AITUC strongly condemns the use of disinfectant spray on the migrant workers in Barreliey who were desperate to reach home and walking for miles on the highways. It is criminal to use chemical spray on human bodies as it can cause nausea, vomiting, head ache, irritation and damage to eyes, and in severe cases agitation, delusion, drowsiness, hallucination, impaired judgment, excitement, and mood changes and could be fatal in case of children and those with ailment of asthma, diabetes etc . In another place in Bulandshahar a police personnel is seen writing on the forehead of a worker that I am a lockdown breaker. Could anybody witness such a scene with an affluent, some of them in high positions violating advisories on lockdown even though having a history of travelling in Corona effected countries in the months of February- March 2020.

The workers in Surat were not only lathicharged, the cases have been filed against them. There are no efforts by the authorities to reach out to the places where these workers are held up in various states after loosing their livelihood and having no resources to feed themselves. No efforts being made to explain to them the need of lockdown while also ensuring their basic essentials of food water and medical care.

It is shameful that some of those in power including some responsible government officials having scant regard to the basic human rights of crores of vulnerable , helpless poor workers who are desperate having lost their livelihood, place of stay and compelled due to circumstances to walk for miles to reach back homes in villages.

The failure of governments enforcing their advisories of not to throw away/retrench/remove the workers from place of work and place of stay is resulting in de-humanising, insulting and punitive attitude towards these workers.

We demand from the ministery of labour to intervene in the matter to protect these workers, get them proper shelter and fooding.

We also demand from the central government to come out with special financial help to the state governments in fulfilling their obligations towards these migrant workers as well as the others poor working masses in the states who have suddenly lost their livelihood due to lockdown

Amarjeet Kaur

Source:

World Federation of Trade Unions