New Delhi: The RSS-affiliated trade union BMS on Thursday condemned the “total withdrawal” of labour laws by the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, and announced a countrywide agitation against it.
Migrant workers’ problems
The BMS also said migrant workers’ problems have aggravated during the novel coronavirus-triggered lockdown mainly because there is “gross violation” of laws by most of the states.
BMS criticizes freezing of labour laws
Criticising the freezing of labour laws as well as increase in the working hours from eight to 12 hours in some other states, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) general secretary Virjesh Upadhyay said in a statement, “It is learnt that many other states are readying to follow the trend. This is unheard in history and is rare even in most undemocratic countries.”
“…we are pushed to the wall and there is no other way out except going for agitation. Hence BMS decided nationwide agitation in solidarity with the fight against the anti-worker ordinances in UP, MP, Gujarat as well as increase of working hours in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa and Odisha,” the trade union said.
Nationwide Protest Day
The BMS said that it has planned “nationwide protest day” on May 20 in which demonstrations will be held at “taluka centre/district centre/ industrial estate” by maintaining social distance on “freezing labour laws and increase in working hours in various states, migrant workers issues, payment of wages, job losses”.
The BMS has also demanded job opportunities for unorganized sector and contract workers of organised sector.
The decision was taken at the BMS national office-bearers’ web-meeting held on May 13, in which it “strongly condemned the total withdrawal of labour laws in UP, MP and Gujarat.”
“The meeting also discussed pandemic situation due to COVID-19 and its effects on various sectors. It welcomed the package declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the details announced in the first stage by the Finance Minister,” according to the statement.
BMS will also hold conventions on May 30 and May 31 on demands related to workers.
In Uttar Pradesh, key labour laws have been suspended for three years.