The life and livelihoods of street vendors have been debilitated post-COVID 19 pandemic. Street vendors who have always been at the receiving end of the State’s wrath through constant spate of evictions from their market places, hafta collections, verbal and physical abuse at the hands of the police, local authorities, and private individuals, have now been deeply affected by the looming economic crisis in the country. Additionally, they are also impacted by the anti-farmer laws as also the growing communal violence and the atmosphere of intolerance in the country.
Un Organised Sector
Un Organised Sector
Tea Workers Convention Demands Minimum Wages and Land Rights
A mammoth assembly of tea workers, hailing from most of the tea gardens of Terai, Dooars and Darjeeling Hills met at Bhanu Bhawan (Gorkha Rangmanch), Darjeeling town, in a spectacular convention on 11 September 2021. The convention was the culmination of a decision taken at a meeting of the leaders of all tea unions in Siliguri, owing allegiance to the “Joint Forum” of 37 trade unions operating in the tea sector of North Bengal.
Agrave crisis is looming large in the jute industry of Bengal on which thousands of workers families and a vast section of jute growers depend on to earn their bread and livelihood. The century-old traditional labor-intensive industry employs more than 2.5 lakh workers. Of late, the textile ministry of central government informed the state that procurement from the industry will be slashed due to the dearth of gunny bags and 45 percent of synthetic bags will be allowed for packaging wheat in the forthcoming rabi season.
Zomato’s recent advertisement took the country by storm. It begins with a Zomato delivery worker in awe of having realized that he was delivering food to the Bollywood star Hritik Roshan, who says “Jadoo (magic), you reach on time no matter the weather, are you anything less than jadoo (magic)?”. The star proceeds to request the worker to wait for a selfie. While waiting, hopeful music engulfs the screen as the worker’s phone rings with his next delivery order. The worker promptly sacrifices the opportunity for a selfie with his hero and walks back into the rain for his next delivery.
Being Domestic Workers in India: No Rights in the Face of Triple Oppression of Class, Caste and Gender
Domestic work, the labour that goes into running a house, has been probably the most unrecognised labour all over the world, throughout the history. Undermining the human hour invested in reproducing labour that generates the so called ‘value’ in the economy has been the most important tool of exploitation and bondage of women. Unfortunately, employing workers from outside the household for domestic work has not solved the problem of crass exploitation, rather it has added dimensions of class and caste based oppression to it.
Waste pickers play an important role in waste management in Bengaluru. Waste pickers and informal waste collectors of the city are the backbones of the waste management system. While the municipal waste collection system of the city is supposed to collect 4,000 tons of solid waste that is produced every day, it is estimated that informal workers collect up to 1,050 tons of recyclable material on a daily basis, which amounts to a third of the city’s generated waste.
AICCTU Karnataka Releases Report on Workers in the Second Wave
On 18th May, 2021, the AICCTU released its report, which was brought out in collaboration with the Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU) and the Domestic Workers Rights Union – “Workers in the Second Wave – The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on local and migrant workers in Bengaluru”. It highlighted the manner in which the working class and economically weaker sections are battling not only to save their lives, but struggling to secure livelihoods.
This is a well-documented report that has analysed the impact of one year of Covid-19 in India, on jobs, incomes, inequality, and poverty. The rising inequality and loss of wages is really alarming. It says, “our analysis shows that the pandemic has further increased informality and led to a severe decline in earnings for the majority of workers resulting in a sudden increase in poverty. Women and younger workers have been disproportionately affected. Households have coped by reducing food intake, borrowing, and selling assets.
Dignity Disposed: A Report on Crematorium and Burial Ground workers in Bengaluru during the COVID-19 pandemic
ALL INDIA CENTRAL COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS (AICCTU) – KARNATAKA
‘Dignity Disposed’ is a report on crematorium and burial ground workers in Bengaluru city. The report documents how generations of (almost all) Dalit workers have been compelled to work in slave-like conditions to give the rest of the city a final good-bye.