Neglected labor rights and thoughts of May Day

Today is the first of May, the International Workers’ Day. In other terms, it is the day of comprehending the rights of the workers. More than a hundred years ago today, millions of workers took to the streets to demand their rights. We all know more or less the context of this great May Day. The fundamental question, however, is how effective the goal of the workers' movement today for which workers succumbed hundred years ago.

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It is a little complicated to answer the above question in one sentence. Because the scenario of the duty of these workers is different in each country and even in different organizations. If I review the eight-hours rights of the workers, it will be seen that in many places it is not obeyed properly. Many organization workers are even compelled to work 10 hours or even 12 to 14 hours. Although in many cases it is done with the consent of both the workers and the employers, sometimes it deviates. Although each country has its own labor laws and institutionally employers are required to comply with them, but in many circumstances this is not fulfilled. Although it is accurately shown on paper to handle the audit, the real picture is different.

This is all about the institutional workers, but a large number of people who are not institutional workers are also doing various kinds of work inside the country. This group of laborers can be day workers, rickshaw pullers, farmers or many more. But the reality is that this laborers are not under any rules. One of the reasons for this is that since they are not institutionally affiliated, they cannot be covered by the Labor Law. And that's why all these workers are employed the way employers want them to, and they take advantage of this opportunity.

Over the past two years, all of the above scenario have changed completely. One of the reasons for this is the consequence of the global coronavirus pandemic. The main issue today, rather than working long hours, is the skepticism about their jobs. Thousands of workers worldwide have lost their jobs in the past two years. The salaries and bonuses of all the workers who are still working are being deducted.

However, the most affected are the workers who work as day laborers. All these workers are not getting any job due to the nationwide lockdown and as a result many are living in dire straits. Lack of money is now a more serious issue for this class of laborers than coronavirus. So now they are ready to work despite the coronavirus but the reality is that they have nothing to do.

Finally, I would like to say that this global pandemic of coronavirus is impacting more or less everyone. But since they are low-paid workers and in many cases they are living from hand to mouth, employers should be a little kinder to their workers during this global pandemic so that laborers can survive in this adverse environment. The joint effort of both employers and workers to fight this global coronavirus epidemic should be the promise of this great May Day.

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