May Day: Nitin Gadkari demands better facilities for unorganised workers

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On International Workers' Day, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister called for better amenities for unorganised workers, including access to health, housing and education facilities.

“There are laws that take care of the needs of workers in the organised sector and also look after them. However, should get proper housing, health and education facilities for themselves and their families,” Gadkari said, at an event, marking the International Workers' Day today.

May Day, or the International Workers’ Day, originated in 1884, when the Federation of Organised Trades and of the United States and Canada demanded an eight-hour workday.

In India, was first celebrated on May 1, 1923, in Chennai organised by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan, founded by Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, one of the founders of the Communist Party of India.

Gadkari also pitched for speedy justice for workers in the “Workers do not get justice in courts for over five years. The hear the cases but do not take a decision on them. We need to fast-track decision-making in courts through information technology,” he said.

The minister emphasised that would not be generated till there is an adequate capital investment by “We need to encourage investments but at the same time ensure that employers do not exploit workers,” Gadkari said.

He also highlighted the poor health services provided by to formal sector workers and suggested private participation in hospitals and dispensaries under the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). “Its not the government's job to run hospitals,” he said.

ESIC provides health facilities to workers earning up to Rs 21,000 through its dispensaries and hospitals spread across the country. The health benefits under is compulsory for factories with at least 10 workers at present.

Labour and Minister said that 38 central labour laws have become obsolete and the government is in the process of bringing in reforms.

He said the government has targeted bringing 10 million workers under the formal sector fold with the help of various incentive schemes given to employers.