India: Trade unions express dissatisfaction with govt using COVID-19 as cover to make anti-worker amendment to existing labour law
"Govt of India 'using' Covid-19 crisis to put in place anti-worker measures: Central TUs", 14 April 2020
In a letter to Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union minister for labour and employment, major Central Trade Union organizations have expressed their displeasure with the Government of India reported move to make changes in the factory Act of 1948 to allow 72 hours of work per six day week in place of the existing limit of 48 hours.
Also opposing the move to change the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and shifting their resources under the pretext of prevailing situation due to Covid-19, the TUs state that this is happening at a time when the workers have lost their livelihood, payment of wages are being denied to them and retrenchments are being practiced by employers flouting all the advisories of the Labour Ministry.
The TUs say, if one adds to the projections by the employers’ organizations from various sectors, the unemployment rate may reach 23.7 percent. “In such a scenario instead of thinking in terms of strategies for providing jobs and livelihood for their survival, to use the Covid-19 cover to permanently damage the factory Act is against the interest of workers is highly condemnable”, they add.