TN forms coordination panel for migrant workers
The authorities swung into action in constituting a high level panel and advisory committee in the aftermath of the politically motivated and vilified campaigns that workers from north India were subjected attacks in Tamil Nadu
CHENNAI: In the backdrop of incidents targeting inter-state migrant labourers in the state, the state labour department has taken a multi-pronged approach to ensure a safe working environment for the workforce from other states and ensure their rights.
The department has constituted an inter-state migrant coordination cell alongside a state level advisory committee and zonal level coordination committees with an objective to build the confidence and to sort out issues related to the migrant labourers. “The Commissioner of Labour is also instructed to file a quarterly progress report to the government,” said Additional Chief Secretary, Mohammed Nasimuddin in an order.
Apart from this, four zonal level inter-state migrant workers’ coordination committees are constituted at Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchy and Madurai. They would carry out drives to facilitate migrant labourers to enrol in welfare boards through an exclusive portal to benefit under the state government’s schemes.
The authorities swung into action in constituting a high level panel and advisory committee in the aftermath of the politically motivated and vilified campaigns that workers from north India were subjected attacks in Tamil Nadu.
“The measures have been taken to develop a robust mechanism to reach out to the migrant labourers from other states at the time of distress and quell misinformation campaigns,” a senior official in the Labour department said and added that representatives of Utkal association of Madras, Bihar, North East, Bengal and Maharashtra associations would be its members.
Commissioner of Revenue Administration, Director General of Police or their representatives, Secretaries of the TN construction workers, manual workers and domestic workers’ welfare boards and director of directorate of industrial safety and health are advisory committee.
“Five members from the state associations from where more migrant workers are working in the state will be part of the committee,” said another official quoting a GO and added that three voluntary organisations and representatives of three employers - CII, TANSTIA and CREDAI - would also be members of the panel. The committee would meet once in two months to look into the issues faced by the migrant labourers.
However, the real challenge ahead of the authorities is to ensure social security - including equal wages - and prevent exploitation of the migrant workers by their employers. “We have been paid less and asked to work for long hours. If the government fixes this issue, it will help us immensely, “ said a 31 year-old migrant labourer in the construction industry. He echoed the views of a group of labourers hailing from West Bengal and working in a same site in Chennai.