The relaxation of rigid and old labour laws by Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and by Gujarat on Friday is expected to help and restart economic activity, attract investments, and in the long run, create more jobs by guide in labour market flexibility. Trade unions, however, attacked the relaxations as retrograde and warned of erosion of rights of workers.
Two government decisions is require to allow employers and to raise working hours by four hours up to 72 hours a week in overtime in workers who are willing, allow third party inspection for new units.
Former union labour secretary Shankar Agarwal said “Today the most urgent requirement is to create new jobs. This means giving flexibility in hiring of workers while ensuring minimum wages, safety and security for workers,” however states are empowered to take action under the National Disaster Management Act and have rights to change rules.
Haryana has already made some moves – to remove hurdles that hinder efforts to woo foreign capital, especially if investors move away from china because of country’s association with outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic
States should replicate what has been done by UP and MP for the next two quarters. Emergency times need emergency measures, and upon normalcy need to appoint labour commission to look at the 27,000 compliance across almost 440 central and state Acts and around 1,400 filings.
Rituporna Chakraborty, executive vice president and co-founder of staffing firm Teamlease said “There should be one labour code to pave the path for rapid economy recovery and job creation”
Virjesh Upadhyay, general secretary of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh which is linked to BJP, said “We are writing to the Centre and state government to explain to us how suspension of labour laws will help in restarting economic activity. Give us the justification.” Trade union said they have informed more state governments such as Gujarat, Odihsa, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are planning similar moves
In a letter leaders of seven political parties have addressed to the President raised concern over the security, welfare, livelihood and future of crores of working people. “Using the pretext of battling the Covid-19 pandemic, drastic changes are being made to the existing labour laws of the country which further jeopardise the lives and well-being of working people. Today’s conditions are barbaric as from protecting fundamental rights to life and dignity said the letter signed by CPM’s SItaram Yechury and D Raja of CPI among others.
-Davinder Panesar, NMTV News