IFTU on Gujarat Industrial Killings

RSS BJP Govts Throw Out Labour Laws & Industrial Safety; Negligence Deaths Escalate!

In line with the series of industrial ‘accidents’ being reported as minimum safety precautions are willfully dumped in hasty re-openings after the anti worker lockdown, comes news from industrial area Bharuch in Gujarat. A boiler blast in Yashashiv Rasayan Pvt Ltd at Dahej, a big agrochemical unit, resulted in a massive fire. 8 contract workers died in the blast and 50 workers sustained burns, many grievous, as the fire engulfed the factory. As methanol factories stand alongside, 5000 villagers in surrounding villages have been evacuated. 230 workers were in the factory.

The story is similar sounding to Vishakhapatnam where too hazardous factories have been allowed to be situated next to villages. Here contract workers were handling the boiler and authorities failed to confirm that competent technical staff was supervising the work. The boiler must have reopened after days, either adequate precautions were not exercised before restarting work or untrained hands must have been handed over skilled work as workers doing these jobs have headed home to avoid starvation. The story is the same, workers lives matter not for these rulers. Modi Govt. has not blinked an eyelid as literally millions of workers have walked home to escape death from hunger. Promises of food and rent and wages have all proved to be hoaxes. The virus has not been contained, but attack on people’s rights is unflinching. Labour laws have been put into the dustbin, in Gujarat too but by the Central Govt. statement of intent too.

IFTU calls on the President to return all Ordinances seeking to change labour laws. We demand unbailable sections of willful murder be imposed on owner and punishment argued for by govt. should include compulsory jail term, not some token fines. Hazardous factories which threaten the lives of surrounding villagers should be shifted out. Dead and injured Workers should be given compensation of one crore each and all the contract workers in the company should be treated as regular employees. We demand the Gujarat Govt. implement Safety measures in all establishments and withdraw all amendments to labour laws.

Aparna         Pradeep

President       Gen Secretary

Indian Federation of Trade Unions. ( IFTU)

4th June 2020