Workers across India took to the streets on 5 December to protest against proposed labour law amendements.
Protestors around India demonstrated against the propesed changes in the labour laws. New Delhi alone saw 15,000 protestors.
The propsed amendments concern the Factories Act, the Contract Labour Act and the Apprentices Act. If enforced, an estimated 67 per cent of companies are likely to be exempt from the laws, which will lead to lessened job security and underpayment. Trade unions object to the government not having fulfilled its promise to consult them before the amendments.
Leaders from the national trade union centres addressed the demonstrators in New Delhi, stressing that that the protests will intensify further if the government does not listen to them.
Sister Manali from IndustriALL Global Union affiliate SEWA underlined women’s position on the labour market:
“Women from the unorganized sector contribute 39 per cent to the total production but the women workers get nothing in their hands. 50 million invisible home based workers are victimized because a rampant contractualization. We demand inclusive law that provide security to the labourers.”
Gurudas Das Gupta General Secretary of the AITUC declared:
“This is the war against capital. Our unity will only lead us towards success. Therefore, we all must get prepared to fight battle. We collectively decide our further action but we won’t allow government to bring anti labour law reforms at any cost.”