September 01, 2019

AIKS to Protest Change in Labour Laws

THE All India Kisan Council meeting held at Hyderabad had passed a resolution on August 24 against the decision of the BJP government led by Narendra Modi to change the existing labour laws and infringe upon the hard won labour rights. The AIKC opined that this attack on the working class has to be countered with all its might. It is also the responsibility of the peasantry to raise its voice against the unjust labour codes which aim to promote corporate profiteering by increased exploitation of labour, by removing social security measures, extending working hours up to 14 hours a day and also against the BJP government’s decision proposing starvation level wages of just Rs 176 per day.

Under the new labour codes workers can be retrenched at the will of corporates allowing them to ‘hire and fire’ without any protection to workers. A virtual ban on right to strike has been imposed along with heavy penalty for joining and organising a strike. Forming trade unions and going on struggles and strikes on their genuine demands will be almost impossible. Employers can unilaterally change the service conditions of the workers; the right of the workers to oppose or dispute the same has been severely curtailed. In one word, the BJP government seeks to enslave workers by virtually doing away with trade union rights. All the statutory benefits that the workers have today – eight hours working day, minimum wages, equal remuneration, maternity benefit, bonus, social security benefits including provident fund and ESI, the right to form trade unions etc – have been achieved through hard struggles and huge sacrifices by the working class supported by the peasantry and the people. They were not granted out of benevolence or charity by either the employers or any government. These shall be protected through united struggles.

The AIKC had called upon the peasantry to move hand-in-hand with the workers to protect the labour rights and join all the future protest actions called by the trade unions in this regard. The AIKC reiterated that the alliance of the working class and the peasantry will counter the corporate onslaught on labour and called upon the peasantry to organise protest public meetings on September 5, 2019 at village level across the country to build public opinion against this anti-worker move by the Modi government. AIKS has asked all its state units to take up this programme on September 5, 2019 with utmost seriousness coordinating with the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Agricultural Workers’ Union and other mass and class organisations. Constituents of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan and AIKSCC may also be involved in the protest.