Around 3,000 Jharkhand members of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (Citu) held a demonstration in front of the state labour department in Ranchi on Tuesday to protest against the anti-labour policies of the Centre and the pro-corporate attitude among bureaucrats in the state government.
A delegation of Citu submitted a memorandum to the state labour minister Satyanand Bhokta and labour secretary Rajesh Kumar Sharma through the labour commissioner.
“Most of the participants were unorganised and contract workers working in government projects, organised labourers and employees in coal, steel, heavy engineering units of Ranchi, and nurses,” said senior CPM leader Prakash Viplav.
Jharkhand Citu general secretary Bishwajit Deb described the present situation of the country as extremely serious.
“Policies of the Centre have made the current situation extremely worrisome. These policies are not only anti-worker, anti-farmer and anti-people but also anti-national, proving disastrous not only for our national economy but also for the unity and integrity of our country,” Deb said.
The speakers also expressed concern about the increasing number of contract workers, migrant workers, and informal workers, and deteriorating working conditions because of the anti-labour attitude of corporate-influenced bureaucrats in Jharkhand.
“Work of permanent nature is being done through contract workers who are not getting the benefits of government welfare schemes. This is a violation of labour laws denying justice to the organised labourers,” Deb added.
The memorandum also demanded revision in the minimum wage, listing of all categories of workers in the schedule for transparent functioning of welfare boards, transparent criteria for deciding the representation of workers in various committees of the labour department and strict implementation of government notifications for labourers.
They also demanded the constitution of welfare boards for all the workers who do not come under the purview of the Minimum Wages Act, ensuring more budget for MGNREGA, implementing the Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme and filling vacancies in the state labour department.