Dimapur, July 27: National Domestic Workers Movement, (NDWM) Nagaland Region today registered its protest against a Bill, which the Centre proposes to reform the labour codes to simplify the existing labour laws.
Talking to media persons, Sr Pramila Lobo said that if the bill is passed, in the name of simplification, many important protective provisions would be withdrawn.
Legal Advisor for NDWM, Limanochet explained that if the bill is passed, organized and unorganized workers would be clubbed together under the same laws and though it would have minimal effect on the organized workers, it would be disastrous for the informal sectors like the domestic workers.
He further said that it would deter third parties to make negotiations with the government on behalf of the labours and the domestic workers often don’t have what it takes to make a better negotiation for themselves.
Speaking on behalf of NDWM, Sr. Pramila demanded from the central government the enactment of a comprehensive legislation for domestic workers in which the aspects of regulation of work, social security and grievances redress are included and withdrawal of the Labour Codes.
A signature campaign was also being organized by NDWM, National Domestic Workers’ Federation and National Platform for Domestic Workers in this regard and collected about 7 lakh signatures including Nagaland’s 10,375 signatories which would be submitted to the parliamentary standing committee.
In the context of the state of Nagaland, Sr. Pramila reiterated the need for the registration of Nagaland Domestic Workers’ Union as trade union which came into being in the year 2008 and is still striving to get registered besides the recognition of domestic workers as workers by including domestic work in the schedule of employment of the Minimum Wage Act.
During the interaction, the domestic workers also expressed their grievances and the autocracy that they have to face while working even for decades in a home at the hands of their employers and the absence of a guardian body that can fight for their rights only make their situation harsher.
A teary-eyed worker, who has been working for more than 25 years in a particular family, said that even after working for such long a time, her salary hasn’t reached Rs. 3,000 and she is not allowed to take leave even on Sundays or during illness without getting her salary deducted.
On June 14 last, when Nagaland Page contacted Assistant Labour Commissioner of Dimapur, Temwang Konyak on the same issue to know what was causing the delay for the recognition of the union, he said at that time that the recognition of the union is not a singular case but there are other organizations also that are awaiting registration but since the government is about to bring in some new laws, the process has been halted for a time being. (Page News Service)