Why the OPS was Restored
Why the OPS was Restored
Reading the judgment of the Supreme Court
Hunger feels like pincers, like the bite of crabs;
it burns, burns, and has no fur.
Let us sit down soon to eat with all those who haven't eaten;
let us spread great tablecloths, put salt in lakes of the world,
set up planetary bakeries, tables with strawberries in snow,
and a plate like the moon itself from which we can all eat.
In a video, a man walks into a vegetable shop for lemons. He pays 5 rupees for the lemon and presents a small glass. The vendor takes out a syringe, inserts it into the lemon. He pulls out 10 ml of lemon juice using the syringe and gives it to the customer. This video is a comedy sketch, which is going viral on social media. But underneath this comedy video lies a great tragedy unfolding in India.
The First May Day
In the late nineteenth century, the working classes were in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour workday. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10-to-16-hours a day in unsafe conditions and in heavily underpaid jobs. Death and injury were commonplace at many workplaces. As early as the 1860’s, working people started agitating to shorten the workday without a cut in pay. This movement started in Australia, and gradually spread elsewhere.
The World Inequality Report
The World Inequality Report (WIR) 2022, coordinated by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty and others, and published by the World Inequality Lab, holds up an important mirror to the world. It shows the deeply unequal times that we are living through.
In the early months of 2020, when the Modi government announced a national lockdown with no preparation whatsoever, thousands of migrant workers were forced to walk hundreds of kilometres to their homes in desperation. When the government was subsequently asked details of these workers, it claimed to have no information. The outrage generated by this callous response led the Modi government to announce the formation of the E-shram portal, officially a database of unorganised workers in India.
Frontline workers employed in Victoria hospital as housekeeping staff, ward attenders, lift operators, Data entry operators and security, have not been paid their wages for October 2021. Victoria Hospital was a dedicated COVID-19 facility, and these workers worked throughout the first and second wave of COVID-19. The wages for the month of September had also been delayed and was only paid on 31st October.
In this series, various changes sought to be brought in by the proposed labour codes are being discussed. It comes as no surprise that the Codes, brought in clearly show the corporate nature of the state. While issues such as the overbroad exemptions, the excessive delegation and the definitional changes have been discussed previously, this note considers the changing face of the grievance redressal machinery in the Industrial Relations (IR) Code.