Manesar Workers Find No Recourse As Auto Sector Slump Steals Jobs
In last few years, labour laws have been tweaked in a manner that have made retrenchments easier.
The acute crisis in India’s automobile sector has already hit the headlines with reports of widespread job losses and sales plummeting to nearly 20-year lows. However, the strife can be best portrayed by the human faces who have become casualties of the crisis.
Speaking to The Quint, one of the workers who has recently lost his job said, "All the companies are retrenching. Even the permanent workers are being laid off and the authorities are not saying anything."
"Unemployment is on the rise since Modi came to power. People have lost their jobs," another one said, adding that the companies are saying that they are incurring losses.
“Doesn’t matter whether we are working for one year or two years, we are being asked to go home,” he said.
Besides the layoffs, the workers are also being harassed in other ways by the contractors who provide jobs to casual workers in various factories.
“Workers who are being laid off, are put to work in some other company and are again retrenched after one or two months without paying salary. If he lodges a complaint, he is beaten up and forced away in collusion with the owner of the house where he puts up,” another laid off worker told The Quint.
A union leader speaking to The Quint explained how tweaks in labour laws carried out by various state governments in the past few years have made retrenchments easier.
"BJP governments at the state level in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand brought about sweeping changes in the labour laws which were very anti-labour. The floor of coverage in Industrial Disputes Act for a factory which had to seek prior permission for retrenchment was raised from 100 workers, to a factory employing 300 workers, which effectively left out 85 percent or 90 percent of the factories from the purview of seeking permission. They were not required to seek any permission from the government before they go for retrenchment," Abhishek, General Secretary of AICCTU's Delhi unit said.
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