2 nd APRIL 2020

 Respected Sir, 

We the below-signed  central trade unions and state level Trade Unions who represent lakhs of workers within the State of Maharashtra, both in the public and private sector, organised and unorganised sectors. 

Though certain welcome measures have been announced by the Government in various notifications, the situation at the ground level is still distressing. Many employers are not paying wages to their workers, especially to contract, badli & casual & Trainee – NEEM workers. Many workers who were self-employed, such as hawkers, auto-rickshaw drivers etc have lost their source of income for the period of the lockdown. Construction workers, and transport workers etc. are stranded at sites and locations all over the state . 

In view of the current situation we are putting forward the following proposals:- 

1) Though the Government has set up a Helpline, it is not functioning in practice and is always engaged. Substantial additional lines must be added on this helpline, such that any person can easily contact the helpline. The helplines should be able to guide such person to the nearest place for aid, whether run by the government or privately run.

 2) Government has announced arrangements for provision of food to stranded workers like trainee- NEEM workers at the ward level.  However, in most areas these arrangements are not yet practically functional and  thousands of workers are still hungry. 

List of responsible contact person at the level of each ward should be widely publicized. This is very urgent.

Government must also include the hot spots in MMRDA and rest of Maharashtra where immediate focused attention can cover large numbers. Places such as Dharavi- Mahim -Sion – Antop Hill – Wadala-Santacruz- Dahisar -Bhayander- Mira Road- Kalyan- Bhiwandi- Ulhasnagar – Chakan and Pune Automobile belt- Samrudhi Mahamarg Etc.
Local hotels may be enlisted to prepare standard food packets to be provided to stranded workers.

 3) Local police stations should be instructed to inform stranded workers with photo passes about the government provided arrangements. 
The trade unions are prepared to provide volunteers with photo passes to assist the police and municipal authorities to provide such services and participate in ward  level and panchayat level committees  which may be formed for this purpose. 

4) Though the Government has announced setting up of camps for migrant workers and those without shelter & food, most of such camps are not yet functional. Such camps should be established wherever necessary, at ward level in cities and at the taluka level in rural areas. 

government proposes to compensate only to those having bank accounts..Many unorganised Workers or those in need may not be having bank accounts..IN such cases local administration along with NGOs and Trade Unions should  be involved so that the needy are not deprived.
Basic amenities  for food , shelter and public hygiene must be available at these shelter camps. 

5) Many non-essential factories are being allowed to function, such as those producing cosmetics ,souce,& soups by Hindustan Unilever ,Jindal Polyfilm at Igatpuri ( Nashik ). .Such factories must be immediately shut down for the period of the Lockdown. 

6) Sugar factories Except four are closed down  Why operate others? Safety and life of sugar industry worker is equally important.Sugar cane cutting workers should be transported back to their villages where provisions for quarantining them at their native places and medical care be made available .
The numbers of migrant workers who are stranded in Maharashtra and who wish to return to their home states is large and may be in lakhs. 
The states and central governments should jointly immediately work out a comprehensive plan for this at a national level and this should be implemented in an orderly and disciplined manner ,as soon as the lockdown is lifted in a phased manner. 
The trade unions are prepared to assist the government in preparing and implementing such a plan. 

7) Migrant workers, many of whom are working in providing essential services should be treated  with respect as a valuable  human resource areasset of the state and nation and not as a liability. 
The best practices of other state governments in this respect ( such as the government of Kerala)  may be adopted in our state as well, and our best practices may be shared to other states.

 8) In all lockdown factories and establishments few workers deemed to be Essential, the employers must strictly implement social distancing and the use of PPEs. 
Further every worker being made to work on providing essential services during the Lockdown must be insured , by the employer or government, for a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs. 
This includes all safai mazdoor working in all establishments and in municipalities ,Nagar palikas and Gram Panchayats and Anganwadi  as well as  Asha workers and  workers under NEEM  have so far not  been covered by such insurance. 

 9)    The safai workers need  special attention. 
It is to be noted that most of these workers working in providing essential services , including garbage clearance workers in housing societies, are still not provided with protective equipment. Garbage clearing workers in housing societies are in the unorganized sector and are not even recognised as workers till today .
They must be immediately brought under statutory cover and provided for. 10) The advisory /ORDER that all employers must pay the full wage to all workers including casual, contract, badli workers ,trainee -NEEM workers etc. must be converted into a government  ordinance. 
Non – payment by any employer must be treated as a breach of law. 

11) The State / Central Government may re-imburse part of the wage to employers of micro, small & medium enterprises, in some cases, as subsidy or loan. This will be subject to the enterprise furnishing proof that it has paid the full wage to the workers concerned. 

 12) No closure or retrenchment of any workers should be permitted during the whole of the period of the lockdown and 
all workers including contract, badli etc should be treated as being on duty during the whole of the period of the lockdown. 
Where wages are linked to production, the average production should be taken as the average production in the three months prior to shutdown. 

13) The State / Central Government should pay a Basic Floor wage of Rs. 8000 p.m. to every person who is unemployed / rendered unemployed and Self employed during the period of the Lockdown. 

14)Senior citizens should be covered in this scheme.
15) Food kits (including wheat, rice ,edible oil ,sugar, dal ,mirchi, and tea) should be provided through PDS shops to all needy families including migrant workers who don’t have ration card.  These proposals are preliminary proposals for the immediate future which have been discussed amongst all the major trade unions . 

We will submit further proposals when the lockdown is lifted. WE The trade unions are here to  Offer our full cooperation to the government as an important social partner in meeting and overcoming the crisis. 
We propose that representatives from the central trade unions and state level trade unions be included in a state level TASK FORCE  formed for this purpose.
With warm Greetings,  
Yours Sincerely,
INTUC-AITUC -CITU-HMS -NTUIBKS-AIUTUC- UTUC -AICCTUTrade Unions in Central and State Govt Employment –                               BANK-INSURANCS sector -Civil Aviations-Education – Railways – BPT – Coal – BPCL-DEFENCE -MTNL- BSNL- ST – BEST – Hospitals – Municipalities, All Contract workers – NEEM workers- outsourced precarious labour -Jilha parishad & Gram panchayats workers -Taxi -Riksha  – vendors – etc