Labour and Employment in India - Key Issues

Dear Friends:

With this post, we would like to seek your inputs on various issues pertaining to Labour and Employment in India.

Poor Working Conditions, Extended Hours, Delayed Wages, Harassment, Benefits on Paper only are some areas of concern.

We will follow our structured approach and work through Root Causes and Solutions to put together a comprehensive whitepaper for submission to Ministry of Labour and Employment for actions.

I look forward to your participation!
Rajendra Pratap Gupta more  

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I agree with Anjali Borhade and the real time and importance given to this important issue for the requisite and needy redressal.
Ofcourse, the main opbective of this Post is to bringin and highlight the issues of Indian Labour and this is the TIME FOR FEFORMING LABOR LAWS FOR IMPROVING BUSINESS IN INDIA UTILIZING DISTRICT-WISE NATURAL RESOURCES.
By the by, the question of the Migrant Labor also would be to some extent solved due to the Establishment of New Industries in allmost the the Districts where Natural Resouces planned for Processing. more  
I congratulate Mr Gupta for taking such an important but neglected issue of labourer’s in India. Most importantly, for addressing workers issues, the capacities of Ministry of Labour and Employment must be strengthened. It is ironic that the ministry, which looks after India’s, most productive and largest human resource, is very poorly equipped with machinery, human resource and budget.

Our 93% work population is unorganized sector. Majority of it is working in informal economy. Migration from rural to urban areas for employment is major survival strategy for more than 120 million workers in India every year. Major issues of labour market are; the labour laws are not practically applicable for employers of unorganized sector laborers due to their daily wage jobs, and second is workers and most of the employers i.e. contractors are not registered with MOLE.

My key recommendations to address this huge migrant labour manpower would be as below.

• There should be creation of online portal for demand and supply of workers at city level, as a part of upcoming smart city projects. Certain rules and regulations can be applied to workers and their clients, which can make the labour hiring experience convenient and pleasant.
• There is urgent need to bring about amendments in the existing Inter State Migrant Worker’s Act (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) 1979. The revised title of the Act should be ‘Internal Migrant Workers Act’ for inclusion of inter and intra state migrant workers.
• There is a pertinent need to enhance the coverage of the Act. It is noted that the Act should cover both inter state as well as intra state migrants. This is the only way that the entitlements due to the migration particularly, short-term migration can be ensured. The Act should cover all the migrants who have changed his/her usual place of residence to another place during a period of one-week reference.
• As regards registration of migrants, it could begin with registration at the origin at panchayat level. The local administration (rural and urban) could be the nodal points for facilitating registration.
• Regarding the benefits/entitlements, for migrants, it is noted that the focus should be on health insurance (particularly extending RSBY to all migrant workers), food security (by linking it to the Food Security Act), Education for the children of the migrant workers (under the Right to Education), old age security and basic amenities including sanitation, and grievance settlement This act should ensure portability of all above-mentioned entitlements. Mechanism for portability of these entitlements should be developed.
• It is suggested to study joint initiatives of Tribal Ministry, Maharashtra/ Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Disha Foundation, Nasik (local NGO in Nasik city working with migrants since 2002) to address Tribal migration at source and destination level. They are using inter sectoral co-ordination to ensure portability of food security, livelihood trainings and job linkages, education, health, grievance settlement and registration of workers at source and destination.
• Considering that the Act should cover inter state and intra state migration, there is a pertinent need to evolve coordination mechanisms at the national/state as well as district and block levels. It is noted that lessons from the recent experience of state level coordination(like coordination between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha) could be used for drawing out the modalities for coordination.
• There is also a need to develop appropriate grievance settlement systems particularly to ensure that the claims of the short-term migrants are settled at the earliest. Involvement of National Legal Services Authority (besides labour department may also enhance the process of grievance settlement. (Disha Foundation, Nasik has developed the model with NALSA in Nasik) Fast track court for handling migrant’s cases at block and district level can be set up with support of NALSA.

• There is a strong need to set up migration facilitation centres at the destination. This work could be taken up by Labour department, in collaboration with certain identified NGOs/Civil Society Organizations’ engaged in the work of protecting migrant workers.

• It was also noted that the certain existing institutions like Construction Workers Welfare Boards could be used as effective instruments for facilitating the transfer of benefits to the migrant workers. This is very important considering that a large section of the migrant workers are engaged in construction sector. It was also discussed that many migrants are working in other sectors, and mechanism should be developed for their registration. This point is scheduled for further discussion.
• Once the Act is modified based on the identified guidelines, it should be protected in a destination/origin centre.
• Involvement of urban local bodies is recommended in ensuring the basic needs of the migrants such drinking water, shelter etc for migrant workers.

• Shed should be provided at labour markets in each city/town.

• ESI benefits should be provided to migrant families.

• Regulation of employment should be done by registration of migrant as well contractors.

• Minimum 5 laborers criterion should be removed from the interstate migrant workers act 1979 to get coverage and benefit of the act, as most of workers travel for work individually as well.

• Compulsory registration of migrants must be initiated at source and destination areas. It should be done by government. Such as panchayat can do it at source level, and labour department can do it at destination level.

• Traveling allowance for family of migrants must be provided.

• Dearness allowance must be provided to migrants.

• Minimum wages must be ensured to migrants.

• Voting rights for migrants, special provision for migrants for right to vote during migration period. (Postal ballat)

• Work passbook should be given to the migrants, which should be endorsed by contractors/employers.

• Helpline for migrants in district level/ block level. It should be run by government through NGOs/workers organizations. more  
THE LABOUR LAW EXCERCISE IS NOT TO BEFIT ANY-BODY. IT IS ONLY TO SECURE REALISATION IN TRADE UNION LEADERSHIP WHICH WENT WRONG DUE TO WHICH THE THEN PRESIDENT OF INDIA, SRI V. V. GIRI OPTED TO BE OUT FROM TRADE-UNIONISM . LABOUR ARE ONLY LABORIOUS. THE TRADE UNIONISM HAD BEEN WORKING BEYOND THE SCOPE DUE TO WHICH THOUSANDS OF INDUSTRIES FELT SICK AND DUE TO POWER MENACE, CLOSED THEMSELVES. IT HAS BEEN A GREAT LOSS TO THE INNOCENT PEOPLE AND THE NATION TOO.
SO, Mr. Dayananda kamath, please be rest assured of the good for the labour. more  
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