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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Migrant workers rue survey delay, urge government to ensure job security, adequate salary and other benefits

Two ministry officials said bureau was yet to submit survey reports but added that they could get them after new government is formed

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 23.05.24, 06:37 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Praveen Kumar, 21, moved from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh to Calcutta in 2021 to work as a trainee in a paper mill. In 2022, he shifted to Pune to work as a technician in a forklift company.

Kumar earns 12,000 a month and barely saves 5,000.

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“The job scenario is precarious,” he said, urging the government to undertake a study on the conditions of migrant workers in the country.

“I repair forklifts. It is risky in terms of personal and job safety. There is no official contract with the company. I am poorly paid. The government should carry out a proper survey of migrant workers and take action to ensure job security, adequate salary and other benefits,” Kumar said.

The data on the work profile of migrant workers in the country is not available with the government, thanks to the delay in completing a key survey by the Union labour ministry.

The labour bureau under the ministry has delayed two surveys — the All India Survey on Migrant Workers and the All India Survey on Domestic Workers. The survey on migrant workers was started in March 2021, while the one on domestic workers began in November 2021. Both surveys were supposed to be completed within a year.

Two ministry officials said the bureau was yet to submit the reports but added that they could get them after the new government is formed.

Kumar said that the problem with migrant workers is that they are mostly hired through contractors who do not pay them. “The contractors take a cut from the salary of workers. There is no official appointment letter, provident fund and medical insurance,” Kumar said.

A labour economist, who did not wish to be named, said the surveys were aimed at capturing wide-ranging data such as workforce size, nature of employment, social security coverage, remuneration and safety at workplaces.

Sameet Panda, a social activist , said migrant workers usually hesitate to register themselves with the state government. Hence, there is no reliable data on migrant workers.

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