The joint committee of Delhi’s trade unions organized a protest in front of the Labour Minister’s residence on 16 July, 2019 demanding a halt to industrial accidents. The protest was collectively organized by INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU] UTUC, Mazdoor Ekta Committee and IFTU.
It has been reported that on 13 July, two women workers and one male worker died and several worker were badly injured in an industrial fire in a factory in East Delhi’s Jhilmil industrial area. The Delhi government has declared that it will compensate the families of the deceased workers but has not taken any steps to ensure that such fatal accidents do not recur.
At the protest, trade union representatives spoke about the fact that such industrial accidents are occurring very frequently and leading to the deaths of countless workers. They recounted the industrial accident of January 2018 in the Bawana industrial area in which many workers lost their lives. Highlighting the causes of the deaths of workers in industrial accidents, trade union representatives clearly pointed out that violation of labour laws in industrial areas is a very common occurrence.
Workers are locked in factories and made to work. Most factories do not have safety measures and are established in an illegal manner and most of them violate all construction codes. Factories do not even have emergency exits for workers to use to escape and save themselves in the event of a fire. It would not be inaccurate to say that more than 99% of factories are highly at risk of industrial accidents.
Speakers said that successive governments, Ministry of Labour and Labour Departments bear the responsibility of ensuring that workers have the necessary equipment and methods for their safety and that emergency exits are available for emergency situations. They are grossly violating labour laws by not shouldering this responsibility.
Representatives said that monetary compensation cannot equal the loss of a worker’s life. Trade unions must condemn the government for the deaths of workers in industrial accidents!
A delegation of the Trade Union members presented these demands to the Labour Minister.