Network to assist workers sets foot in Telangana

Hyderabad: The Working People’s Charter (WPC), a nationwide network of workers organisations, activists, academia and other voluntary organisations engaging with workers in the informal economy, launched its chapter in Telangana on August 19.

The launch of the WPC-Telangana, which was part of a meeting of over 20 organisations, representing diverse sectors from across the state, was held at the Montfort Social Institute, Uppal, Hyderabad. The WPC aims to work for the rights of workers in the informal sector across the country and focuses on the areas of minimum wage, worker housing, the enforcement of labour standards, right to work, bonded labour and social security for unorganised workers, among other things.

The agenda of the conference on Thursday was the establishment of the ‘mediation and legal aid’ helpline for workers called the ‘India Labourline’ which hopes to provide legal aid and redressal for unorganized-sector workers, supporting them in disputes related to wage-theft, worksite accidents, harassment and bonded labour issues. Any individual from the informal economy seeking support can call the toll-free number (1800 833 9020) to be connected to tele-counsellors who speak Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Marathi.

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The establishment of the helpline has gained importance when one considers the chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the dismal lack of mechanisms in place for these groups, particularly migrant workers, to turn to for relief and assistance.

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