(We are posting here a letter written by TUs working in Delhi to the Delhi Govt. to address sufferings of the workers during the lock down enforced by the Central Govt.)
- H’ble Chief Minister
- H’ble Minister of Labour,
Government of NCT of Delhi
Subject: Re: Lock down & imposition of Section 144 to prevent spread of Corona Virus and consequent unemployment and starvation.
We want to draw your attention to grave problems faced by workers of Delhi due to above mentioned lock down. As you well aware that union government has declared countrywide lock down. and imposed section 144 in order to prevent the spread of corona virus. The union government declared that these steps are absolutely necessary. However, these steps have resulted in grave crisis of joblessness, food and health for workers of unorganized sectors of Delhi. As all the workplaces are shutdown in Delhi, workers are not able earn livelihood. Moreover, all means of transport like railways, buses are shutdown due to which workers cannot go back to their native place. In such a situation, lakhs of workers are facing a big difficulty to arrange for food and other items daily need, rent etc. The workers, already living in very bad conditions are facing dual danger- on one hand COVID 19 and on another starvation.
in this regard we are placing some extremely pressing demands to help these workers to face the situation:-
- All the workers of unorganized sectors (Building and construction, domestic etc.) should be given wages as per minimum wages for the period of lock down.
- All the contract, casual workers working under Delhi Government should be given salary by the government till the normalcy is restored.
- Self-employed workers like hawkers, street vendors, loaders-unloaders, E-Rickshaw, Auto Rickshaw, cycle rickshaw and other daily wagers too should be given wages as per minimum wages.
- Sanitation workers should be given protective gears and means including for protection from infection, and a monthly allowance.
- All these workers should be given one month’s provisions and vegetables free. Apart from grains, they should also be given pulses etc.
- Scope of PDS should be increased to include all necessary food items and other daily need items. Apart from rations card holders of BPL, all workers not possessing ration card should be included. Door step delivery system be implemented through mobile vans. Cooking fuel should also be arranged.
- All the workers should be provided with free sanitizers, masks, napkins; clean drinking water and sufficient clean toilet should be arranged near the dwellings of workers in sufficient numbers. As most of the workers live on rent, government should order not to charge rent till normalcy is restored.
- The government should arrange free resting and treatment in all government and private hospitals to avoid COVID 19. sufficient testing kits and other materials should be provided. The number of isolation and quarantine beds should be increased in government hospitals. Shopping Malls, Banquet Halls, multiplexes can be used for this purpose.
Sir, we hope that the Delhi government will take these demands pertaining to lakhs of workers of Delhi seriously and will act quickly.