Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh calls for nationwide protest against labour laws on May 20
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has called a nationwide protest on May 20 to push for reversing the decision to do away with a clutch of labour laws in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
The labour wing of RSS also condemned a decision by states such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa to increase working hours from eight to 12 hours.
According to a BMS functionary, demonstrations will be held in districts and industrial estates, while observing social distance norms, against the decision to freeze labour laws and increase working hours in several states.
“Migrant workers’ issues have aggravated, mainly because there is gross violation of migrant labour act by most states. Hence, we are pushed to the wall and there is no other way out except going for agitation,” BMS general secretary Vrijesh Upadhyay said.
In a statement issued here, BMS said it learnt that many other states are readying to follow the trend. “...This is unheard [of] in history and is rare even in most undemocratic countries. BMS state units have written to state chief ministers but only CM of MP has shown the courtesy to meet BMS delegation,” it said.
During a meeting of its national office bearers on Wednesday, BMS functionaries discussed the package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but flagged concerns over unpaid salaries.
“In many states, contractors or employers or agencies didn’t pay salary or wages for April. In addition, crores of workers have lost their jobs. We have decided to send letters to district authorities to highlight problems faced by stranded migrant labourers and to oppose increasing the working hours,” Upadhyay said.
As state governments defended their offer of labour law holidays as a move to woo investors and, in turn, increase employment opportunities, BMS said amending and scrapping labour laws during the Coronavirus pandemic will make workers more vulnerable to job losses and exploitation.