Staff Reporter

Steps to implement Migrant Labourers’ Act, 1979

Survey planned to study migrant workers’ situation

KOCHI: The State is witness to rampant flouting of rules governing inter-State migrant labourers and the Labour Department is gearing up to stringently implement Migrant Labourers’ Act 1979, Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan said here on Monday.

He was briefing newsmen here on the issues that were addressed by the Industrial Relations Board at its second meeting. The board was constituted to take into account the labour atmosphere and to improve labour-employer relations.

The Minster expressed satisfaction at the improvement in labour relations in the State over the last two years and said steps would now be taken to address the issue of migrant labourers, productivity, implementation of the Minimum Wages Act and ensure quality of production.

The Industrial Relations Board will meet here again in two months to take stock of the initiatives on these fronts, the Minister added.

He said the Labour Department did not have an exact picture of the ‘migrant labourer situation.’ The department will hold a survey to get a clearer picture.

State Labour Commissioner Premachandra Kurup, who was also present at the press conference, said the number of migrant labourers was going up everyday.

Though migrant labourers were supposed to register with the District Labour Officers in their respective States, it was not being done, Mr. Kurup said.

Labour contractors and principal employers of these workers are expected to hold licences and should display these licences at the work site. They should also be provided proper living conditions. These were being flouted, Mr. Kurup said.

The Minister said that efforts were on to make Kerala a major investment destination.

Representatives of all major trade unions, employers and Central public sector undertakings attended the meeting. Mr. Gurudasan said that Cochin Port Trust Deputy Chairman Captain Subhash Kumar had reported 12 per cent increase in productivity in the port over the last two years.

These are indications that the labour relations are improving here, the Minister said.

He also said the Labour Ministry had appealed to container trailer lorry workers at Kochi Port to refrain from their strike called on April 27.