Put preparations in place for the safe return of thousands of Indian migrant workers

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Charter of demands by Indian Affiliates Council (Building, Construction, Building Materials & Forestry Sector Unions) to Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of Labour (Independent Charge), with copy to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India:

The Indian Affiliates Council (IAC) representing workers in building-construction, building materials and forestry sector are putting forward following 10-point Charter of Demands:

  1. During COVID-19 crisis, no change be undertaken in any labour welfare scheme, labour policy and labour law framework including working hours through any ordinance or other mechanisms without due consultation with trade unions;
  2. Enhance relief and also ensure relief already announced by the Government through State Construction Workers’ Welfare Boards to cover all registered workers and also those construction workers whose renewals could not take place due to various reasons including KYC and bank account linkages. Ensure registration of all construction workers with the respective State Construction Workers’ Welfare Boards during this period and compulsory registration – no unregistered workers be permitted to work at construction sites. Relief concerning food security should be extended to both ration card and non- ration card holders;
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for all workers and adequate OHS safeguards be observed at worksites in case of permitted activities and operational work sites. Also, transport facility for workers be also arranged in line with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of  India guidelines. Responsibility of implementation of facilities at worksites including provision for hand-washing, sanitization facilities and also observing social distance be entrusted to the Principal Employers;
  4. Decent housing facilities for workers at the worksites (wherever applicable). For MGNREGA workers, apart from due safeguards, 100-days wage payment be advanced to workers that can be adjusted with gradual provision of work;
  5. Expand free testing facilities to include workers’ settlements and work sites;
  6. Payment of wages to all workers during lock down period irrespective of their status whether permanent or contractual. Additionally, no wage cut owing to absence from work for COVID-19 affected workers or observing quarantine;
  7. Timely relief and benefits to stranded Migrant Workers, a case in point is from Bihar State where migrant workers from Bihar stranded in various States have been extended financial relief of 1000 INR through an APP;
  8. Ensure safe return of migrant workers to their respective States similar to the arrangements made by different State Governments made for stranded tourists and students from their respective States. Ensure shelter and transit facilities are organised for migrants wherever they are;
  9. Extend PPE support and insurance to electricity and water supply workers who are working day and night as part of essential services during COVID-19;
  10. Put preparations in place for safe return of thousands of Indian migrant workers especially in the GCC region and other countries including Malaysia and Singapore whose jobs have been affected due to COVID-19 lock down and work stoppages.

Signatories:                                                                                         

  • Rama Chandra Khuntia, Ex MP & Vice-Chair, BWI Asia Pacific, Indian National Building Construction, Forest & Wood Workers’ Federation (INBCWF)
  • Sitaram Saini, All Himachal Public Works Department & IPH Contract Workers Union (AHPWD&IPHCWU)
  • Amar Barot, Adivasi Forest Wood and Building Workers’ Association (AFWBWA)
  • Pannerselvam, Akila India Kattida Thozhilalargal Mathiya Sangam (AIKTMS)
  • Munshi Ram Salalia, All India NHPC Workers’ & Employees Federation (AINHPCWEF)
  • Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Vyvasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU)
  • Pramod Patel, Bhawan Nirman Karmkar Mazdoor Union (BNKMU)
  • Vipul Pandya, Bandhkam Mazdoor Sangathan (BMS)
  • Kulwant Singh Bawa, Bhatta Mazdoor Sabha (BMS)
  • Haneef, Building and Road Workers Federation (BRWF)
  • Chandra Prakash Singh,  Construction Labour Union (CLU)
  • Bhola Nath Tiwari, Construction Forestry Brick and Wood Workers’ Union (CFBWU)
  • Amjad Hassan, Delhi Asangathit Nirman Mazdoor Union (DANMU)
  • Ramendra Kumar, Delhi Nirman Mazdoor Sangathan (DNMS)
  • Kuldeep Kumar, Delhi State Electricity Workers Union (DSEWU)
  • Ram Nagina Pandey, Eastern Railway Construction & Contractor Mazdoor Union (ERCCMU)                                
  • Pravin Vyas, Gujarat Forest Produce Gatherers and Forest Workers’ Union (GFPGFWU)
  • Alimuddin Ansari, Hind Khet Mazdoor Panchayat (HKMP)
  • Mukesh Galav, Azad Hind Building Workers Union (AHBWU)
  • Deoraj Singh, Indian National Cement Workers’ Federation (INCWF)
  • Thampi Kannadan, Kerala Kettida Nirmana Thozhilali Congress (KKNTC)
  • P. Samy, Karnataka State Construction Workers Union (KSCWCU)
  • Ramesh Vats, Mahanagar Asangathit Mazdoor Union (MAMU)
  • Dadarao Dongre, Maharashtra Building Construction Forest and Wood Workers’ Union (MBCFWU)
  • KK Nema, MP Theka Shramik Mazdoor Congress (MPTSMC)
  • Subhash Bhatnagar, Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam (NMPS)
  • Madhukant Pathariya, Nirman Mazdoor Sangathana (NMS)
  • Akshaya Tripathy, Nikhila Odisha Bidyut Sramik Mohasangha (NOBSM)
  • Kishore Jena, Orissa Forest and Minor Forest Produce Workers’ Union (OFMFPWU)
  • Jogendra Nath Tripathi, Orissa Kendupatra Karmachari Sangha (OKKS)
  • Rajendra Dash, Orissa Nirman Mazdoor Sabha (ONMS)
  • Narayanaswamy, Palamoori Migrant Labour Union (PMLU)
  • Kalu Ram Bhati, Rajasthan Patthar Khan evam Nirman Mazdoor Sangathan (RPKNMS)
  • Raam, Rural Workers’ Organisation (RWO)
  • Manali Shah, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
  • K. Nallamuthu, Shevaroys’ General Employees Union (SGEU)
  • Bhuvaneswari Nanjappan, Tamil Nadu Congress Thozhilalar Union (TCTU)
  • Ponkumar Ponnuswamy, Thamizhaga Kattida Thozhilalargal Madhiya Sangam (TKTMS)
  • Subbu, Tamil Maanila Kattida Thozhilalar Sangam (TMKTS)
  • K M Ratnam, United Front for Rural, Plantation and Construction Workers (UNIFRONT)
  • Tula Ram Sharma, Uttar Pradesh Grameen Mazdoor Sangathan (UPGMS)
  • Bijendra Sharma, Asangathit Karkmar Union (AKU)
  • Mahendra G. Patel, Gujarat Bandhkam Shramyogi Kalyan Sangh (GBSKS)
  • Roop Singh Thakur, Himachal Building & Construction Mazdoor Union (HB & CMU)
  • Mukesh Galav, All India Cement Employees Federation (AICEF)

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