RSS Trade Union To Protest Suspension Of Labour Laws

The RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) on Thursday announced a nationwide agitation on May 20 against new labour laws passed by Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and increase in working hours by some states.

In a meeting held on Wednesday, national office bearers of BMS strongly condemned the “total withdrawal” of labour laws in three BJP-ruled states – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

“BMS decides nationwide agitation in solidarity with the fight against the anti-worker ordinances of UP, MP, Gujarat and also on other labour issues. BMS national office bearers’ web-meeting held on May 13 strongly condemned the total withdrawal of labour laws in UP, MP and Gujarat,” said an official release by BMS on Thursday.

BMS will also hold conventions on May 30 and May 31 on demands related to workers.

The release referred to the increase in working hours by Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa and Odisha and said working hours have been increased from 8 to 12 hours.

“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,” it said.

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.

BMS stated that its state units have written to the chief ministers on the issue and said only Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met its delegation.

“Migrant workers’ issues have aggravated mainly because there is a gross violation of Migrant Labour Act by most of the states. Hence we are pushed to the wall and there is no other way out except going for agitation. BMS decided nationwide agitation in solidarity with the fight against the anti-worker ordinances in UP, MP, Gujarat as well as the increase of working hours in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa and Odisha,” the release said.

BMS has also decided to send letters to district authorities on local issues by district secretaries, local unions, state-level unions, federations on issues like payment of wages, job losses and relief measures to unregistered workers, migrant workers, self-employed workers and private transport workers.

“From May 30 and May 31 2020- state/ industry/ company/sector-level conventions on workers demands and also demanding withdrawal of labour laws freezing,” the release said.

BMS has welcomed the special package of Rs 20 lakh crore declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deal with the COVID-19 situation.

“In many states contractors or employers or agencies did not pay salary or wages for the month of April 2020 and, in addition, crores workers have lost their jobs,” BMS stated.


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