Jun 4, 2020

The novel coronavirus has affected every section of the society. However some sections are greatly distressed like the migrant labourers. The labour laws of India have taken a toll lately. Recently the Karnataka government extended the working shifts to 10 hours a day for the next three months, in order to recover the profits bygone due to the lockdown. Further industrial bodies pitched for deferment of Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) for a period of four months citing industrial distress due to the business stagnation. Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat and Uttar Pradesh have announced significant labour reforms such as hire and fire according to needs, easier licenses and registration, greater shift hours, no labour inspection or government intervention, no role of unions, etc. Further, lack of assurance on timely wage payment, stranding them in areas without arranging for their travel back home has upset this particular section considerably. The situation has aggravated to such an extent, that plenty of trade unions in India have approached the International Labour Organization (ILO) for relief. Bureaucracy has lost its sensitivity, and these laws are providing a leverage to the employers, significantly affecting the majority labourers.