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NHRC notice to Centre over ‘anti-labour practices’ at MNC workshop in Haryana’s Manesar

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The NHRC has observed that the content of a news report, if true, raises a serious issue of human rights of the workers in violation of the labour laws and the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment from time to time.

The NHRC has observed that the content of a news report, if true, raises a serious issue of human rights of the workers in violation of the labour laws and the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment from time to time.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

“The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Centre over reported “anti-labour practices” at one of the warehouses of a multinational company in Haryana’s Manesar,” officials said on June 19.

The NHRC has observed that the content of the news report, if true, raises a serious issue of human rights of the workers in violation of the labour laws and the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment from time to time.

The NHRC in a statement said that it has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that at one of the warehouses of a multinational company in Haryana’s Manesar, a 24-year-old worker was asked to pledge that they would not take toilet or water breaks until they finished unloading packages from six trucks, each measuring 24 feet long, after their team’s 30-minute tea break had ended”.

“A female employee at the Manesar warehouse reportedly stated that no restroom facilities are available on the working sites,” it added. Reportedly, the labour associations in India have accused five warehouses in and around Manesar of violating regulations outlined in the Factories Act, 1948, the rights panel said. “While labour inspectors can demand corrections, there is limited enforcement,” it said.

Accordingly, the NHRC has issued a notice to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, seeking a detailed report within one week. Issuing the notice, the Commission has also noted that the government has been insisting on improving workers’ living standard.

“Apart from ensuring proper payment of minimum wages to the workers, the government schemes have been introduced to provide social security for the labourers, including a safe working environment, safety gear in hazardous working conditions, medical insurance and free annual health check-ups of the workers by the employers,” it said.

“A scheme – ‘Shramev Jayate’ – was started in 2014 targeting the country’s growth and maximum benefit to the workers. Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017 also came into effect to increase the paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks,” the statement said.

As per the news report, one of the workers, who works ten hours a day for five days a week and earns ₹10,088 per month stated that even if they work continuously without breaks, including the 30-minute lunch and tea breaks, they cannot unload more than four trucks per day, it said.

A woman worker also claimed that she keeps standing for nine hours daily and is required to evaluate 60 small products or 40 medium-sized products per hour during duty. “Reportedly, the multinational company has also encountered similar accusations internationally,” the statement said.


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