Indian Government’s anti worker move defeated in ILO

Date: 07 Jun 2010


Press Release //////////////// Geneva, 3-6-2010 //////////////// International Labour Conference of ILO, Geneva, Switzerland, from 2nd to 18th of June 2010 /////////////////// Indian Government’s anti worker move defeated in ILO ///////////// Indian Government cut a sorry figure in the 99th session of International Labour Conference of ILO in Geneva when an anti-worker amendment it moved was rejected for want of any other Government to second it. The amendment was put up by GOI opposing adoption of a global Convention (set of rules) on “decent work for domestic workers”. Adopting a convention on Domestic workers was the main theme for the current annual conference of ILO. GOI wanted a recommendation at the worst, which has no binding effect. Later Indian Government managed to get another government to second it and again it was moved. Government of Bangladesh and some Gulf countries sided with India later. The amendment was opposed by the entire worker delegates, hence was put for voting, in which again the GOI lost. It was defeated by majority votes. Initially eventhough the employer group in ILO moved an amendment opposing the convention, on seeing vehement opposition from worker side, they opted to withdraw it. In recent times it is for the first time that a committee was divided by votes, thanks to the intervention of GOI. Harish Rawath, the State minister for Labour is camping in Geneva to oppose the convention in ILO. ///////////// The anti worker stance of the Government of India is affecting tens of thousands of Indian domestic workers working in Gulf countries. The convention was to give relief to the suffering lots who are exploited right from the stage of migration by the agents. The stance of the Ministry of Labour in ILO is quite against the stand adopted by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. A sizable part of domestic workers world over are seen as most helpless and downtrodden lot and is one estranged facet of forced labour. A major chunk of Indian migrants working abroad as domestic workers, have seen some light at the end of the dark tunnel after a long wait of 50 years. Now it is certain that even if ILO adopts the convention, GOI is not going to care them. ///////////////// China which initially was against the Convention and was to support India, at the fag end voted for convention sensing the global trend. The Convention was supported mainly by America, Latin America, Africa and European Union. The workers from all over the world were jubilant when the voting result was in favour of Convention. India gained a strong anti-worker image in the world community. /////////////// The loss of face by GOI in Geneva has caused irate domestic workers in India planning to lodge their protest. General Secretary of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh is lodging a complaint with Prime Minister seeking enquiry into the extravagant enthusiasm shown by delegation of GOI against the tripartite spirit hitherto followed. The Kharelu Kamgar Sangh (BMS) would take up protest meets at more than six places in the Maharashtra State. The Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Gharge visiting Geneva for his plenary speech next week naturally would face a rough weather in the conference. ////////////////// Meanwhile BMS and other participating central trade unions from India in the conference are toying the idea of creating a common platform for the domestic workers of India. The Indian worker delegation led by BMS representative, consists of other central trade unions like INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AI-UTUC, SEWA. //////////////// C.K. Saji Narayanan, //////////// Worker Delegate to ILO////////// National Vice President, BMS, ///////// (In charge of ILO & International affairs)///////// 000000000