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Unions, workers groups issue charter ahead of LS polls

Demands from political parties include higher wages and pensions

March 06, 2019 02:06 am | Updated 02:06 am IST - NEW DELHI

Higher minimum wages and pensions, abolition of contract labour, and the need for active policies to check unemployment lead a joint charter of demands adopted by the National Convention of Workers on Tuesday.

The charter will be sent to political parties with a demand for inclusion in their manifestos for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The 10 central trade unions and independent workers’ federations which organised the event, claimed that the BJP-led government had failed to keep its promises to workers. It is now trying to “divert the attention of toiling people by war hysteria, loud cries of nationalism and respect for the armed forces,” a joint statement said.

End contract labour

The major demands included minimum wages in accordance with the 15th Labour Conference recommendations; abolition of “fixed-term employment” and contract labour for jobs of a perennial nature; minimum pension of ₹6000 per month and comprehensive legislation covering social security and working conditions for all workers; an end to anti-worker labour reform; and measures to check unemployment to be undertaken on a war footing.

In solidarity with farmers’ groups, with whom they have joined hands for recent protests and rallies, the charter included demands for farm loan waivers and minimum support prices for crops in accordance with the M.S. Swaminathan Commission recommendations.

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