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COVID-19 lockdown: Migrant workers from Northeast feeling insecure to return to workplace, says AIMO

‘These migrant workers faced “harrowing experience” due to the lockdown’

All India Manufacturers Organisation (AIMO) on Thursday said large number of migrant employees from the Northeast region have expressed insecurity and fear to return to work in places away from their native places due to “harrowing experience” they faced due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The Mumbai-headquartered organisation also said a large number of workers from the region were still at their place of work and were eager to return to their families once the lockdown ends, which would further deplete labour resources in the country.

Also read: COVID-19 | Among the migrants workers in Kerala, the dilemma is to leave or not to leave

Citing a study conducted by it, AIMO said a large number of migrant employees from the Northeast are feeling insecure and are scared to return to workplaces, away from their native places as they faced “harrowing experience” due to the lockdown.

The study was aimed understanding the impact of coronavirus outbreak on migrant labour from the Northeast region of India.

Commenting on the findings, AIMO Zonal Vice President — East, B P Bakshi said, “the Northeast India is one of the biggest contributors to the migrant labour force in the country especially in F&B (food and beverages), security, tea and coffee plantations, saloons, beauty, wellness and nursing.”

He said AIMO has made numerous suggestions to the government of India to aid migrant workers especially from the Northeast in the short, medium and long term, including ensuring payment of pending salaries, adequate food and a secure shelter for them.

“In the medium term we request each host state government to make a register of migrant workers who are employed there and provide them with cash incentives to enable retention of such employees in their state. Migrant employees must be made to feel welcome,” Bakshi said.

He further said, “our study has indicated that cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and even Goa will see a substantial impact due to the loss of these migrant workers in the next 6 to 9 months further endangering the business prospects of the MSME sector.

The key long term solution would be to introduce a concept of ‘Unemployment Insurance’ to provide support when a migrant labourer loses his job, AIMO said.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 4:03:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-lockdown-migrant-workers-from-northeast-feeling-insecure-to-return-to-workplace-says-aimo/article31299595.ece

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