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A “labor” means productive work especially physical work done for wage. It is both a component and a struggle between different interests in society. Talking about labour laws the biggest credit goes to the TREATY OF VERSAILLES held just after the World War 1 ,International Labour Organization is one that made the labour law systematic.
What is the major work of labour laws? Just providing benefits or more then that ?
Well the answer is free to predict but what best is counted in labor laws is to facilitate productive individual and collective employment relationship ,therefore to provide a productive economy . Secondly to harmonize industrial relation based on workplace democracy. It works as a clear and constant reminder to the democratic freedom to every section of society. This was the general idea of labour law and its requirement . Talking about country like INDIA which is diverse and informally talks about the sentiments, conscience of an individual and of the class as a whole. Indian labour law is a mixed platter of India and British legacy. The rule of East India Company brought many changes,regulated many sections so one was the labour law.
In 1883 Factories Act was brought to make labour costlier. India for the first time received stipulation of 8 hours of working ,abolition of child labour, women employment in night hrs, overtime wages etc. Gradually the time changed and the command from a body changed to a pact between 2 bodies; The Trade Dispute Act 1929 for restraining the rights to strike and lock out where on other hand the labour guaranteed fullest cooperation of national economic development. It became a partnership between capital and labour.
The constitution guarantees the right of every class and every individual in different articles .
If we talk about the need for protecting and safeguarding interest of labour as a human is being enshrined in ARTICLE 16,19,23,24 in PART III of the constitution i.e Fundamental rights. PART IV ARTICLES 39,41,42,43A,54 keep in live with labour laws. The role of DPSP is to –
- Secure health and strength of employees
- Tender age of children not abused
- The citizen are not forced in economic necessity to enter a vocation instituted to there age or strength .
- Just and humane condition of work and maternity relief provide.
- Govt. shall take steps by suitable legislature or in any other way to secure participation of employee in the management of undertakings.
Labour Law is a subject matter of CONCURRENT LIST.,where categorized and enacted by central govt. and state govt.
Labour law has its own strict policy – for planned economic development , creative measures to attract private investment, Creating new job,social scheme for unorganised sector,unified and beneficial funds of management and welfare board and a long list goes like that. But such long policies ,terms and language of literate is hard for any labour to understand,it is clearly impossible for a labour to read and know these list of laws, the need of policies,the need of economic development.
What comes to them is completing their own basic needs that comes from day to night shifts in field, industries ,farms and so on. These list of long papers are for the class of elite,the labours of reputed companies who understands and demands everything in written form. A labour earning a bread for day and saving for night is far away from knowing own rights of labour ,infact is unaware of the list of laws available to him as a bliss.
The solution of 44 Labour laws of India, Different acts, amendments lies in one power i.e. to SUBSUME THE LABOUR LAW.
The Indian government has subsumed over 29 central laws ,100 State laws into 29 codified laws with aim to simplify the mode of working.The large no.of labour laws use to create confusion and delay in the justice making feature for labors.For a simple person in order to attain its rights needed to read and search the whole rule book of llabor laws.By creating a codified 3 laws for there security ,working wages made the labor class easy to understand the need of laws.When India is moving towards smart work in every field a touch away ,then why should a labor department shall set behind by the old way of dealing with matters.I think the step taken by central government is absolute and up to mark.The labor law just not only made a layman to get easy with the principles but also for the students who work in this field of studies,who read on labor laws in their law schools ,the NGO’s working for their benefits, and all Other departments.
A different definition of LABOURER !
The Labourer is a wider term that does not only restrict our thinking skills till factory workers under Some capitalist but every person who is bound by obligation under a person through a agreement of give and take is a labor. A labor can be a person who is bounded forcefully to do a work. It has been a long time we heard about bounded labor, slavery import that was legal and common at that time, this is what we call the changing nature of crime what was legal before is a crime today. Jurisprudence talks about customs ,morality ,laws , and GRUDNORM the origin of a law. These laws came into force seeing the unconstitutional and un ethical customs of past.The bounded labor is against the human rights and today are protected by a commission of human rights. Well topic here is labor ,if we think broadly and sincerely we will find that labor is just not a labor According to me a child forced to accomplish the dreams of parents is a labor of the mindset of another person where we Talk about individuality of every person, we save their rights there we make a child learn how to work according to others , this is a Labourer. when we ask a woman to work day and night in and out and treats them as a chattel is a Labourer. Despite of thousand strikes, marches the reality could not changed itself in the way we saw it will be. Nowdays the labor definition has confined itself to the workers only. But in day to day life we see a labor all around which is incorporeal in nature. This is my perception of the Labourers in India ,one can have open mind to think beyond it. But this will make the readers feel the reality in our little life.
Challenges, a laborers face!
Accordingly the term Labourer is not the appropriate word used for those who helps us .Just because they are paid for the help given to us they are called labors. This term should have been changed with helpers as they create a difference between the society and class. The capitalist class can never understand the class ,they never step into shoes of the Labourer. This also brings a wrong view for the class when people call them labor ‘Maj door’ in Hindi or we say “shramik” in Hindi. The hard work shall never be deemed as a lower status ,when someone is doing “shram” then how can he be of a low status. The circumstance of a person makes them poor but working according to it in this world should be respected, They deserve a respect because we have our hands soft when they put their hands in the dirt for us. The very 1st consequence was discrimination, the view to see them , the treatment they get as discussed in this paragraph.
