Central Trade Unions' Letter to the Prime Minister

Sir,

We have been drawing your attention through our letters to you and also the Labour Minister to the plight of the working people - rural and urban, organized and unorganized sector, self employed, own account workers, gig economy and agricultural workers etc. who lost their livelihood due to sudden lockdown. We have been raising the issues time and again that in crisis situation the buffer stocks of FCI be opened to feed all working masses universally without requirement of any cards/ documents. But from our ground reports even those who are the card holders of categories such as Antyodaya – BPL-APL,  they are not covered fully. In our understanding enough is yet not accomplished for ration to reach everybody. We again urge you to please open the huge Anna Bhandaar available with FCI for all these people.

All the workers working in different other states or in the far off districts/locations within the state far from their villages are now exhausted financially and mentally with no cash and nothing at all in their hands wherever they are stranded. In such a situation, to make them pay for their  rail fare to travel back to their homes is the height of insensitivity to their plight.

We also take objection to the latest order from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 3rd May stating that the government will facilitate the movement  only of those stranded workers who had gone to work or from work place to hometown just before lockdown but could not return to their  native places/work places on account of restrictions placed on movement of persons and vehicles as part of lock down measures. We take it as discriminatory as no restrictions can be put on the movement of the migrant workers making it time conditional on all those who are desperate to visit their families. Moreover no one would be interested in un-necessary travel as there are fears of getting infected from Covid-19 virus.

We urge upon you to please appreciate and appropriately intervene and ensure for their return to home without charging any fares from them in trains and the public transport in roadways.

These workers are already in distress and they should not be pushed into further miseries.

We hope you would immediately take cognizance in the matter and take appropriate urgent decision in favour of these migrant/ stranded workers.

There is urgent need for cash support also for the working people for their survival related requirements and have been urging for about Rs.7500/- per month to be transferred to all the needy(non income tax paying) households for a period of three months at least irrespective of   the Women Jan Dhan Yojna with about 20 crore registered (coverage of less than 5 crores families only) and among them also substantial number of accounts have been deactivated .We urge you for your immediate attention for this cash transfer demand to be accepted by the government.

We know that big organized sector is in position to make wage payments till the sector restarts its production as per government advisory (which is being flouted by many amongst them and we have been bringing to the notice of Ministry of Labour for enforcement intervention without any result yet), but the MSME sector are in real difficulties and need to be supported. We strongly opine that there is need to subsidise the sector for wage payment of the workers for at least three months to come and that aspect needs to be considered.

We take this opportunity to urge you to immediately cancel all unnecessary projects such as “New Parliament Complex”, provisions made for NPR, so that funds are available where needed urgently.

Thanking you
Yours sincerely

INTUC                     AITUC                    HMS                     CITU                       AIUTUC

TUCC                SEWA                      AICCTU                     LPF                    UTUC

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