for building a democratic labour movement in India
Highlights of the Shramik Vikas Mission
• Delhi Government will amend the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, to enhance the jail term and fine for non-payment of minimum wages by employers to the workers. The amendment will be brought in the Vidhan Sabha session scheduled for next month
• Why no one has gone to jail for not paying minimum wages to the workers even though we celebrate Labour Day every year. Corrupt employers will be finally punished by God after death but Delhi government will punish them before it
• Enhancement of financial entitlements under various welfare schemes for construction workers and pension benefit for unorganised workers under the Delhi Swavalamban Yojana.
• Pension benefits for the unorganised workers under the scheme.
• Priority to the working class by providing them basic facilities such as easy access in government hospitals and opening new dispensaries and schools for proper education for their children.
• Government would provide pucca houses to all jhuggi dwellers within the next five years and take up the matter with the Railway Ministry and Delhi Development Authority for not removing jhuggis from different areas of the Capital
• Each office of Deputy Labour Commissioner would have a reception house for workers.
• Dedicated Shramik Helpline — 12789 — has been strengthened with the addition of five more numbers. The helpline is managed by experienced and well-trained officials of the Labour Department who are fully equipped with all necessary information to address all queries
• Through this helpline any worker can complain about non-payment of minimum wages, harassment and discrimination. Their identities will be kept a secret and stringent step will be taken against offender
• Government will conduct inspections and raids to check if minimum wages are paid to the workers.
• Uninterrupted power and water to all Delhi residents this summer. Where water supply is not available, tankers will be provided
Kejriwal launches Shramik Vikas Mission; The Hindu, NEW DELHI, May 2, 2015; Holding out sops, CM Kejriwal labours to win over working class; Express News Service | New Delhi | May 2, 2015; and Arvind Kejriwal led AAP govt to enhance punishment for denial of minimum wages; The Financial Express, May 02, 2015
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Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures,”
Social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment of democracy; universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity - of opportunity in the social, political and individual life.
In the new global politico-economic regime with new international division of labour, informalization of labour, free mobility of capital, alarming expansion of reserve army of labour and creation of global reserve army of labour for capital, and a system of regulating at international level and deregulating at national level, the pre-globalization strategies of organizing and collective bargaining have largely become ineffective and irrelevant. Therefore the labour movements and the social, political movements in general need to develop and implement new strategies of organizing and collective bargaining effective in new global politico-economic regime.
Divide, isolate and rule is the most important aspect of the capitalism to control the labour by not letting the working class emerge as a unified force. Dividing the working class in different sectional interests, and intensifying social conflicts (caste, gender, religion, regionality and nationality conflicts etc) are important strategies of capitalism. On the other hand, by its various institutions and propaganda machinery, the capitalism blurs the link between various sectional problems and their linkage with the capitalist system and therefore the movements appear detached from each other and focused on their sectional issues rather than challenging the capitalist system that produces and reproduces these problems.
The fate of social, political movements in India depends on their attitude towards learning and building unity in diversity at various levels to defeat the capital’s attempts to divide, isolate and rule. The revival of the working class movement also depends on this factor.