Incentivise migrants to return to workplaces in other states: RSS labour wing
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the labour wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has told the Union labour ministry that coercion should not be adopted for stopping migrants from going home in this time of crisis, adding that they should instead be given incentives to return to their host states.
The BMS has also sought a rollback of the decision to extend working hours in factories in several states, claiming it is against ILO (International Labour Organization) conventions and the existing labour laws. It has also stressed the need to make payments to workers by the 7th of every month, and protested salary cuts.
In a meeting with labour minister Santosh Gangwar on Wednesday through video conferencing, the BMS said methods should not be adopted to dissuade migrant workers from wanting to join their families.
“They should be provided incentives to come back to host states such as cash incentives, electronic passes, free train tickets etc. You cannot hold them captive,” BMS president CK Saji Narayanan said.
The BMS’s suggestion comes a day after Karnataka stopped the special train service for interstate movement of migrant workers following a meeting with builders. Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa said businesses, construction and other industrial activities are being resumed in the state in graded manner.
“Barring red zones, business, construction work and industrial activities have to be resumed. In this context, it was explained that unnecessary travel of the migrant workers has to be controlled,” he tweeted.
The BMS, however, underlined that facilities in camps for labourers should be improved, and that employers must have good relations with workers.
“Many are fleeing due to lack of proper treatment. Industrial associations, trade unions, government officials and local elected representatives should collectively undertake a campaign to retain labour at the workplaces. Building confidences and trust should be top priority to start industrial work,” Narayanan said.
He urged the labour ministry to ask states to stop salary cuts, and frame regulations and guidelines on automation, AI, robotics etc.
The BMS, which claims to have over 6,000 unions affiliated to it, has also pushed for a national policy on migrant workers and the creation of a national register of migrant workers — a data base allowing proper identity, portability, labour law protection and social security benefits.