One of the issue that arises to my mind is the wages they get , we see the degree holders ,businessman, entrpreneurs, designers, actors, all others receive a good amount of wages according to their work which is absolutely correct ,one should get what they deserve by work and luck both .
But why the wages of a Labourer is too less ? We see that a domestic helper works day and night , move around homes and earns a very little for washing ,cleaning etc , I believe they should get. A good amount , In a corporate sector every individual joins a job when they see the annual package and we also see people switch their companies when they get more because of experience then why the experience of. A labor is not counted ? Why ? Why their wage is fixed in a house ,in a factory , in a school etc.,just because they are poor ? When they ask for increment we think twice before paying , before bringing that amendment because this is the notion that those who are poor , does not have degree , does not have a good status does not deserve a respectful and dignified life or we say they should work hard to achieve its no ones fault if they are less than someone.
But what we miss out here is the capabilities, the experience, the determination, the hard work, smart work,their way of dealing with the problems and above all the way of living a life in less sources. The one who knows to live in less resources can really save a lot money from spending in different field to do a work.This reminds me of an another notion that is the discovery of machines that came to help aa person not to remove a person .Development makes the country developed from developing ,that is good, but it kills the job of the lower level workers who earns only aa day meal after working the whole day. In spite of removing labourer with machines one should can get the training to make similar machines, to make them understand the working and make them work over it enhance it , the capabilities does not comes from books or degrees,.the practical knowledge is the future of development.
One should always consider these problems of a Labourer while making any law regarding them
A country like India where unemployment is one of the major issue and concern this class should be a matter of subject. One cannot live alone , the balance in the society is must an this class is the major element of this. In this pandemic we learned to be self reliant but inside somewhere we also saw that how helpless we were when the helpers were not there for us. Yes I call them helpers. This pandemic brought me a much more respect for every helper that helped us for a little wage and we just ignored their work. I believed everyone of us must have felt it in 2020 and 2021.
The law makers, should always consider two things while making any law i.e one should not sleep empty stomach , the law made should be executed on time without any loopholes .These two notion can really bring a change no matter a little but it will.
We celebrate different days in a year and one is labor day , why do we celebrate it can be a story of someone but how do we celebrate it today is the concern , instead of celebrating it with claps and flowers showering on a day , our oath should be to make these labor smile everyday , make them live happily everyday, where they do not worry about the bread , the children’s future , that they do not need to think twice for celebrating the other festivals of the year.
If I summarise the problems and the change required it will be too less for the country of 121 crore people to bring a change in someone’s life , its not about only a lower class but for every class every person who somewhere inside deals with these issue.
The problems –
●the believe in old customs of slavery
●the discrimination due to name “labor”
●the gap between rich and poor
●no or less increment in wages
● the ignorance of experience in this field for promotions.
●the ignored mental health.
●the development of machinery as a substitute rather being a third hand.
And, so on.
Changes required can be easily incurred from the the problems mentioned they are –
● change in the thinking of society
● the respect of ‘helpers’ then ‘labors’
●the annual and monthly dealings of a rich class with the lower to understand their way of life.”Communication” between both class can bring a change.
●the wages should increase looking at capabilities and experiences.
●the need of training in professional field keeping aside qualifications.
●more and more departments and field to be open for employment
●the work security to be granted to avoid migration.
●practical knowledge,workshops,training programmed in different fields.
These are certain problems and the changes required to be dealt with time.
I don’t think the change can come in a day as it is not possible , to bring a change one should start with self this is what we learned from school times , the change can come if on individual level we work upon it.
The work on different level has been done for the welfare of labor apart from making laws and subsuming it. Apart from legislature another profession has made this topic a limelight wheather it be a book, a movie made ,the awards for the motivation. I would like to highlight here it as we cannot only say the change is required but also we cannot ignore the work of everyone who wholeheartedly worked in this respect
BOOKS by Simon Dakin Hugh Collins and H.L.kumar worked for the labour laws.
The government of India has also established AWARDS in this field at national level like Shram Ratnam, Shram Bhushan , Shram Veerangana , Shram Shree.estb in 1975 for outstanding contribution and work in the field of labourers.
MOVIES like Naya daur,Paigham,Deewar,Kaala Pathar,Mazdoor,Laadla,Coolie are the creative works I the field of entertainment which also made people sentiments heard through television.
There must be much more artistic works in the field of labour but here is the end of my thinking ability.
Coming toward the Crux of this article , the subsumed labour laws was a efficient steps in the regard of development , the pros has already been mentioned and the cons are still to be watched as its an amendment of 2020 which will ne further seen in future if changes required.
The life is all about changes and continuity
The security of wages
The extra payment for extra work
The timeline fixed
The security of jobs
The maternity relief all these helped us create a well settled mount to achieve a good result in the field of labour laws.
In School Of Law-
The law schools provide this subject as a mainstream so that a persona who works for achieving justice should not left with the proper knowledge. The moot courts talks about the labour law activities that helps a law student to accept the demands, the needs ,the right approach for the benefit of this class. This is one of the major step taken as the forthcoming lawyers that will help us understand the real problems of labourers , they will make the voice of unheard reach its right place and provide justice. A pragmatic approach is always important for moving forward.
Author: Aparna Shukla
Editor: Kanishka Vaish, Senior Editor, LexLife India.