News By/Courtesy: Ayush Garg | 16 May 2020 20:20pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • relaxation of the labour laws would deprive the ‘oppressed class’ , says the petition
  • By exercising the power conferred on the states under Section 5 of the Factories Act, the states have relaxed the provisions of the Act
  • It would result in an increase in weekly and daily working hours for the workmen while denying them the right to approach the Court

The relaxation of labor laws by various states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat government was challenged in the Supreme Court. Labour laws have been relaxed to give impetus to industries that were shut down due to the Corona lockdown. Pankaj Kumar Yadav, a resident of Jharkhand, has filed a PIL in this regard in the Supreme Court.
The petition seeks to quash the orders and notifications of the state governments relaxing the labor laws. Not only this, but there has also been a demand for an interim stay on the orders of the state governments. Pankaj, through his lawyer Nirmal Ambastha, has filed a petition against the state government notifications to relax the labor law and stop the welfare provisions of workers in the Factories Act. Apart from the Central Government, the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra have been made parties in the petition.
It is said in the petition that many states have exempted industrial establishments from various labor laws. Such exemptions have been given in Section 5 of the Factories Act and Section 36B of the Industrial Disputes Act. In the wake of the Corona epidemic, state governments have issued executive orders exempting laws made before the Constitution came into force to speed up economic activity while benefiting employers. It has been said that Section 5 of the Factories Act 1948 empowers the government to issue an order exempting the law during a war-like emergency i.e. where the security of the country is threatened, but many states have used this provision of the law to corona emergency.
Statutes under labor laws are welfare legislation and enacted to protect the "oppressed class" from the "oppressor class", the plea avers. At this time the whole world is going through a phase of trouble, at this time in the name of economic cooperation, the states cannot be given the right to take away the rights of the weakest sections. Various states have exempted industrial establishments from many labor laws. These exemptions include increasing daily and weekly working hours, abolishing the right of workers to go to court, and abolishing the factory inspector's regular inspection of industrial establishments regarding the availability of basic facilities at the workplace.
It has been said that due to the Corona epidemic, the lockdown announced by the central government has lost the livelihood of lakhs of workers, they are already bound to live in hardships, but with the withdrawal of the provisions made for their welfare, their difficulties will increase.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 17 May 2020 17:16pm IST


Tags : Supreme Court, Labour Laws

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