New Delhi [India], May 11 (ANI): The Congress has alleged that BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have suspended labour laws to attract foreign investment. It asked the Central government not to accept these decisions as they strip workers of their basic rights.
"Uttar Pradesh government has completely suspended all labour laws for three years that is well beyond the predicted range for the Covid-19 pandemic. Madhya Pradesh also did the same thing. Gujarat has gone a step further and said it will not follow any labour law for 1200 days. It means a permit is being given to allow exploitation of labour," Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said in a digital press conference.
"These labour laws such as the Industrial Disputes Act and the Minimum Wages Act exist to ensure basic protections to those who are most vulnerable to exploitation. They flow from the constitutionally guaranteed Right to Life and put in place basic protections to protect the poor from being overworked and underpaid. They are the surest guarantee that workers have against being turned into bonded labour," he said.
"Furthermore, a red carpet has now been rolled out by the BJP-ruled state governments of UP, Gujarat and MP to lure foreign investors but this cannot be done by proudly sacrificing the rights of the working class. This is shameful and once again highlights the true nature and priorities of this 'Suit-Boot ki Sarkar'. Factories and Industrial Premises will end up becoming 'sweat shops' and forced labour camps," Gohil said.
The Congress leader said that the Modi Government should not give permission to this move as it strips workers of their basic rights.
"This highlights the sheer lack of concern for the poor and the clear and ulterior motive to strip the workers of hard-fought protections instituted by previous and far more responsible Governments. Because these laws are in the Concurrent List, no such suspension can take place without the explicit approval of the Central Government," Gohil said.
"We, therefore, ask the Modi Government to deny any permissions that strip workers of their basic rights and have the potential of diminishing their livelihood. We also ask that trade unions be consulted before such an adverse step is taken," he said. (ANI)