India. March 29, 2020. Statement by Muktivadi Ekta Morcha (Libertarian Solidarity Front) in times of the coronavirus.
Originally published by International Workers Organisation (IWA-AIT).
Coronavirus and the effect of the lockdown implemented without proper and adequate planning are proving fatal to the working class. In Delhi alone, one hundred thousand workers have to sit at home without pay, due to the lockdown. Not only this, due to the closure of public transport means such as rail and interstate buses, many workers have to return to their villages on foot hundreds of kilometres! This crisis is equally serious in Madhya Pradesh.
Health workers stand in the forefront of this crisis. Due to the negligence of the government machinery, they do not even have adequate protection equipment. Apart from this, the workers delivering all kinds of essential services to the people are also facing constant danger.
The Muktivadi Ekta Morcha (MEM) together with the workers demand from the Central and Madhya Pradesh government special protection and care for these insecure and brave workers.
1. Companies and the government should ensure that workers in the informal sector, whether their company gives them ‘worker’ status or not, get a monthly compensation of Rs 7000.
2. High quality safety gear – mask, gloves etc. – should be provided to all delivery personnel, cleaning personnel and workers employed in all essential services.
3. During this epidemic – and even further – workers like cleaning and delivery workers get regular worker status and increase their wages, delivery rates and boost rates so that they do not have to work for 12 hours to sustain themselves.
4. Minimum monthly allowance should also be given to irregularly employed or unemployed workers.
5. Free ration, fuel, medicines and care should be provided immediately to all the workers’ families and their dependants.
Muktivadi Ekta Morcha (Libertarian Solidarity Front), March 29, 2020.
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