Light For Labour: A Relaxing Change In Working Conditions

Posted on September 17, 2012

By Zinia Bhattacharya:

Global protection of domestic labour is not going to be a fantastic concept anymore. For, The International Labour Organization’s Convention-189, to be implemented the year next, will seek to guarantee workable conditions for the entire domestic force that is employed globally. The most welcoming provision is that it implements a weekly rest of 24 consecutive hours. This shall serve as a huge boon for the labourers in developing countries, where working hours are cruelly stiff and compact. Women and children, to be mentioned in particular, would be the largest benefactors in the light of this. Other than that, explicit working terms and conditions, exercising of workers’ rights, banishing payments in kind, and collective bargaining, more or less makes up this Convention.

However, that which should astound most is that no mention has been made regarding minimum wages. This puts the right to survival of the workers at stake. Considering the fact, that poverty is already the devil ruling the scene, this comes as a rather frivolous action on the part of the authorities at ILO. How things shall develop in India is also a matter of concern, nonetheless. Stringent implications can surely reap huge benefits, particularly to abolish child labour. A child is pushed to drop out of basic education since the working conditions do not accommodate optimal hours of academics. If working hours are improved, a child can at most fend for both aspects. Women too would be spared of harmful working conditions and that which is derogatory to their health.

Disappointingly, Manmohan Singh’s government has not yet ratified this convention. Also, how far-reaching the provisions would be is undoubtedly a hazy picture. A lax judiciary and high-on-adrenaline politicians just when the elections are sounding the bells are the exact negative elements that should be taken care of. Until then, let’s play our parts too.

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