Time period of the labourers during the pandemic and Migrant Wokers

Time period of the labourers during the pandemic and Migrant Wokers

Time period of the labourers during the pandemic

The time period of the pandemic has been a very affected journey for the labourers in the manufacturing sector. There has been an imposition of lockdown that led to the stoppage in a transaction. The jobs of the labourers have been suffered a lot. There was a need for the passing of the ordinance by various states in lieu of labourers.

When it comes to the discussion towards the legal concept, the notion of laborers comes under a concurrent list which allows both state and centre to make changes.

The reason for enforcement of laws for the labours was to provide them with employment opportunities.

 One of the major steps of the state government towards the working of laborers was their time period of working hours. Various states took measures with respect to the time period of the labourers. Some of them are-
  1. Uttar Pradesh – The State of UP has signed over the ordinances on labour laws that try to exempt all factories that are included in the manufacturing process. Such provisions are suspended for 3 years.
  2. Madhya Pradesh – The state passed an amendment act on 6th march wherein it stated that certain new provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 would be applied. Therefore, the state government has made the provision of 72 hours of overtime working for the labourers and the time period of the working has increased from 8 hours to 112 hours.
  3. Rajasthan- the government of Rajasthan has put the time period which has increased the working hours from 8 to12 hours.
  4. Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana- the provisions of the factories act were amended with respect to the working hours of the labours that got increased to 12 hours of minimum working hours every day and 72 hours a week from 8 to 48 hours. Such a provision applying for a time period of 3 in the states.
The constitutional provisions that led towards the interest of the laborers were kept in mind while delivery their rights and these provisions-
  1. Article 21 – right to life
  2. Right to protection from exploitation
  3. Article 41, article 43

Time period of 2 shifts-                                       

The factories are being encouraged for providing two shifts wherein they need to have more n more employees which in return results in an increase in production.

[Uttar Pradesh worker front V. Union of India and another]  Air 2020

Js. Govind Mathur and Js. Sidhartha Verma

The petition was filed by the government in form of certain amendments in respect of the time period of working hours under section 8 of the factories act.

The government thereafter with the notification where the provision was made in respect of increasing the time period to 12 hours and weekly hours be increased from 48 hours to 72 hours.

Also, the provision got amended with respect to time period interval by reducing it to half an hour which can also be taken after the continuous working of 6 hours, while the law tells about that one break after 5 hours of continuous work.

Time period of the labourers during the pandemic and Migrant Wokers

Migrant workers

The era of pandemic gave rise to the problem that was suffered by many of the migrant workers. There has been a stoppage of factories and workplaces which was the source of many migrant workers due to the imposition of lockdown in the country.  The results of which are the reduction of the incomes of the workers and loss of their jobs.  They suffered lots of uncertainties such as loss of income, food shortage, etc.  The migrant workers faced hardships due to a lack of transport facilities. The various measures were taken by the central and the state government to help the workers to send them home by arranging transport facilities.

There was a report by companies that they were facing a shortage of labourers during the initial stage of lockdown. Many of the migrant workers were left with no livelihood due to the environment of this pandemic.

There was a strict direction to the state government by the central government to have an immediate set up of the camps that would contribute towards returning the migrant workers to their native places. The orders are issued by the government which talks about the protection of rights of the migrant workers. The report by the central government to the Supreme Court stated that the conditions of the migrant workers were misdirected in face of the lockdown during a pandemic.

Later the central government in May went for the announcement of ‘shramik’ trains for the migrant workers to get them back to their native place.

The Supreme Court recognized the pain and problems of the migrant workers and due to which they had not been given any such solutions for this. In response, the centre and the state were ordered by the Supreme Court to provide the migrant worker’s food, shelter, and transport.

When the nation was under lockdown, the state responded towards the suffering of the migrant workers who were caught in crowded without means of livelihood.

[Ritesh V. state of UP ] AIR 2020

The concern for the migrant workers increases which was brought by the advocates as a petition before the court. The state government was ordered by the Allahabad high court to issue notice about the measures that should be taken for the welfare of the migrant workers and carry forward the plans for their rehabilitation who have returned to the states including labourers.

The petition was filed stating the bad conditions of the migrant workers and where neither the centre nor the state government is taking measures for their benefit and were not working for the adequate arrangements for the movements of those migrant workers and their families. The part that was also highlighted in the petition was the shortage and availability of food during their journey in trains which was provided for their movement and hence suffering from starvation.

The issue which was also put up through this petition was the non-availability of the infrastructure for their employment in the state of UP. The migrant workers were in search of employment and it was a duty of the state to strengthen its necessary need for the local employment

The state government was given a notice that was issued by the court to explaining the various policies and norms that would provide the medical facility to the migrant workers and their families. Also to take measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the rural parts of Uttar Pradesh and bringing new schemes for their rehabilitation. The state also went on restricting the movements and migrations of the natives of Uttar Pradesh to other parts of the country.

Reference –

Article by – Nitisha Sharma

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