Amit Kumar is a Labour Rights Activist and is associated with Mazdoor Sahyog Centre (workers help centre). This is his speech at the Foundation Day of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union.
A day before farm laws were passed in the parliament, three labour code laws were also passed. According to these new labour law amendments, 44 labour laws will no longer exist. Labour laws are a document for the slavery of workers and are more dangerous than Farm laws.
But why is it so that the way farmers have put up this huge struggle against the farm laws the labour code bills have not stirred the workers’ community?
If you ask farmers about the farm bills and their features and the dangers of farm laws they will tell you in detail. But the same level of consciousness is missing in the working-class, they don’t even know that labour code bill is more dangerous than farm bills.
One labour code was passed in 2019 and the rest three will be applicable from 1st April and states have fully prepared for it. But how these laws will enslave the workers there is no discussion about it.
These labour codes will end all kinds of permanent employment. These laws will also help companies in making many of the permanent jobs temporary.
With these laws there won’t be any compulsion on part of the companies to compromise with the workers and workers will not be able to form unions.
Companies need not go to unions for any kind of compromise or arrangement and companies can compromise with workers on an individual level. This will make unions meaningless.
Another controversial point in these laws is that in case of any dispute between workers and companies the labour laws in favour of workers will not be applicable and companies can give the argument that this is a matter between two parties and there is no need for outside intervention.
There was a time when Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (Manesar) had set up an example in the whole auto belt workers from Gurgaon to Baawal. Today there is an even bigger struggle is in front of us.
Workers will have to be aware of their rights otherwise it will be too late.
Maruti’s struggle in Gurgaon industrial belt was the first example when workers stopped machines against the exploitation of any factory and forced the company to agree to workers demands.