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KERALA: Organisational Work in Times of Covid-19 Pandemic

THE Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted normal life around the world. It has posed several challenges to the activities of working-class movements in India too. The government formulated the Covid-19 protocol, outlining the restrictions that are to be followed by the people, to check the spread of the contagion. Physical distancing between individuals, use of face mask, frequent use of sanitiser and soap are major components of the protocol.

This Challenge If Ignored Can Imperil Indian Democracy

IN the run up to the US presidential  election in November 2020, the Democratic nominee Joe Biden is building up  a lead over President Donald Trump seeking re-election for  the Republicans. Not only is Biden gaining traditional Democratic votes,  but he is cutting into  those sections who usually support the Republicans. This is on account of the raw deal meted out to large sections of the US society, particularly the homeless, unemployed  and other economically vulnerable sections. They are at the receiving end of growing inequality and poverty.

The Ordinance Has to Go

BANKING Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated on June 26, 2020.  The ordinance seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, which regulates the functioning of banks and provides details on various aspects such as licensing, management, and operations of banks.  This ordinance comes in continuation of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 introduced in the parliament in March 2020 by the finance minister.

As US Buys Entire Stock of Remdesivir, Countries Need to Break Gilead Patent

THE US has bought up the entire stock of Remdesivir from Gilead, making it near impossible for this drug to be available anywhere else in the world. This has made all the more urgent that we break Gilead’s patent and issue compulsory license to Indian drug companies to manufacture the drug. The Indian Patent Act, 2005 in which the Left played a very important role, has clear provisions for compulsory licensing during a health emergency or an epidemic. Covid-19 is obviously both.

Coal Workers Strike

IN an unprecedented display of workers unity and spread of movement, as the biggest industry wise action during Covid-19 lockdown, about 1.5 lakh coal workers, irrespective of their trade unions affiliation, were in the field actively participating in the all India protest day on June 10 in all 535 collieries in eight coal-bearing states and offices of all the subsidiaries of public sector Coal India Limited (CIL) and centre-state joint sector Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) in Telangana.

Existential Crisis in Tourism Sector; Workers Hardest Hit

MOST of the big hotels in Shimla, the capital city, and in the state of Himachal Pradesh have started laying-off their workforce; the medium and smaller ones did it a few weeks after the first lockdown began. The major hotels that have started laying-off their workers include Marina, Combermere, Landmark, Rajdoot, East Bourne, Shere-e-Punjab, Himland West, and almost a dozen others.  There is no intervention from the government to provide relief either to the workers or the hospitality industry to ensure that at least their wage bill could be taken care of.

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