Headlines May 10, 2020
UP government defends move to suspend labour laws
The Uttar Pradesh government has defended its move to clear an ordinance exempting businesses in the state from a large number of labour laws. Many opposition parties have criticised the move. But UP’s Labour Minister Swami Prasad Mauryaa has said this is a move in favour of the workers and will attract new investment.
Speaking to the media, Maurya said, “Those shedding crocodile tears do not know that we have opened up new avenues of investment while keeping in mind the interests of workers. We have opened up the possibility of attracting new investment and of reviving defunct industries. We want that migrant workers returning to UP to get employment here and that is why we have brought this ordinance”.
The state cabinet has approved the “Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020” that exempts factories, business establishments and industries from enforcing all but three labour laws.
Some of the labour laws that now become defunct in the state include those related to working conditions of workers, trade unions, contract workers and the settlement of industrial disputes. However, laws related to bonded labour, timely payment of wages, and defined working hours continue to stay.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav have accused the UP government of taking decisions that are anti-poor.
In a tweet, Priyanka Gandhi said, “The changes made in the labour laws by the UP government should be cancelled immediately. You are not ready to help the labourers. You are not giving any protective cover to their families. Now you are making laws to crush their rights. The labourers are makers of the country, not your hostage.”
Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: “The BJP government in UP, through an ordinance, has exempted industry from labour laws, which saved workers from exploitation, for three years. This is highly objectionable and inhuman. This anti-poor BJP government which could not patronise labourers should immediately resign.”