Trade unions urge PM for relief to migrants

They also demand an end to dilution of labour laws

Ten central trade unions staged protests across the country and wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, seeking immediate cash assistance for migrant workers affected by the ockdown and a halt to the dilution of labour laws in several States. In their petition, the unions said stranded workers should be sent home safely, the public distribution system should be made universal, workers should be paid wages for the lockdown period and a cash transfer of ₹7,500 should be done for three months to all non-income tax- paying households.

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The unions also demanded that the government withdraw the freeze on dearness allowance for its employees and put an end to changes to or dilutions of labour laws.

Among those who participated in the protests were workers of the railway, power, oil and port sectors, the unions said in a statement, adding that they demanded that the government stop the privatisation of several sectors as announced recently.

The unions said they would soon meet and decide the future course of action. The unions that called the protests were the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the All-India Trade Union Congress, the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the All-India United Trade Union Centre, the Trade Union Coordination Committee, the Self Employed Women’s Association, the All-India Central Council of Trade Unions, the Labour Progressive Federation and the United Trade Union Congress.

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