Self-declaration, instead of certificate from employer, should be sufficient by supreme court guideline, says Kamgar Sanrakshan Samman Sangh
Geetanjali Minhas | August 21, 2021 | Mumbai
The Construction Workers Welfare Board in Maharashtra has made it mandatory for construction and Naka workers to get certificates from their respective contractors/employers for getting registration with the board, but majority of the workers are not able to register themselves due to the unorganised nature of their work in the labour market.
On Friday, Kamgar Sanrakshan Samman Sangh, a union of informal workers, submitted 200 applications with self-declaration certificates, as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines, to the Secretary of Maharashtra BOCW Board.
In W.P.(C) no. 318/2006 in the case of National Campaign Committee for Central Labour Vs UoI and others, the Supreme Court in its order on 19.03.2018 had directed the Ministry of Labour and Employment to frame one composite Model Scheme for construction workers in consultation with all stakeholders after which the ministry formulated the action plan and model scheme accordingly. The same was circulated to all states and UTs.
“The condition for submitting certificate is not only against the Supreme Court’s ruling but also against the ethos of number of labour statutes. Due to the mandatory certificate condition, millions of Naka workers in Maharashtra are denied their right to social security. The Board today has over 10,000 crores of rupees for workers welfare schemes but this huge amount of funds are not utilised due to the lack of registration of workers with the board. Such exclusionary provisions have made workers’ particularly migrant workers more vulnerable,” said an office-bearer of the Kamgar Sanrakshan Samman Sangh.
KSSS said it will escalate the issue with higher authorities if the Board fails to register the workers on principles of self-declaration. The migrant workers crisis witnessed during the lockdown has a lot to do with the neglect of this board. Had the workers been registered on time as per SC guidelines, sending relief to workers would have become easier and the workers would have survived the crisis with dignity.
Chandan Kumar of Working People’s Charter, also an alliance partner, said, “We understand that the board is implementing the directions laid down by the labour directorate. And therefore it is imperative for state labour secretariat to urgently issue fresh directives to concerned department to make current process simple. It is needless to say that the present form of registration is absolutely anti-migrant and against informal workers.”
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