International Labour Day 2020: Half the world's workers face losing their jobs


Photo-Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

International Labour Day also known as May Day or International Workers’ Day — celebrates the struggle, dedication and commitment of the working class and is an annual public holiday in several countries.

The genesis of the Labour Day goes in to the 19th Century when industrialization was punishing laborers to work almost 15 hours in day.The 1st May, 1886 strike was in the Chicago and a few others cities where the site of a major union demonstration in support of the 8 hours’ workday demand. There was confrontation between demonstrators and government. The police then opened fire at the gathering, killing several men and wounding around 200. And, hence, the Haymarket Affair became a part of US history

In 1889, the international Socialist Conference declared that in commemoration of the Haymarket affair, 1 May would be an international holiday.

In the 21st Century we have achieved many milestones as far as labour rights are concerned. But, we due to rapid changing in the mode of work, after technology being inducted in the production system. We have gone further like today’s work depend on the data and software. And at the same time in developing countries has huge unskilled labour forces.  

Presently we are in midst of Pandemics, in this circumstances workers are the most vulnerable for two reasons Globally, one most of the activities are stopped due to lockdowns, so there are no regular incomes, because after the liberalization the productions are not at one place, different kind of stakeholders are engaged for finishing the product. But, what happened in this process, the worker or work force become invisible, what we called “Informal”. The middle man is paying after getting product. In situation like lockdown, the informal workers are nowhere.

Their salary is being slashed, many workers are being asked by the employer go on the leave without pay. People are losing their job. In India, there were 8% unemployment before the COVID19, currently, this has reached around 24% in such short span of time.  

Indian authorities have stopped the Dearness allowance hike, which were applicable from January 2020 for the employees of central government and pensioners. What is the logic for this DA? as per my understanding to mitigate the impact of inflation on the employees and pension holders. At the recent time, everyone knows, where the price rises are going? And there is no sign of getting controlled in the immediate future. Then, question comes, how will the salaried or pensioners people fight with inflation?

Globally as per recent report of International Labour Organization ,  Almost half the global workforce – 1.6 billion people – are in “immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed” by the economic impact of Covid-19.

Lockdown is necessary to fight with the Pandemics like COVID19, but there are many more things has to be done along with lockdown. Country like India, where you cannot imagine the levels of inequalities at the all levels, I mean inequalities in incomes, social religion gender and regional levels.

Photo: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Our 90% of work force don't have secured income, forgot about the proper social security nets. I am talking all those in the certain context, after lock down there are no concrete majors being announce for the Labour, who has been working in the all kinds of Industrial work, people engaged in the constitution work, we have large numbers of people working as a self-employment for earning livelihoods for them self and for the family members of at least 5-6 people.These people are not ordinarily people they have been making Indian economy into reality for the many years, but in return these people have nothing except humiliation and always being treated like second class citizens.

This was scary to see migrants workers in middle of nowhere, here I was expecting from corporate and government. There are three events, which should not happen, if our government or business houses would have taken care of the migrants, like in Delhi, Surat and Mumbai

I cannot finish my blog, without mentioning the front-line workers in the time of COVID19, where they are not only working but they have to contribute more hours of service. Its fine everyone are praising them now, but they were there always but none of us considered them for equal wages, better work condition and more over the respect or dignity they were deserved.
There is urgent need to address the Labour questions at large. For providing immediate help and prepare border plan to address the issues differently.
In Solidarity with Labour day

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