Monday, July 22, 2013

AIAWU Opposing roping-in of MNREGA workers for Railway Works

The All India Agricultural Workers Union notes with grave concern the attempt of the UPA-II government to truncate and render the MNREGA legislation irrelevant and tailor it to the anti-worker policies of the Manmohan Singh government which relies extensively on contractors to loot workers and machines to render them unemployed.  Already attempts have been made to obscure the public property creating character of the legislation by allowing MNREGA workers to work for individual landowners in “public interest.” Later there was an attempt to confound the MNREGA workers with the construction workers’ contributory fund. Now there is an attempt to dilute the contractor and machine exclusion from MNREGA by using its workers in Nandurbar in Maharashtra for Railway work, which is specialized and non-manual work and utilizes both contractors and machines.

We demand the government stop playing with the MNREGA, increase the daily wage rate to Rs 300/- per day to meet the government fueled price rise, give a minimum of 250 days work a year to make this legislation meaningful and honour its commitment to pay wages on time and unemployment relief as demanded by law if work is not given. Nothing less will do. The AIAWU is determined to ensure the implementation of the law without dilution or hindrance . And it will resist all attempts to do so.

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