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UP gov't invokes ESMA, prohibits strikes for next six months

ESMA covers services such as railways, public transport buses, health services including hospitals, post and telegraph, airports and ports etc.

Sabrangindia 23 May 2020

ESMAImage Courtesy:india.com

As if the situation for workers and labourers, both migrant and local, was not dire enough, the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath, has now invoked the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA). This will now render any strike or dissent by the workers as illegal. The Act will remain in place for the next six months, reported Network 18.

According to the Act, the police are also empowered to arrest those they suspect of violating the Act, without a warrant. The Act was invoked, state news reports, as soon as UP Governor Anandiben Patel gave her permission. The notification was issued by the state’s Additional Chief Secretary, Mukul Singhal.

"The Governor is pleased to prohibit, for a period of six months from the date of publication of this notification in the Gazette, strikes in any public service in connection with the affairs of the state of Uttar Pradesh and any service under a corporation owned or controlled by state Government and any service under a local authority", it stated.

The ESMA, covers services such as railways, public transport buses, health services including hospitals, post and telegraph, airports and ports etc. Once ESMA is invoked workers engaged in these essential services are prohibited from going on strike, or refusing to report for duty. Each state also has its own version of the Act.

Violations such as calling for a workers’ strike under the ESMA can be punished with jail term and/ or a fine. As many have reported earlier the UP government had already put on hold the hike in dearness allowance (DA) for its 16 lakh employees. According to a report by The Quint, this money was due from January 1, 2020. The report adds that the UP government has also issued an order that DA instalments which will be due from July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021, will not be paid.

SabrangIndia earlier reported that it has been said that states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are paving a way to dilute the rights of workers. Ordinances cleared by Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat cabinets, indiscriminately suspend all labour laws except a few basic ones, for close to three years. Notifications by the governments of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana have also suspended crucial portions of their labour legislation. 

Uttar Pradesh, through an ordinance called ‘Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020’, has suspended 35 out of 38 labour laws for a period of 3 years. It has sought to introduce an ordinance suspending all labour laws for all types of establishments with the exception of Workmen’s Compensation Act, the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, clause 5 of the Payment of Wages Act (time of wage payment) and possibly the Maternity Benefit Act and the Child labour Act for a period of three years.

Just yesterday, nationwide protests were held by Central Trade Unions. The Central Trade Unions (CTUs) who also sent a joint petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The CTUs have also raised the issue of DA freeze of central government employees. They also demanded that the government  “ensure wages to all of the entire lock down period, cash transfer of Rs.7500/- to all non-income tax paying households.” 


Related:

https://sabrangindia.in/article/arrests-mark-nationwide-protest-day-observed-central-trade-unions
https://sabrangindia.in/article/new-trade-union-initiative-ntui-demands-governments-retract-changes-labour-laws
https://sabrangindia.in/article/battle-against-dilution-labour-laws-culminate-supreme-court

UP gov't invokes ESMA, prohibits strikes for next six months

ESMA covers services such as railways, public transport buses, health services including hospitals, post and telegraph, airports and ports etc.

ESMAImage Courtesy:india.com

As if the situation for workers and labourers, both migrant and local, was not dire enough, the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath, has now invoked the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA). This will now render any strike or dissent by the workers as illegal. The Act will remain in place for the next six months, reported Network 18.

According to the Act, the police are also empowered to arrest those they suspect of violating the Act, without a warrant. The Act was invoked, state news reports, as soon as UP Governor Anandiben Patel gave her permission. The notification was issued by the state’s Additional Chief Secretary, Mukul Singhal.

"The Governor is pleased to prohibit, for a period of six months from the date of publication of this notification in the Gazette, strikes in any public service in connection with the affairs of the state of Uttar Pradesh and any service under a corporation owned or controlled by state Government and any service under a local authority", it stated.

The ESMA, covers services such as railways, public transport buses, health services including hospitals, post and telegraph, airports and ports etc. Once ESMA is invoked workers engaged in these essential services are prohibited from going on strike, or refusing to report for duty. Each state also has its own version of the Act.

Violations such as calling for a workers’ strike under the ESMA can be punished with jail term and/ or a fine. As many have reported earlier the UP government had already put on hold the hike in dearness allowance (DA) for its 16 lakh employees. According to a report by The Quint, this money was due from January 1, 2020. The report adds that the UP government has also issued an order that DA instalments which will be due from July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021, will not be paid.

SabrangIndia earlier reported that it has been said that states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are paving a way to dilute the rights of workers. Ordinances cleared by Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat cabinets, indiscriminately suspend all labour laws except a few basic ones, for close to three years. Notifications by the governments of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana have also suspended crucial portions of their labour legislation. 

Uttar Pradesh, through an ordinance called ‘Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020’, has suspended 35 out of 38 labour laws for a period of 3 years. It has sought to introduce an ordinance suspending all labour laws for all types of establishments with the exception of Workmen’s Compensation Act, the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, clause 5 of the Payment of Wages Act (time of wage payment) and possibly the Maternity Benefit Act and the Child labour Act for a period of three years.

Just yesterday, nationwide protests were held by Central Trade Unions. The Central Trade Unions (CTUs) who also sent a joint petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The CTUs have also raised the issue of DA freeze of central government employees. They also demanded that the government  “ensure wages to all of the entire lock down period, cash transfer of Rs.7500/- to all non-income tax paying households.” 


Related:

https://sabrangindia.in/article/arrests-mark-nationwide-protest-day-observed-central-trade-unions
https://sabrangindia.in/article/new-trade-union-initiative-ntui-demands-governments-retract-changes-labour-laws
https://sabrangindia.in/article/battle-against-dilution-labour-laws-culminate-supreme-court

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