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Opposition parties minus Congress seek President's intervention on labour law relaxations

Opposition parties minus Congress seek President's intervention on labour law relaxations

The letter also noted that the Central government  has already initiated the legislative process of codifying 44 existing labour laws into four codes, with one of these the Code on Wages Bill, already been adopted by the parliament

Seven political parties have opposed changes in labour laws Seven political parties have opposed changes in labour laws

HIGHLIGHTS

*Seven political parties oppose changes in labour laws

*Call it unconstitutional, seek President's urgent intervention

*Accuse Centre of diluting Labour Laws while re-drafting the Labour Codes

Leaders of seven political parties have written to President Ram Nath Kovind against the moves initiated by several state governments and the Centre to dilute the labour laws under the 'pretext of battling the Covid-19 pandemic'.

The joint letter signed by the Left parties - CPI(M), CPI, CPI (ML)-L, AIFB and RSP, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Dalit party Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) on May 8 said the states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab are using the pretext of battling the pandemic to increase the daily working hours from eight to twelve hours through executive orders without amending the Factories Act.

The letter also noted that the Central government  has already initiated the legislative process of codifying 44 existing labour laws into four codes, with one of these the Code on Wages Bill, already been adopted by the parliament. "The others are in the process. Even before this codification gets a legislative sanction, the existing laws are being violated with impunity. Once this code gets the legislative sanction, then the executive i.e. the government can through an executive order change this without the need for any reference to the parliament or state legislatures. This is patently anti-labour and draconian," the letter said.

The leaders said that the government should, instead of diluting labour rights, concentrate on fighting the pandemic by augmenting the country's health facilities and protecting doctors and health workers and taking care of the people's requirements. "Fourteen crores of workers have lost their jobs since the lockdown began. Surely, you will agree that India cannot have more deaths due to hunger, starvation, poverty and deprivation than those infected by this deadly virus," the letter said.

The leaders said that all this is being done in the name of reviving Indian economy due to the difficulties caused by the national lockdown, while the economy was already in a tailspin hurtling towards a recession before the outbreak of the pandemic.

They asked the President's urgent intervention "to stop such naked savagery against the working class and the working people, at this crucial juncture when the unity of all our people is our biggest strength in fighting and defeating this pandemic".

Also read: Coronavirus India Live Updates: Maharashtra lockdown may extend to May-end, hints CM Thackeray; cases-17,974

Also read: Country needs to know when lockdown will be lifted; it's not on, off switch: Rahul tells govt

Published on: May 08, 2020, 8:30 PM IST
Posted by: Manali, May 08, 2020, 8:30 PM IST