Following Backlash, UP Government Revokes its Relaxation of Labour Laws

The c of 12-hour shifts for workers in industrial units, as compared to the normal 8-hour day shift, after a notice from the Allahabad High Court. The notification on labour laws is revoked as per the order dated 15 May 2020, the Chief Secretary to the state informed.

The Allahabad High Court on May 14, 2020, issued a notice in a Public Interest Litigation; challenging the Uttar Pradesh Government’s move to relax certain labour law regulations concerning working hours, rest periods and overtime. Advocates Pranjal Shukla and Vinayak Mitthal filed the petition on behalf of the UP Worker’s Front. The plea states that this violates Constitutional values. The Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma issued the notice. The matter was posted for hearing on 18 May.

Notification on Relaxation of Labour Law Regulations

The Uttar Pradesh government issued a notification on May 8 according to sections 51, 54, 56, 59 of Factories Act 1948. This notification was both retrospective and prospective in nature and was to remain in force till 19 July. As part of its strategy to attract investments from China post Covid-19 disruptions; the UP government had, through an ordinance Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020; amended all but few labour laws in the state.

The laws were The Factories Act, 1948; Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996; Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976; Section 5 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; and the Provisions of various labour laws relating to the employment of children and women. Henceforth, many trade unions, including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), threatened a strike against Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP) ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, who in this month made massive changes in the labour laws through ordinances.

Ishan Harlalka
Ishan Harlalkahttp://lexinsider.com
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