Sangrur: Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today promised to end the contract system among labourers working in various grain markets in the state if his party is voted to power. He also promised labourers of ensuring fixed working hours for them. Interacting with the labourers during a ‘Coffee with Captain’ programme organised by the state unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress here, Singh spelt out a number of measures for improving working conditions.
The main demand of the labourers was for abolishing the contract system which not only leads to their “brutal exploitation” but also “substantial financial losses” as major portion of their earnings is “pocketed” by the labour contractors, Singh said. He said after abolishing the contract system the labourers can manage their work by setting up their own unions which will safeguard their interests. Singh told the gathering that Congress will provide insurance cover to all labourers in case of accidents or death if it forms government in the state. The labourers alleged that they also faced harassment by the officials and the police.
They claimed that even for their normal demands they were slapped with false cases under stringent IPC sections like 307 (attempt to murder). The labourers said that many of them were jailed. To this, Singh said he had already promised to cancel all the false FIRs on the first day of taking over the government. The PCC president also promised to release pending payments of the labourers within a time-bound period. PTI
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