Former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar on Thursday opposed the Modi government’s plan to increase the working hours from 8 to 12 hours.

Sarkar, a CPI (M) Politburo member, while speaking on the occasion of the ‘Demand Day’ observed at Agartala, on Thursday said: “Now, the central government is trying to change the Labour Act in the country.”

“They are trying to increase the working time from 8 to 12 hours,” he said.

“We are opposing this kind of move of the central government,” said Sarkar adding, “This cannot be expected from any civilized government.”

He also alleged that the central government is trying to do so only for the benefit of the corporate.

Sarkar said, “Lockdown has touched 50 days in India. In the meantime, the conditions of the migrant labourers are pathetic. They are dying on the road.”

“They are not thinking about the poor labourers,” he added.

He said, “The trade unions’ work is to raise demands of the people.”

“A total of 44 anti-worker laws were tried to be adjusted in 4 codes and one was already passed and in the meantime, lockdown started,” said Sarkar.

“Now the situation is like that on the one side people are unable to come out of homes, on the other side if anyone is trying to say anything has faced police machinery,” added Sarkar.

He questioned, “How much the poor workers will be benefited from the package announced?

Sarkar slammed the BJP government saying that it has failed to address the working class’ pains.

He said the government has failed to bring out any solution to the loss of the poor people’s livelihood.

Along with other parts of the country, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) observed ‘Demand Day’ in Tripura on Thursday.

Sarkar said it was a nationwide programme of the CITU.

The main demand of the CITU is that PPE is provided to each and every health worker who is providing service to the patients.

Many health staff members have died due to COVID19 infection, he said.

In many countries, PPEs have been provided to frontline workers.

Sarkar said, “They are not only frontline workers; they are warriors.”

The leaders and members of CITU, the trade union of the CIPM, participated in Thursday’s programme.

The CITU members along with Sarkar observed the ‘Demand Day’ by holding banners and posters maintaining social distancing.


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