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‘It is government’s duty to provide relief to those affected,’ says labour union general secretary

Maharashtra Labour Union General Secretary Rajan Nair speaks of his experiences in fighting the long war for wage rights, statutory benefits and other rights for the working classes.

pune Updated: Dec 19, 2017 17:09 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Maharashtra labour union general secretary.,Rajan Nair
Rajan Nair, Maharashtra labour union general secretary.(HT Photo)

Maharashtra Labour Union General Secretary Rajan Nair is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fighting for the rights of labourers and affected employees of sick companies. Nair has led some of the biggest agitations against the top corporates of India who, he claims, had denied legitimate and statutory benefits to labourers. He spoke to Nadeem Inamdar on his experiences in fighting the long war for wage rights, statutory benefits and other rights for the working classes.

What is your assessment of the current lockdown by companies like Pandit Auto and the also the DSK situation?

Both the cases are important in the eyes of the working class. DSK have been a very big builders and commanded high respect and influence in society, but he faltered in terms of professionalism. The mismanagement of finances ruined his business and brought severe problems for his investors and employees who are the biggest sufferers. Similarly, the employees of Pandit Auto are facing the biggest threat to their livelihoods and their families are affected the most. The plight of employees is the worst and it needs to be resolved by giving them their dues.

Based on your experience, what is the way forward?

If anything goes wrong in the wake of a shutdown and lockouts, it is the duty of the government to provide relief and succour to employees of the affected company.The government must take strong steps to ensure that employees get their pending payments and statutory benefits. Off late, the management are found to be giving excuses instead of giving the employees their hard-earned benefits. The innocents must not be made to suffer by the management and strong steps need to taken by the government to solve this issue.Reserve funds must be available so that immediate monetary help can be provided to the suffering employees in real time with active assistance from the government.

Are you satisfied with the government role in providing relief to the employees ?

Not at all. The family and the individual are the worst sufferers and the government must think for them, which it is not doing. The government officials in charge of taking action must ensure that a proactive role is played by them in giving justice to the affected employees. All laws to safeguard the rights of employees are there, but unfortunately, they are not being implemented in the right spirit. A lot of awareness needs to be done by the government, vis-a-vis labour rights, so that they don’t have to suffer at the cost of the management.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 17:06 IST

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