned last year after lockdown, SWAN has urged the government to allocate additional funds for the scheme … ensure small, sanitised workgroups keeping physical distancing norms, failing which, the government must pay the full wages for the period, it has added.

Additionally, as a number of migrant workers are willing to go home, SWAN has urged the Centre to provide travel assistance for stranded migrant workers…

Among other recommendations, it has said labour welfare boards should pay collected cess to all registered construction workers, and to prioritise vaccination of migrant workers returning to their home states.