The protesters, including workers in Bengaluru, gathered at Freedom Park on Wednesday.

Scores gathered in Bengaluru protesting the change in security provisions for workers
news Protest Thursday, October 08, 2020 - 08:12

The All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) held a protest in Bengaluru on Wednesday against the labour law amendments made by the Union and state governments. The protesters, including workers and members of various trade associations in Bengaluru, gathered at Freedom Park at 12:30 pm. They observed a minute's silence for the victim of the rape victim from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.

Puttegowda, the Karnataka President of AICCTU, said, “Since the time of coronavirus, the government has been negligent about the working class. There was no food, no wages, no job security. Now workers are being removed from work and unemployment is growing. It is during this time that they have brought about the labour law changes and we must fight this”.

 In particular, the protesters highlighted the amendments to contract labour under the Industrial Disputes Act  passed by the Karnataka government in July which stated that establishments and contractors with up to 50 workers do not need to be registered and are therefore exempted from inspections. 

Moreover, factories (with aid of power) with 10 or more workers and factories (without aid of power) with 20 or more workers no longer fall under the ambit of the Factories Act. This limit was increased in an amendment passed by the state government. Trade unions say that this will affect a large number of workers and their access to safety, toilets, food and water.  

Among the workers present at the protest were those involved in COVID-19 related work including pourakarmikas working in Bengaluru.  Meena of Victoria Hospital Workers Union is employed to clean waste in hospitals. “We do not have job security or wage security. We are paid less than minimum wages by 'contractors'. Only through our unity, we can fight against this,” Meena said

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